Swimming with your baby is fun and relaxing, but being around water with babies and children can be dangerous so it's important to know how to stay safe.
The best way to enter the pool is to safely lay your baby on a towel at the poolside with her feet pointing towards the water, lower yourself in and then lift your baby in with you. If you're very nervous about entering the water, take a friend with you the first few times you go as an extra pair of hands will be very useful.
In the water
Once in the water there are a number of ways to hold your baby depending on what you want to do. Hug your baby close to begin with so that she feels secure and protected while she adjusts to the water.
When your baby is ready to move away a little, hold her under the arms between your thumb and forefinger. This way you can safely move her away from you and back while keeping eye contact.
If you want to let her float on her back, hold her under the arms with her feet away from you so that your forearms support her head and you can keep your face close to hers to reassure her.
As she gets older you can try floatation devices such as armbands, inflatable swim seats and floatation vests, which will give her bit of independence. Make sure that anything you use is the right size for your baby and that you keep your eyes on her at all times.
To get out of the water, lie your baby on the poolside as before, climb out of the pool then pick her up and wrap her in a towel to keep her snug until she's dressed.
More safety tips:
- It seems obvious but never leave children unsupervised while you're in or around water as accidents can happen in seconds.
- Babies can get cold quickly. Watch for signs that your little one is feeling the cold, like goose bumps, shivering or pale lips, and leave the water as soon as you spot that she is.
- Teach your child about safety in and around water from an early age so that they learn to respect it and keep themselves safe.