Choosing a baby friendly pool will help to make baby swimming easier and more enjoyable for you and your baby. Before you take your first trip to the pool together, it's worth finding out where your nearest baby friendly pool is.
What is a baby friendly pool?
Baby friendly pools are different to normal pools. They have special facilities geared towards babies and toddlers that help to make the whole experience of baby swimming more enjoyable. These include:
Heated baby pool
For a start baby friendly pools are warmer than normal swimming pools. Most public swimming pools are heated to around 28 – 29 degrees C, whereas a baby friendly pool should be heated to 32 degrees C as this is the ideal water temperature for a baby under six months old.
Baby friendly pools will also have a separate baby pool or baby area of the pool that is shallower, making swimming with your baby or toddler easier and more comfortable. They may also have wide steps or gentle slope to allow you to walk into the water whilst carrying your baby.
Baby changing facilities
These pools are also likely to have separate family changing rooms or good baby changing facilities in their changing rooms, such as a number of changing tables, nappy disposal facilities and play pens to safeguard small children while you change.
Baby friendly pools may also offer a range of baby swimming classes and activities, and may permit the use of - or even supply - baby inflatables and toys.
Find out if you local pool is baby friendly by checking their website or by calling them to ask what facilities they have on offer for baby swimming.