One summertime adventure that is super exciting for children is a visit to the pool. It’s fun and refreshing to take a dip in the pool on a hot, sunny day. While every other member of your family is looking forward to summer days spent at the pool, you may be a little concerned about how your baby will respond to this new experience. Will she enjoy it, or be completely miserable? Fortunately, there are some things you can do to prepare your baby for her first trip to the pool!
Preparing for Pool Time
One way to prepare for a trip to the pool is bath time. Bath time is a great way to get your baby comfortable with being in the water. Make bath time a fun and pleasant experience for your baby, by playing with bath toys, splashing, and exploring the water together. If your baby enjoys bath time, then she is likely to enjoy pool time too!
On the day you plan to take your baby to the pool, make sure she is well-rested and comfortable. You don’t want to take a sleepy baby to the pool! When packing, include all of the necessities: swim diapers, beach towels, baby sunscreen, a hat, formula/snacks, a change of clothing, and a personal flotation device. Being well-prepared will make your trip to the pool much more enjoyable for you and your baby.
Obviously, your number one priority when taking your baby to the pool is safety. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends waiting until your baby is at least 2 months old before a trip to the pool. Your baby should wear a personal flotation device that is approved by the U.S. Coast Guard, and you should always be within arm’s reach of your baby. Also, make sure that the temperature of the pool water is comfortable and safe for your baby. According to Kids Health, pool water that is 82°- 86°F is most comfortable for children and babies. Before getting the pool, ask a lifeguard or pool staff member to check the temperature for you. Another safety concern with pools is the amount of chlorine and pool chemicals. Although these chemicals serve a good cause by killing off bad bacteria, too much can be irritating to your baby’s lungs and skin. If you arrive at the pool and the chlorine smells extremely strong, it is best not to take your baby swimming. Also, when you are at the pool, make sure your baby’s head is well-supported and that she is not swallowing pool water.
Enjoying Pool Time with Your Baby
Once you are prepared and have arrived, enjoy the pool with your baby! Your baby will love the sensory experience of exploring the water and splashing around. Make sure that you join in on the fun; when your baby sees that you are enjoying pool time, she will feel more comfortable and happy. This is such a wonderful first experience for your baby, and you will feel great knowing that she is safe, cheerful, and having a blast!
Written by Karen Richards