Summer is always a good time to spend time at the pools or beaches.
What’s more fun than sitting at the beach, building a sandcastle, and collecting shells? Or maybe floating along at the pool and just enjoying the water?
Even though I don’t know how to swim (I could swim a little bit alone if I use my goggles), I still love the water. I love the feeling of getting lighter under the water, receiving so much support in the water, and leaving all the troubles and worries behind.
Now I have my little son Ethan, you bet I want the best for him.
Someone I wasn’t (and still not) able to do, I want him to be able to do so.
Ethan is only 16 months old at the moment, but I’ve introduced him as early as I could at 6 months old.
His first and only indoor swimming session was at a baby spa. He had a private tiny pool with warm water, and after only 15 minutes swimming, followed up by a 5 minutes massage, he asked for milk and slept right in my arms, in the spa’s nursing room.
Knowing all the benefits that swimming can bring him, my husband and I tried to bring him to the pool more often.
But we were so worried. About almost everything.
What if someone throws some toys and hurts him, if he gets cold, if he gets scared, if he is allergic to the chemicals in the water, if he gets dry or itchy skin later,...
We had all the irrational and rational fears. Every time we thought of taking him to the pool, we felt like we were taking chances!
To play it safe, we looked all over the internet to answer our burning questions, what do babies wear to swim, or more specific, what do infants wear to swim?
If you are like me, and you want to make sure you cross everything in your swimming checklist, let’s join me in finding out what your baby can wear when you take him to swim. We categorize all the gears in the order from head to toe.
Depending on your baby’s age, many items are not necessary. So don’t over-complicate things and arm your baby to his teeth. Spend that energy on having fun safely instead.
For the head: hat
If you take your baby to the beach or outdoor pool, staying under the sun for too long might get your baby sick and tired. A hat is a must in this case.
A hat will protect your baby’s head, prevent him from getting heat sickness and providing shades for his eyes.
The best hat for swimming time is the one with a wide brim to protect his neck from the sun too. You know the neck is a very sensitive part.
For the neck: neck floaties if needed
If your baby is too young and you want to make sure his head is above the water all the time, a neck floaty is a great choice. If you go to the beach or the river, a baby life jacket is a must. But if you go to a swimming pool, a neck floaty can provide comfort and safety while not being too bulky.
Make sure you check the size of the neck floaty, you don’t want your baby to have some trouble breathing with the neck floaty.
Test the floaty before you use it on your baby in a pool.
For the skin: sun cream
Your baby’s skin is very sensitive, fragile and is unlikely to be able to fight against the UV in the sunlight. Get a water-resistant sun cream with 50+ SPF, and apply all over your baby before and after getting in the pool.
Apply the sunscreen at least 20 minutes before exposing your baby to the sun.
For the eyes: swimming goggles and sunglasses
Goggles are great to protect your baby’s eyes in the pool. As all the chemicals, like chloride, in the swimming pool might hurt sensitive eyes. Not to mention all the urine, sometimes poop of other babies might get into your baby’s eyes.
When your little one is too young, he is likely to resist swimming goggles. However, this is totally ok.
Actually for babies under 3 years old, you are not recommended to give them goggles, as that might cause goggles dependency. Besides, the whole purpose of swimming for babies is to practice for life-saving moments, make sure you encourage your little one to swim without a goggle to practice real-life examples.
For the body: swimming suits
This is totally up to you, your baby and the weather. You’ve got your suncream, you’ve got your swim diapers and sometimes just a simple swimming suit or a swim diaper is way enough.
But if you want extra UV protection and some weather- protection for your baby, you can get into some UV protective suits or neoprene suits.
For the arms: floaties like a puddle jumper
If your baby is a kid who can swim relatively well, he might only need a little bit of support from arm floaties. Something simple like puddle jumper floaties works great in this case.
For safety reason: life jacket
If you take your little one to the beach or a river, a baby life jacket is a must-have item. But you can always give your baby a life jacket even if you just take him to the swimming pool.
Better safe than sorry!
For sanitary safety: swim diapers
For young babies who don’t quite know how to hold their pee pee and poo poo, a swim diaper is a must if they want to get into the water.
As I’ve mentioned in my swim diapers review, you can select between disposable and non disposable swim diapers depending on your budget, lifestyle, and personal convenience.
For the feet: swimming shoes
Yes you’ve read it right.
People do make swimming shoes.
The swimming shoes are great if you take your baby to rocky beaches or scuba-diving, as they will protect your kid’s feet from being stung by a jellyfish, some dangerous creatures or sharp and pointy rocks.
For fun: floaty and swimming tool toys
You can always add more fun to the swimming time with floaties and toys. There are many different kinds of floaties for your best choice, from animal-shaped floaties to the simplest designs.
For after-swimming care: diaper, wet wipes, towel, baby cream, clean clothes and snacks
Swimming burns a lot of calories. Even if you hold your toddler all the time and all he does is to splash around and kick his little feet sometimes, he gets tired easily.
Pay special attention to the towel. You need a very big and thick one to wrap around him when taking him out of the pool. If your baby is wet, he can feel cold once he is out of the water, he might even catch a cold because of it.
Make sure you carry snacks for him to eat after pool time. And carry everything else that he needs to get a dry and fresh look.
Let’s give your baby a chance to get into the water
And enjoy it. Now you know what babies wear to swim, all you need to do is to create a checklist for swimming.
Imagine later he can learn how to swim like a fish or Michael Phelp. All is because of your effort in trying to introduce him to the pool at an early age. Later you don’t have to watch your little one like a hawk when he is in the pool, you only need to supervise him, knowing that he will be safe.
Your baby will thank you for it.