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.
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