I've been taking Violet to swimming lessons since the beginning of the year, and so far we are both loving it. We're really lucky to have a local community pool close by, so we can do weekly lessons without breaking the bank. I learnt to swim at a really young age, so I was really keen to get Violet in the water as early as possible. Thankfully, V is a real water baby and adores splashing about and playing in the water. I love watching her become more and more confident each week and developing her swimming skills.
Violet loves jumping in from the side and has started closing her eyes when she knows she's going in, which is really cute! She's also learnt to grab the side when we're near it and has even started kicking her legs when she's floating on a noodle float up and down the pool. I'm so pleased with how she's getting on, it was really important to me to have her being water confident and I think it's fair to say we're well on the way to ensuring she is just that.
If you're planning on starting taking your little one swimming, there is certainly some things I would bear in mind. So here's a few tips I wish I'd known prior to taking V in the water.
1. Get a full swimsuit, despite whether you have a boy or a girl. The first time I ever took Violet swimming she was freezing cold in a tiny swimsuit. I learnt that babies definitely need a little bit more of a cover up than us adults. Violet now swims in her swimsuit from Simply Swim*, which is one of the Splash About suits with a Happy Nappy built in. The bottom half of the suit is a swim nappy made with neoprene so is lovely and warm for her in the water. Plus it means I don't need to worry about taking a long a separate swim nappy!
2. Don't bother with disposable swim nappies! The swimsuit that B had prior to this one, didn't have the built in nappy so I ordered a reusable nappy from Tots Bots. It's been brilliant; it's towel-lined so super delicate on her skin and it has a Velcro fastening so it's easy to take off when we're getting change after swimming. I've found it so much better than those cardboard-like disposable swim nappies and I'm pretty sure Violet prefers it too. We managed to pick this up for half price in the clearance sale for around the same price as a pack of disposable swim nappies, it's definitely worth keeping a look out for a bargain.
3. Take plenty of towels for you and baby. Those changing rooms are always freezing, so I would recommend taking extra towels for you both. I take a towel and some milk to the poolside Violet so I can quickly wrap her up after our lesson. I then use a dry towel for her, after I've taken her costume off, to keep her nice and warm while I organise her clothes and get her ready. It's always worth planning ahead for getting baby changed afterwards. Luckily our swimming pool has large floats that we borrow to pop the babies down on to get them ready. It's far easier and safer to get them changed close to the ground once they get moving about!
4. Investing in your own noodle float is a great idea for practicing skills you've learnt at swimming. Violet has learnt to hook her arms over the float and kick her legs behind her. This is great for me too, cos it means I have a little more freedom in the water as she develops her independence in the pool. We have our own noodle from Simply Swim* which I can't wait to take on holiday with us and to show Daddy how well V is doing in the water.
5. Most of all I've learnt, the more confident you are, the more confident baby is. As long as I'm happy in the water Violet will happily play and and enjoy her lesson. We have so much fun at swimming and I can't wait to see her develop her skills in the pool.
Do you take your little one swimming?