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Swimming with your baby checklist

Laura Le Roux
Swimming is such a big part of our life here in South Africa. Many of us have memories of spending our summer holidays around the pool or next to the beach. 

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When you have a child you get to experience the fun of jumping into a swimming pool for the first time all over again. It is not only fun but a great way to get kids to expend their boundless energy.

When it comes to what to pack when planning a trip to the pool or the beach, I generally try to go with the” more-is-less” idea, with four kids you do learn very quickly to only take what is vitally important.
So what do you need to remember when heading out to swim?

1.Sunscreen. This is probably the most important item you take with you. You get sunscreen specially aimed at children that is factor 50 which is exactly what you need. I prefer the spray ones purely because they are easier to get on toddlers who refuse to stand still and you can spray them every time they run passed.

2.Sun hats. Even with sunscreen on, it is a good idea to try to get your child to wear a hat when they aren’t in the pool. You do get lycra hats designed for kids to wear in the pool for kids who aren’t getting their heads wet yet.

3.Water wings. You don’t have to use water wings, you can also use a tube or a pollyotter or whatever flotation device your child prefers but it makes it less stressful for everyone if they aren’t able to swim yet. It may be a process of trial and error to find one that works for your child.

4.Towels. If you have little ones those towels that pop over their heads are great options because they dry them and keep them covered and some of them have hoods which is ideal for little ones.

5. Water or juice. Swimming can be dehydrating and it is tiring so make sure you pack some juice for your little ones.

6. Snacks. Swimming is such a great way to not only tire little people out but also works up an appetite so make sure there are some snacks on hand to keep them fuelled.

7. Swimming nappies. We have tried disposables and the re-useable cloth ones and I can honestly say the cloth ones are the way to go. They don’t hold water like the disposable ones do, they are easy to get on and off and you can wash them and use them over and over making them a lot more economical than the disposables.

8. A mini tent. This isn’t essential but can be a nice to have if you are planning to be around the pool for extended periods. You get kiddie tents that are quick to set up and pretty cheap, these are idea to put up next to the pool where the kids can lie down out of the sun.

We love swimming, it is a very big part of our lives and all four of my children are happiest when they are in water so our swimming bags are always packed and ready to go.
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