Infants and Swimming
Berkeley Parents Network >
Advice about Playing >
Infants and Swimming
now that it is summer and the weather sizzling i am hoping to take my baby to the
pool....but she is only two months old. does anyone know how soon i can take my
baby to a pool?
also what about swimming lessons? is there a time that is too soon?
and where are good swimming lessons for infants to be had (or can u easily teach
finally, what's up with sunscreen and wee ones? i heard u should
not use suncreen until they are 6 months plus...is this true?
We took our 8 week old daughter to Hawaii in January and had a
great time. We took her in the ocean and the hotel swimming
pool and she loved both. We didn't stay in the water for very
long - maybe 15-20 minutes. We purchased a diaper cover at a
local shop and it was fine. When not swimming we dressed her in
lightweight long cotton pants and a long-sleeved shirt and kept
her in her car carrier under the canopy most of the time. We
did put regular adult 30 SPF sunblock on her when she was
swimming and there were no side effects. At the end of the day
I washed her off with soap and her skin didn't break out or
anything. And she didn't get anything even close to a sunburn.
I am thinking of signing up for a swim class with my baby this spring. Does anyone know if there are health
concerns surrounding the chlorine in swimming pools? If so, can you recommend a source to learn more about
it? My son will be about 10 months old. Thanks. Aimee
I don't know about any specific health dangers of chlorine, however we found out the hard way that if we didn't
shower immediately after using the shallow pool at the Berkeley YMCA, my daughter started developing skin
rashes. These rashes did not appear as long as we showered right after getting out of the pool. Daphne
Infant Swim Gear
My daughter loves the water and we are going on a beach vacation in June.
Any recommendations about what to take with us to maximize her experience?
Has anyone found any toys/floaties/swimgear that helped their baby play in
the water or down the road, learn to swim? I'd love the names of the toys as
well as the stores where they can be found. Sorent
When my son was nine months old I have used "Funnoodle", by "Kidpower". One
under every arm. In the summer you can find it in Longs Drugs and in Costco.
I have used two of them, one under every arm, and I was with him in the
water, making sure he still holds them.
One of the best things is an infant Personal Flotation Device (PFD) or
Infant models feature a crotch strap to keep it from floatin off of the
child, and a big collar to support the head.
The one we used had a handle strap on the top of the collar and you
could easily pick the child up out of the water with it. It also featured
a zipper up the front.
Our kids learned to put in on by themselves, by stepping through the
crotch strap and putting it on like a coat. It should fit Very Snuggly.
The snugness will make them feel more secure in the water. Wearing
one of these vests your child should float like a cork with their head
comfortably above the water.
Ours was decorated with "little Mermaid" characters, so I'm sure you'll
find a cute one.
Always carry your child into the water and hold them until they feel
It may take many exposures to the water to get there, or some kids take
to it like they were ducks.
My daughter loves her "Learn to Swim 123" at Toys R Us. It is a bright
yellow swimsuit with a built in and very tough inner tube. It gives me
and her more confidence but pools like the YMCA prefer you use only
approved life saving devices, so where we can use it is a little
Infants in Swim Classes
From: Seth (7/98)
We take out children to swim class and they love it. Noah has been
going since he is 7 months old, Ella since she was 2 years old. The
class is mostly hanging out in the water with some organized songs and
some one-on-one with the teacher. The teachers, here at least, are
good about getting the kids aclimated to the water, to putting their
heads under the water, and generally having a good time. I highly
recommend it. (Wish I could recommend a place in Berkeley, but this
has all taken place after we left.)
From: Molly (7/98)
I am a credentialed teacher, so my undergrad work was all Child Development.
I also taught swimming, and have had my kids in swim lessons for a couple of
years. The bottom line is, infants, toddlers, and even some 3 and 4 yr olds
don't have the cognitive ability to judge their own safety in water. They can
get used to water, and learn that they can go underwater and come back up
safely, but they can't be truly "water safe" until age 7, about. (That's what
the director of the Montclair Swim Club told me, when I was first starting to
teach there.) Of course, water safe shouldn't be a factor, especially with
infants, since parents will never leave them alone. But swim teachers worry
that parents of babies who seem confortable in the water will be complacent
about their babies around water. (Home pools, going to the beach, etc.)
In terms of helping a kid get comfortable in the water the best thing is for
the people he/she is most comfortable with get in with them. So the
mom/toddler classes are great. I wouldn't bother with official swim lessons
until age 2-3 though.
That's my two cents.
this page was last updated: Mar 2, 2013
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are transitioning to a new website during
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2015 Berkeley Parents Network