Saturday, 26 September 2015

Top Tips for Taking your Little One Swimming


I've written on my blog a few times about how we love to take LO swimming. Since he was 13 weeks old we have taken him to swimming lessons and when we have been on holiday, we have spent the majority of the time in the pool with him. He is a real water baby. We do get through a lot of swim nappies so I was delighted when Huggies got in touch to ask if we'd like to try out their Little Swimmers swim pants. You can read all about my review of those here.

Although we take LO swimming every week, going to the pool with him on my own is something I've never actually done before, and I know many people who haven't taken their baby or toddler swimming at all yet as it can be quite a daunting experience. Huggies have teamed up with baby swimming expert and Huggies Brand Ambassador Laura Sevenus and their latest brand Ambassador Rebecca Adlington and I thought I'd share their top tips for taking your Little Ones swimming.


1. Have fun
Most babies love being in the water and if you are confident and enjoy yourself, your baby will most likely have fun too. Holding your baby close will help them feel secure and encourage them to enjoy the experience of being in the pool. Maintain eye contact with your little one. Smile, relax and drop down to the same level – your baby will love seeing you splash about too! 

2. Get in the pool as soon as you can
Babies have a natural affinity to water which probably originates from their development in the womb. Taking your baby swimming as early as possible reintroduces them to their watery surroundings and is the perfect bonding opportunity. Rebecca Adlington’s baby girl Summer has already been introduced to the pool. 

3. Plan ahead
Parents can sometimes be put off swimming because of the ‘hassle factor’, but with a little forward planning you’ll get used to it in no time. Just like taking your baby out shopping for the first time, or the first bath, you’ll soon become an expert! Make a list of everything you need, including Huggies Little Swimmers which contain little accidents and won’t leak or expand in the water. 

4. Make the most of bath time
Bath time is a great way to get your baby used to being in the water with you. They love the physical freedom the buoyancy of water provides. They can move around freely, stretching and kicking their arms and legs.  A great tip is to lie back in the bath and support your baby’s head against your chest;  trickle water down their face while talking calmly to them.

5. It’s a family affair 
Men tend to stand taller in the water and have better balance. This can help babies feel more relaxed and comfortable in their father’s arms. Going swimming as a family is a wonderful bonding experience and can help build babies confidence in the water. It’s also a great way to make sure Dad doesn’t feel left out.

6. Make a date with other mums
Sometimes it’s easier if you have some moral support so why not ask other mums along, or a friend who can help while you get used to handling a wet baby.

7. Get the paddling pool out
Children can spend hours playing in or with water. It’s wonderfully entertaining and a great form of play and exploration.  On a hot day you don’t have to visit a pool to enjoy the water, you can enjoy the paddling pool together in your garden.

8. Make it a habit 
Try going swimming as often as possible;  the more you go, the more you and your little one will enjoy it. Very few things are as affordable and fun as swimming. It’s a skill which will last a lifetime and something which can be enjoyed as a family for years to come.

8. Avoid peak times
If you are new to baby swimming go when the pool if quieter – it will make the entire experience less stressful and enjoyable.

9. And relax…
Swimming offers many soothing benefits to infants and can help them and you relax. Resting their head in the water, with their ears slightly submerged, gives them a similar sensation to being in the womb and will be extremely comforting.


Rebecca Adlington explains that getting back in the water is empowering for new mums as well as being a great confidence booster. You actually burn 300 calories for every 30 minutes of swimming, which is why it is one of the most effective forms of cardiovascular exercise. Swimming is one of the few activities you and your little one can actually participate in and enjoy together – it provides that real special bonding time for parents and children. Once you’ve been swimming with your baby a few times you’ll realise that it’s a huge amount of fun and really not much hassle. 

She also says that preparation is key and a well-packed swim bag can make it even more enjoyable and I couldn't agree more. When we go swimming, we always make sure we take a couple of towels including a hooded poncho towel, Little Swimmers swim pants, a Huggies change mat, spare nappies and a change of clothes in case his clothes get all wet. 


For practical advice, support videos and a step-by-step guide to baby swimming, visit www.littleswimmers.co.uk

NB: I was sent a packet of Little Swimmers for the purposes of my review which i have linked above, but I wanted to also share these top tips as I found them really interesting and hope that they might inspire others to discover a love of swimming like we have. 
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3 comments

  1. I must admit that I think the thought of going swimming is worse than the reality. I get my swimming costume on underneath my clothes before I go which makes it easier once I am there. I find the getting dressed afterwards a little trickier though but worth it.

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  2. I was so good with my first child, took her swimming regularly. Poor no 4 doesn't get a look in, does Rebecca have any tips for managing multiple children in the pool? :)

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  3. I was so good with my first child, took her swimming regularly. Poor no 4 doesn't get a look in, does Rebecca have any tips for managing multiple children in the pool? :)

    ReplyDelete

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