Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Baby Water Fun!

I want to apologize for not putting a post up yesterday. It was a really tough day with the little one and I was just not able to take the time to put a post up. I have dubbed Tuesdays "Top 10 Tuesdays" where I will share my top 10 of something. Next Tuesday will be Top 10 Baby Products 6-12mo (as promised on the current Top 10 Baby Products post which covers newborns-6mo-ish)

Well, it is summer time and it is hot outside (and by hot I mean HOT if you are like me and live in Texas with 11+ days over 100 degrees!!). You want to get your little one out of the house, but it's just too hot to do anything outside (did I mention Texas was 100+ degrees for 11+ days? Just making sure!) What better way to spend some time outside than in the POOL! But before you pack up the beach bag with towels and floaties and run out the door, here are some things to thing about being poolside with your baby:

Some of these things might seem like common sense, but it is always a good idea to state the obvious if it means it will save a life! I was a lifeguard during my college years so I have a lot of experience in water safety. My husband even says I might be a little too cautious.
  • Know your own limits in the pool. Recognize whether or not you are a strong swimmer, and what you can and cannot do. Being in the pool with your little one is not the time to test your swimming limits! The goal is to keep you both safe and having fun!
  • Make sure your baby has the proper attire on. Swim diaper and swim trunks/swimsuit and maybe a hat if your little one will tolerate it. We use a cloth swim diaper for our son. It is cheaper and more and more public pools are banning disposable swim diapers. For little ones under 18months or so, I am not a fan of the swim tops that are like a life vest. They tend to float up onto the neck/face and could cause choking and I find it harder to control my little one in the water. 
  • Baby floaties are GREAT! (NOT the inflatable arm floaties, those are dangerous!) Pick out one that you like and are comfortable putting your little one in. We have one made of mainly a mesh material and it has a shade on the top. My husband and I love it because it feels very safe and secure and my son likes not having the sun in his eyes! Plus it folds up and fits right into the tote bag provided. Here is a link to the float we have: Baby Spring Float Sun Canopy
  • Take it slow and follow your baby's lead when introducing them to the pool. Yes, they have taken baths, but this is TOTALLY different than that. Introduce them slowly by letting them check out the pool, splash a little bit with their hands, then their feet. Then move into the water yourself holding them. My husband started by standing on the first step and occasionally dunking our sons feet until he felt comfortable. Then we got him a little more wet. My son being an older baby (around a year) we stood him up on the first step (with mommy or daddy holding on very tightly) just so he could get more wet. Then we stuck him in his float and swam around with him.
  • Don't stay too long in the pool the first time. My son freaked out in the water. He was very unsure of what to think or if he was for sure safe. We let him experience the pool long enough to start feeling a little more comfortable, but not for very long because we did not want him to get too tired and grumpy. I would say to limit your first pool visit to around 20 minutes. (I know this is way short, but you don't want to introduce them to too much too fast)
  • Make sure and protect you and your baby. If your baby is over six months old, make sure and apply sunscreen. It is best to put it on before you get out to the pool as it is absorbed and works better. If your baby is less than six months old you will have to decide whether you think you should put sunscreen on your little one. Babies under six months have thinner skin and therefore more of the sunscreen is absorbed by the baby and we do not know of the long term affects of this. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that they cannot find any long term affects of sunscreen used on babies younger than six months they recommend using small doses when unable to be protected in other ways. Here is a link to an article about this very topic on iVillage: Sunscreen Safe for Babies?
  • Never take your eyes off your baby, not even for an instant! This is hopefully a "DUH!! Why did you even include this?" BUT this is probably the single most important thing about being at the pool with your baby. Although it is fun, the pool is also a VERY DANGEROUS place. A full grown adult only needs a few inches of water to drown, imagine how easy it is for your baby. I don't mean for this to scare you out of the pool, but just be very cautious while out at the pool. 
  • Have fun! The point of  going to the pool with your little one is to get out of the house and have some fun! So go do it! Splash around, get wet and have lots of fun in the water!
In addition to this list, here is a list of beach bag musts. Not sure what to pack or afraid you will forget something? Here is a list to help moms out when packing for the pool:
  • Beach towels (my son and I usually share one, but you can always bring one for each)
  • Sunscreen for you both
  • Baby floatie
  • Hat for sun protection
  • Sunglasses for both you and your little one 
  • Extra diapers to change your little one out of his/her wet one after swimming
  • Extra change of clothes if you want to change your little one out of their wet swimsuit
  • Shirt or cover-up for going to and from the pool
  • Pool toys for your little one to play with. (we usually bring some ducks that float and squirt water)
  • A snack for both of you. If your little one is old enough for finger foods, bring some cheerios and some water to drink. If not, bring some formula to mix up or if you are nursing, just bring yourself! (and a cover if you use one)
Hope everyone has a wonderful summer and a great time with their little ones at the pool. Be safe and have LOTS of fun! As always, God Bless you and your family!
Until the Whole World Hears,
Katie <><

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