Mellow Mummy: Get Your Little Ones Swimming This Summer : Taking life as it comes...

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Get Your Little Ones Swimming This Summer

I LOVE the tagline for Huggies Little Swimmers nappies - Make a splash, not a plop with Huggies® Little Swimmers®. Genius! It exactly captures why I have been using Little Swimmers with Lara for the past 3 years (she now, thankfully no longer needs them) and why, when baby Holly starts her first swimming lessons in a little under 3 weeks time, she will also be sporting a pair of Huggies Little Swimmers.

For many people, it is the summer holiday season that gets them interested in taking their little one swimming. I know that Lara's first experience of swimming was in a sunny but chilly pool in the south of France when she was about 3 months old. When you get back from holiday you often feel inspired to start swimming lessons which is why Huggies have teamed up with ABTA and the Swimming Teachers Association to launch the Swim Savvy Campaign this summer.

The idea behind the campaign is to offer parents the information they need to try and de-stress the whole process of your first swimming experience with a baby. On the Little Swimmers website you will find a downloadable step-by-step guide to baby swimming but here are a few tips from Huggies swimming expert Anna Woodhart to inspire you:-

  • Always put a swim nappy on your little one before going into the pool Huggies Little Swimmers have unique leak guards to avoid little accidents escaping as well as easy open sides to make change time as hassle free as possible. Note from Mellow Mummy - some pools may insist on a 'double nappy' whereby the disposable nappy has to be covered by a really tight-fitting fabric nappy such as the Splash About Happy Nappy.
  • Avoid swimming if you or your little one has had a tummy upset in the past 24 hours
  • If you are going on holiday, it’s a good idea to get your little one water-ready first – even if it’s just splashing a little water over them in the bath
  • ,li>Stay by your little one at all times – not only is it safe, but it also helps form a close bond
  • Maintain eye contact with your little one, smile, relax and drop down to the same level – your baby will love seeing you splashing too!
  • You may want to have your partner or a friend with you when you first start swimming, just whilst you get used to handling a wet baby
  • One of the best ways to get into the pool is to lay your baby safely on the poolside, enter the water and then lift him in. Alternatively ask someone to pass your baby down to you once you are in the water.
  • If you are new to baby swimming go during off-peak times or earlier in the morning if you are on holiday - it makes the entire experience less stressful and enjoyable

With a very young baby like Holly (who will be 11 weeks when she starts swimming) you should aim to spend no more than 30 minutes in the pool at a time, even if the water is quite warm.  Swimming is hard work for a baby and exhausts them (and dehydrates) additionally, if the water is cold their body temperature may drop after a while.

If you are going on holiday with your baby this summer don't forget that babies under 6 months shouldn't spend very long at all in direct sunlight because their skin can't produce the chemicals needed to protect themselves. Make sure you stay in the shade and use UV protection clothing. For older babies and children, slather on the factor 50+ and stay out of the sun during the middle of the day. Baby swimming is great fun and has been an activity that Lara and I have been able to do every week together since she was tiny - it is our bonding time and is so rewarding to see her develop. She is on the verge of being able to swim unaided. I can't wait to start the whole process all over again with Holly.
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