Sunday, 31 August 2014

Our First Swimming Experience

From a young age I remember going swiming with my dad and brother most weekends. It was kind of our thing, we would go and visit my gran and papa then dad would take us swiming and we loved it. Both my brother and I have always been very competent swimmers, very comfortable and capable in the water and I think swiming from a young age really helped us.

Therefor I knew I wanted to get Logan used to the water fairly quickly. My partner is also very sporty and is a really good swimmer (even better than me) so we were both keen to get Logan in the pool. I had done the usual research and read the guidelines on taking a baby swiming. The NHS website advise that you can pretty much take a baby swimming at any age. The chlorine in the pool kills of 99.9% of any germs in the water so it is irrelevant if the child has been vaccinated or not. I did some research into the pools in our local area, most advised not to take your baby swimming before the 6 month mark but I felt this was a bit long and I knew plenty of mothers who had taken their baby swiming long before the 6 month mark. 

I knew the heat of the pool was a very important factor. It is advised to take a baby in a pool of around 32 degrees. Usually a pool is around 28-30 degrees so places with specific baby pools were better for temperature. I soon realised that our local pool was actually going to be best as it had a specific baby pool and a training pool that were both 32 degrees.

When it actually came to it we put it off for a couple of weeks. My partner works on a 4 on, 4 off rotation at work and when it came to his 4 off I always managed to put off going. I'm not sure if it's because I was nervous or I just knew it was the wrong time but I'm glad I did. I'm sure if we'd taken Logan much earlier our first trip wouldn't have been as succesful as it was. 

Over the weeks Logan's becoming much more content as a baby. 2 months ago you could barely leave him on his own or he'd be crying and upset. However as he weeks progress he is becoming much more happy and placid. I think this really contributed to our good experience.

I had fully set myself up for our first trip to the pool to be a short one. I had read that sometimes a baby will only be happy in the pool for 10 minutes before they get cold and tired. So I was pleseantly surprised when our first trip was nearly half an hour long. We chose to take him straight into the training pool as it was 0.75M deep. The baby pool was only about 5 inches deep with different little sections and a little slide, I didn't think he'd get much enjoyment out of it. 

So straight into the pool we went. At first he was a bit apprehensive. A swimming pool is a scary place for a little guy. He soon relaxed however and started to enjoy floating about in the water. We werent too adventurous, we stayed relatively calm and just bounced him about the water, holding him while he floated on his back then pulled him along on his front. Then for the dreaded dunk. Baby's have the natural ability to hold their breath underwater so I read that it was a good idea to fully submerge them underwater to prevent them being scared of the water on their face or being fully under the water. I thought it was best to keep this right till the end just incase he didn't like it and got himself upset. Turns out he didn't mind it at all! 

As usual I prepared for the worst and was pleasantly surprised by how wonderful my little boy is.

Do you have any funny swimming pool experiences? I'd love to hear about your babies first pool time in the pool.

Kirsty x

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