Pool Time with Baby

Pool Time with BabyWho’s excited for summer pool time? If you love swimming, you may be eager to get your baby in the pool as well. Swimming is a terrific activity for babies but there are a few things to keep in mind about pool time with baby. Here’s a checklist to help your baby have a wet and wonderful summer at the pool:

Age: Babies under two months should hold off on taking a dip. Pools can harbor harmful bacteria that may cause illness in newborns with minimal immune defenses. Plus, harsh chemicals designed to kill off bacteria are also dangerous to your newborn. After two months your baby can better handle what he may encounter in the pool and early exposure to swimming may help foster his wet and wild side sooner.

Temperature: The ideal pool temperature for a baby is 85 to 87 degrees. Babies under one year have a hard time regulating their body temperatures so if the water feels cold to you, it is extremely frigid to your baby. Always take your baby out of the pool if he is shivering. Also, never put your baby in a hot tub or pool that is too warm.

Preparation: The bath is a fantastic way to prepare for pool time with baby. Make baths fun by allowing your baby to splash and play with toys. Sing songs and play games too. If you feel inclined you can get into the bath with your baby since this is most similar to being in the pool together. Gently splash water on your baby’s head and face every once in awhile to get him used to the sensation. Feel free to hold your baby in the shower as well.

Safety and Security: In the pool, hold your baby firmly yet comfortably. This will ensure your baby’s safety and make him feel secure in the water. Always stay in shallow water where you have good footing. Even as your toddler becomes an adequate swimmer, stay within an arm’s reach away. Never let children play alone near water and keep pool gates locked when you’re not around.

Fun: Show your baby how much fun the pool can be. Play games, sing songs, offer water toys and carefully splash about with your baby. When you have fun together in the pool, you create a positive association with the experience.

Baby Cues: Most babies enjoy the water but some are more timid. Don’t force your baby to play in the pool for longer than a few minutes if he’s not into it. Just as fun in the pool creates positive associations, bad experiences can create negative ones. Some babies need a little more time to get used to swimming and that’s OK. If you have an adventurous baby who wants to test out his swimming skills from the womb, use caution as you foster a love of the pool.

Swim Lessons: Feel free to enroll in parent-assisted swim lessons by age 6 months. Learning to swim with you by his side and being led by a trained instructor should be a fun and productive experience for your baby.

Water Swallowing: Watch out for your baby swallowing water. Some babies find it humorous to swallow water, which may lead to choking or dry drowning. Plus, pool water is full of chemicals that aren’t good for your baby’s system.

Floatation Devices: Many parents choose not use “floaties” and other inflatable floatation devices as it may give your baby a false sense of security around water. However, if you are on a boat, or in an ocean or lake, a life-jacket is necessary.

We hope you enjoy pool time with baby this summer!!

Sources: Parenting, Parents and Baby Center