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When Can Babies Get In The Pool

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When Can Babies Go Swimming In A Pool

When is it okay to take babies in the pool? What are some safety tips?

We all want our kids to have fun and be safe around the water. If you have a new baby, you may be wondering how soon you can start taking your little one to the pool. Pengu Swim School offers babies swimming lessons beginning as early as four months!

An early baby swimming age helps prepare your baby for more formal swimming lessons a little further down the line. At four months, your baby can start to develop skills that will help them when they are older.

How To Prevent Waterborne Illness In Babies And Toddlers

These waterborne illness prevention tips can help keep your baby or toddler safe:

  • Take precautions before swimming. Test waters chlorine and pH levels at home before hopping in to your pool or hot tub . If youre taking a dip in nature, check for local water condition advisories and avoid swimming in marshy areas or areas where swimmers itch is a known problem.
  • Dress for success. Outfit your child with a swim cap to keep ears as dry as possible. Use a towel to dry your childs ears when you get out of the water. You can also give your little one ear plugs to wear in the water.
  • Use the bathroom regularly. Keep bacteria and other bugs from getting into water in the first place by taking young kids to the bathroom frequently, especially kids in diapers . Keep anyone who has or recently recovered from diarrhea out of the water.
  • Prevent little ones from swallowing water. Watch kids closely so they dont swallow water while theyre swimming.
  • Practice good hygiene. As soon as you get out of the water, remove your childs suit and give him a bath or shower with soap.Thoroughly wash your childs swimsuit too.
  • Choose safe drinking water. Drink and cook with tap or bottled water. Avoid giving your kids water thats been collected from rivers, lakes or streams. Ask your doctor for tips if youll be camping or traveling anywhere with your little ones and arent sure to have access to purified water.

Keep Your Baby Clean In The Pool

Make sure to check your babys diaper while they are swimming as well. While swim diapers are necessary when swimming, they are not meant for bowel movements, and if you dont change them right away, it can cause fecal matter to seep into the swimming pool. Nobody wants to go swimming in that.

In addition, you do not want to let your baby go swimming in a regular diaper. They are not meant to soak up that much water and will look like you havent changed your baby in weeks. If your baby is not properly covered, everything is going to go right into the pool water. You dont want to be that person.

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When Can My Baby Start Swimming

Very early, might not be a good idea. The American Association of Paediatrics now supports swimming lessons for children ages 1 and older who show signs of pool readiness and are frequently exposed to water. That said, its important to understand that age is not the only factor to keep in mind, your little bub might be ready to enter water earlier or later, depending on how much hes been exposed to water, whether he enjoys being in water or not, and most importantly, whether your paediatrician recommends it or not.For infants under the age of 1, the AAP recommends against swim programs because the risks may outweigh the benefits. But, you can still take your little one to the kiddie pool for them to just splash about in your arms, anytime after theyve turned 6 weeks old.

For children ages, 1 to 4, seek parent-and-child aquatics programs, where the instructors are trained professionals who are certified in CPR and never allow a childs head to go below the waters surface.

For swimmers ages 5 and older: you can try classes for kids both with and without parents. Try to find one that focuses on safe pool behavior as well as paddling and kicking.

How To Teach Your Baby To Swim

Can babies get sick from pool water?

Planning Baby’s first dip in the pool? Experts say you can introduce your infant to water whenever you feel comfortable, as long as his belly button or circumcision has healed. . Indeed, the younger a child is when she starts splashing, the more comfortable he’s likely to be in the pool.

Ready to dive in? Here’s how to get started.

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They Don’t Like Smoking

We know smoking is not good for mum or baby. Theres also evidence that suggests puffing on ciggies is also something your baby reacts to, and recognises when it happens.

A UK study of 20 pregnant women has revealed fetuses reacted a certain way when their mums smoked.

Moving 4D scan images, taken at 24, 28, 32 and 36 weeks, showed thousands of tiny movements in the womb. They found that babies whose mothers smoked showed significantly higher rates of mouth movement and self-touching than those carried by non-smokers.

Researchers aren’t sure why this should be, but one theory is that this is a stress response.

Babies’ eyes start to become sensitive to light at just 15 weeks.

Their eyes will still be closed at this stage, but they may detect a bright light outside your tummy.

You could try shining a torch on your bump, and seeing if your baby responds by moving around more.

Is Chlorine Safe For Babies

The chlorine present in the pool is not harmful to the baby. In fact, it is important to know that treated water is healthier than water at risk from microbes ! However, you should always rinse baby well when taking him out of the water, dry him and moisturize his skin with a cream designed for this purpose. For optimum protection, you can also opt for a bathing cap to protect babys fragile hair.

However, be careful not to overexpose young children to the harmful effects of chlorine. We stick to about 20 hours of swimming per year and we prefer private pools, more often treated with bromine , salt electrolysis or PHMB coupled with an anti-alga.

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Create Layers Of Protection

Putting in place multiple layers of water safety protections will help prevent an accident. Layers of protection include water safety practices such as the use of barriers and alarms, supervision, and each member of the household gaining water competency, which means being able to avoid, anticipate, and survive drowning situations, says Dr. Katchmarchi.

As your baby gets older, more of these layers will come into play. Supervision is a paramount layer of protection, Dr. Katchmarchi says. For any child that is mobile, barriers are absolutely critical. A pool is a very attractive environment for young children and drowning happens quickly. It is extremely important to put as many barriers and alarms in place as possible to ensure a child doesnt unexpectedly end up in an aquatic emergency.

These barriers may include childproof gates or fences around the pool or pool area, which the AAP says can prevent more than half of all swimming pool drownings in young children, or pool alarms that alert you when someone or something makes contact with the water.

As for water competency, Dr. Katchmarchi suggests starting that process with swimming lessons as soon as the parent and pediatrician agree the child is ready.

Getting Your Baby Used To The Water

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Building water confidence before your baby hits the pool will make the transition easier.

Let your baby get used to the feeling of water on her face when shes in the bath by gently trickling it over her head. “Summer had a toy that rains water and we took it in the bath every single night to trickle water over her head and face,” says Rebecca.

To try it when youre in the pool, sit on the steps and put your baby on your knee and hold her around her waist so she is facing towards you. Let water trickle off your fingertips onto her head. Even wetting your hand and rubbing it against her cheek will get her used to the sensation. “When Summer was older, I would dip her and quickly lift her back up, so she felt confident having her whole head underwater,” says Rebecca.

Once your baby is comfortable floating, try putting her ears under the water. The best way to do this is to hold her lengthways across your body with one hand under her head and one supporting her bum. Slowly lower her head so her ears are underwater. Its a new sensation for babies, as the water muffles their hearing.

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They Sense Their Mother’s Touch

If you like to rub your bump, evidence suggests your baby knows and will respond.


Researchers from Dundee University studied 23 women who were between 21 weeks to 33 weeks pregnant.

The women were asked to try three activities: reading stories to their babies, stroking their bellies, and basically doing nothing the mothers laid still with their hands at their sides.

The results revealed that touch was the activity which stimulated the unborn babies the most they responded by moving around.

The older the fetus was, the more marked the movement was.

And Even Fetuses Get The Hiccups

Fetuses experience hiccups from as early as the first trimester, but more commonly from the second and third. Theyre pretty common.

You might experience your babys hiccups as little spasms in your tummy. Theyll feel a little different to the usual butterfly movements.

You might even be able to see your tummy comically jerking as your baby hiccups and jumps every few seconds as you would if you had the hiccups, too.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff is a must-read book for all expectant parents.

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Taking Your Baby In The Pool: Its A Good Thing


You get wet one-on-one time.

Once the umbilical cord falls off, you can take a newborn in a pool, as long as its heated. Hanging out there can be super-soothing. Cradle baby against your chest, one hand supporting the back of her neck, and slowly wade through the water. Once she can hold up her head, grab her under the armpits and keep her facing you. No cell phones, no choresjust a chance to gaze into your babys eyes. “Parents often tell me that pool time is the only opportunity they have to spend thirty pleasurable, uninterrupted minutes with their child, says Jenny McCuiston, a mother of two and owner of Goldfish Swim School in Birmingham, Michigan.

Your baby gets stronger.

Your baby stays safer.

Kids who are introduced to water early on are at lower risk for accidents later in life, even in deep water. At Infant Swimming Resource, in Charleston, South Carolina, Rebecca Bentz, a mother of two, teaches babies as young as 6 months how to flip onto their backs and float. Lessons or no, the same rules apply: Never let your baby out of your sight for a second near water.

Your baby gains confidence.

Your baby will adore how easy it is to move in the water, which will pump up her sense of independenceand inspire her to motor around outside the water, too. Bonus: Splashing around in the water takes so much energy, shell eat like an Olympic champ and sleep like a…well, you know.

Image: Getty

Things You Should Take To The Pool For Your Baby

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An outing with a baby can sometimes be a real headache from an organisational point of view. But fortunately, Little Guest is always there to prepare one of its famous checklists for you, just like the checklist for holidays with a baby or the new baby checklist! Bathing suit, shower gel, waterproof bag, everything is there!

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When Is The Best Time To Swim

I usually recommend that if you are swimming in an outdoor pool in a tropical country such as Singapore, you wait and take your baby swimming in the late afternoon, between 4-5pm, when the sun has had a chance to warm the water, but the midday heat has passed. Dress your baby in a SPF sun- protective swimming costume , and cover his head with a hat.

If swimming indoors in a heated pool, then you dont need to worry so much about heat or sun exposure. Just pick a time when your baby is not likely to be overtired, hungry or immediately following a meal.

Encourage Your Baby To Experience Buoyancy

“Stand behind your baby, so her head is resting on your chest. Put your hands under her back, so the rest of her body is floating. Shell soon begin to move her arms and legs about and enjoy the feeling,” reassures Rebecca. “Let her float on her back at first, so she can see you. Summer preferred being on her front when she was crawling. To support her, I put a hand under her tummy and one under her chin, so her face didn’t go in the water.”

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When Can My Baby Swim

This is a question Im often asked in the clinic. Often parents ask whether they need to wait until after their baby has his first set of vaccinations.

Actually, the decision is based more on your babys size, or surface area: volume ration. This determines how rapidly your baby will lose heat when submerged in water. Babies can lose heat through their skin very rapidly, even in a tropical country like Singapore!

Usually, a baby with an average birth weight with good weight gain afterwards will be able to start swimming at around six weeks of age. This is a good time for Mom to return to swimming as well- starting swimming too early after giving birth may increase the risk of an infection.

How To Have Fun In The Water With Your Baby

How to Swim with Baby | Parents
  • “Summer had one bath toy that she absolutely loved, so I took that to the pool and she associates it with the bath and having fun,” recommends Rebecca.

  • If you just stand there simply holding your baby in the water for too long she will get cold. Babies feel the cold a lot more than adults, so keep moving as much as possible and swap positions. Swoosh her in the water and bounce her up and down.

  • As your baby gets a bit older you can start to allow her a bit more freedom to move around in the water. Holding her under both arms is great for playing lifting and splashing games.

  • You can also sing nursery rhymes. Humpty Dumpty is great for getting her to sit on the side of the pool and jump into your arms. Swoosh her around to Ring a Ring of Roses. Pour water over her head to Incy Wincy Spider.

  • Another fun idea is to invite the family. Feel free to ask Nanny or Granddad, or aunties or uncles, if they want to take your baby one week – we bet they’ll be chuffed! Go too, if you want to, but sit in the spectators seats. Other family members will do different things with her, and shell really enjoy all the attention.

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So Whats The Verdict Is It Safe To Dunk A Baby Under Water Your Safest Bet Is No

Although infants may naturally hold their breath on some occasions, theyre just as likely to swallow water. Thats why babies are more susceptible to the bacteria and viruses in pool water and lakes that can cause gastroenteritis and diarrhea. Furthermore dunking little ones is an aggressive way to teach water submersion, especially to a baby that wont understand the purpose behind the action. This might lead to mistrust of the water and fear to put their faces into the water down the line. This doesnt mean the putting a babys face under water is out of the question. It just means that the progression to underwater submersion needs to be slow and gentle.

What Hotel For Swimming With My Baby

Some of the establishments in the Little Guest Hotels Collection offer activities for your new-born baby to take the plunge.

  • Head for the Kassandra peninsula, in Chalcidice , to discover the Porto Sani *****. This ultra-kids-friendly address offers a superb range of services and childrens activities labelled Worldwide Kids and OFSTED, including baby swimming sessionsfrom June to September. Lasting 30 minutes, these classes welcome children from 6 months to 4 years old and are given by certified instructors. No wonder Porto Sani is one of the most beautiful luxury hotels with baby-club!
  • Thought out and designed with love for young mothers and their treasure from 4 to 10 months, the baby & mummy programme at the Hôtel Royal Evian ***** promises an interlude of well-being. Among the planned activities is Aqua Baby, a moment of complicity and aquatic softness. The address is hidden in Evian-les-Bains and overlooks the impressive Lake Geneva, creating a setting conducive to relaxation with baby.

You are now ready for babys first swimming lessons! To help you choose a dream destination where your baby will be able to exercise in the pool, Little Guest has prepared an article on the best family destinations in June!

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Protect Babies From The Sun

Babies over 6 months of age should always wear sunscreen when they are outside. In addition, putting a baby sun hat on will provide extra protection. Babies have very sensitive skin and can easily burn if you dont take the necessary precautions.

Youll want to be mindful of the time and reapply sunscreen every 90-120 minutes, especially if the baby is going into the water. Ill be honest, applying sunscreen to my three kids is my least favorite part of summer, but I understand its also one of the most important parts.

There is a history of skin cancer in my family, so I know the importance of sunscreen and the need to apply and reapply, no matter how much my kiddos complain. Sorry, guys!

Finally, since babies under 6 months of age are unable to wear sunscreen, its a good idea to buy a baby float that comes with a canopy to help protect them from the sun. Canopies tend to provide SPF protection which is key in preventing sunburn on your little one.

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