Are you ready for some summer fun with your baby? Doctors and health professionals agree that there is no reason that even newborns as young as one month old can’t go in the pool (the old school thought that parents should wait until babies have at least had their two-month immunizations no longer holds water) and say that introducing children to water early on can be conducive to teaching them to swim. Taking a baby into the pool means providing the baby with the appropriate swimwear.
Swimwear for newborns younger than three months is rather hard to come by. Most manufacturers start their swimwear sizes anywhere between three and twelve months, which is okay because babies younger than that are better off swimming au natural. For the older babies and toddlers there are a good number of swimwear choices available.
One potential issue that used to keep parents from bringing babies into the swimming pool was the worry about what would happen if the child had an “accident” in the water. While it was really never that much of an issue (pool chlorination is intended to combat exactly this sort of problem), parents would refrain from bringing their babies to public pools for fear of the embarrassment this would cause and were reluctant to bring them into their own pools if they did not know what steps would need to be taken in the event of a solid waste accident. With the advent of swim diapers, those fears no longer need to prevent a child from going in the water.
Swim diapers are polyurethane lined with cotton cloth. Machine washable and dryable, they are the perfect answer for parents who are concerned that their babies may relieve themselves while in the pool. Available from many stores and online retailers, swim diapers typically cost anywhere from ten to fifteen dollars.
The most popular and effective children’s floatation devices are the “water wings” that slide over the arms and keep the child afloat and free to splash and play in the water. These are, unfortunately, not suitable for children under twelve months. There are floatation devices designed for younger babies, but the general recommendation is that babies that age stay with the parents unless being taught to swim (swim classes for babies can start as early as twelve weeks).
Swimsuits and Trunks
Baby swimwear comes in various styles, mostly in full body tanks and trunks similar to those worn by older children and men. For girls there are one and two piece styles, as one would expect. Because baby’s skin is very sensitive it is important to use the appropriate sunscreen to prevent your little Ethel or Mark from getting a nasty sunburn while at the pool.