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

Pool Time with Baby

Pool Time with BabyThis summer may be your baby’s first opportunity to take a dip in the pool.  Pool time with baby can be exciting for everyone.  Some babies are natural-born fish and enjoy the water immediately.  Others need more time to get acquainted with the concept of submersion.  But if your child is like most, they will eventually learn to love visiting the pool no matter what his swim level.  Today we’re giving you some tips on pool time with baby to help you have a great first summer pool experience with your little love.

The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend swim lessons until around age four when children have the physical capability to stay afloat during swimming.  Until then, acclimating your baby with the water and making pool time with baby fun is the name of the game.

Teaching Baby to Like the Water

Bath time is a good opportunity to “test the waters,” so to speak.  Make bath time enjoyable by singing, laughing and playing with toys.  Don’t be hesitant to get your baby’s head and face wet and to splash around to get him used to the concept.  If your baby doesn’t like it, try it a few times during every bath and then go back to having fun. If your baby does like getting his face wet, continue to do it throughout the bath.

In and out of the bath you can teach your baby to hold his breath by blowing in his face.  Call his name and then count to three or say “ready, go” and then blow gently.  He will probably make a funny face but he’ll learn to not swallow the air, and therefore water, when he hears your cue.  After you think he gets the hang of it, try doing it in the bath: give the cue, blow and then pour water over his face.  Eventually you won’t have to blow; he’ll know to hold his breath from the verbal cue.

When you do venture out to the pool for the first time, make it a super fun experience.  Ensure your baby is well rested and well fed before the outing.  Being in a good mood will help your baby enjoy this new adventure.  Wear your smile and be as animated an excited as possible. If you are nervous, don’t let it show.  Any sight of apprehension on your part may sway your baby.  Keep the encounter short, even if your baby is having fun.  One to two hours at a pool is all an infant can handle.  It is a grand sensory experience plus his body will be working hard to maintain a comfortable temperature.

Babies have an innate need to feel safe and secure.  When it comes to water, you should also make safety your baby’s top priority.  Hold onto your baby tightly in the pool.  Squirmy babies may try to get free of your grip so make sure you have a good handle on your baby.  Never leave your baby unsupervised around a pool or any body of water.

Best Pool Games with Baby

Playing games in the pool will help ensure a good time for everyone.  Most games require just a little imagination on your part.  Here are a few to get you started:

Humpty Dumpty:  Sit your baby on the side of the pool while holding on to him.  Sing Humpty Dumpty Sat on a Wall and when you get to the fall part, lift your baby off the side and into the pool.

Ring Around the Rosey:  Twirl your baby to the lyrics of Ring Around the Rosey.  When you get to the end say “splashes, splashes, we all fall down,” and gently dip your baby a little deeper into the water.

Pass the Baby:  If you have family or friends at the pool with you, play a game of pass the baby.  Each person can take turns dipping, twirling or splashing with baby before passing him to the next adult.

Peek-a-boo:  Delight your baby as you hide under water and then pop up for a fun game of peek-a-boo.

Hokie Pokie:  Get your baby acclimated to the pool and his body parts by playing this fun interactive game. Splash each body part in the water when you call it out.

Best Pool Toys with Baby

You don’t need many toys to entertain your baby at the pool.  A few squishy animals that collect water that you can squeeze out are always fun.  Small plastic cups, watering cans or even measuring cups can be exciting too.  Once your baby has good head control, you may want to get a baby float where your baby can sit in the middle and you can take him for a spin around the pool.  Most come with an overhead shade to block the sun.

Enjoy pool time with baby this summer!!