Pool Time with Baby

Pool Time with BabyThis summer may be your baby’s first opportunity to take a dip in the pool.  Pool time with baby can be exciting for everyone.  Some babies are natural-born fish and enjoy the water immediately.  Others need more time to get acquainted with the concept of submersion.  But if your child is like most, they will eventually learn to love visiting the pool no matter what his swim level.  Today we’re giving you some tips on pool time with baby to help you have a great first summer pool experience with your little love.

The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend swim lessons until around age four when children have the physical capability to stay afloat during swimming.  Until then, acclimating your baby with the water and making pool time with baby fun is the name of the game.

Teaching Baby to Like the Water

Bath time is a good opportunity to “test the waters,” so to speak.  Make bath time enjoyable by singing, laughing and playing with toys.  Don’t be hesitant to get your baby’s head and face wet and to splash around to get him used to the concept.  If your baby doesn’t like it, try it a few times during every bath and then go back to having fun. If your baby does like getting his face wet, continue to do it throughout the bath.

In and out of the bath you can teach your baby to hold his breath by blowing in his face.  Call his name and then count to three or say “ready, go” and then blow gently.  He will probably make a funny face but he’ll learn to not swallow the air, and therefore water, when he hears your cue.  After you think he gets the hang of it, try doing it in the bath: give the cue, blow and then pour water over his face.  Eventually you won’t have to blow; he’ll know to hold his breath from the verbal cue.

When you do venture out to the pool for the first time, make it a super fun experience.  Ensure your baby is well rested and well fed before the outing.  Being in a good mood will help your baby enjoy this new adventure.  Wear your smile and be as animated an excited as possible. If you are nervous, don’t let it show.  Any sight of apprehension on your part may sway your baby.  Keep the encounter short, even if your baby is having fun.  One to two hours at a pool is all an infant can handle.  It is a grand sensory experience plus his body will be working hard to maintain a comfortable temperature.

Babies have an innate need to feel safe and secure.  When it comes to water, you should also make safety your baby’s top priority.  Hold onto your baby tightly in the pool.  Squirmy babies may try to get free of your grip so make sure you have a good handle on your baby.  Never leave your baby unsupervised around a pool or any body of water.

Best Pool Games with Baby

Playing games in the pool will help ensure a good time for everyone.  Most games require just a little imagination on your part.  Here are a few to get you started:

Humpty Dumpty:  Sit your baby on the side of the pool while holding on to him.  Sing Humpty Dumpty Sat on a Wall and when you get to the fall part, lift your baby off the side and into the pool.

Ring Around the Rosey:  Twirl your baby to the lyrics of Ring Around the Rosey.  When you get to the end say “splashes, splashes, we all fall down,” and gently dip your baby a little deeper into the water.

Pass the Baby:  If you have family or friends at the pool with you, play a game of pass the baby.  Each person can take turns dipping, twirling or splashing with baby before passing him to the next adult.

Peek-a-boo:  Delight your baby as you hide under water and then pop up for a fun game of peek-a-boo.

Hokie Pokie:  Get your baby acclimated to the pool and his body parts by playing this fun interactive game. Splash each body part in the water when you call it out.

Best Pool Toys with Baby

You don’t need many toys to entertain your baby at the pool.  A few squishy animals that collect water that you can squeeze out are always fun.  Small plastic cups, watering cans or even measuring cups can be exciting too.  Once your baby has good head control, you may want to get a baby float where your baby can sit in the middle and you can take him for a spin around the pool.  Most come with an overhead shade to block the sun.

Enjoy pool time with baby this summer!!