Once your little one's in his swim nappy and you're in your swimsuit, you're ready for some baby swimming - it's time to take the plunge!
How long should you stay in the pool?
On your first visit you may only stay in the water for 10 minutes and certainly while your baby is very young and you're both getting used to the experience, your time in the pool may be limited to 10-20 minutes on each visit.
As you both feel more comfortable in the water together, you can gradually spend more time in the water provided that your baby doesn't get too cold and is enjoying himself.
How should you hold your baby in the water?
Lay your baby on a towel by the poolside while you lower yourself into the water. Once you're in, cuddle your little one close to you or hold him under the arms with your fingers supporting his head as you slowly move through the water.
To float him on his back, hold him under the arms with his feet away from you so that your forearms can support his head.
Keeping baby happy in the water
Your baby might feel anxious as he learns to adjust to the new surroundings and experiences of the pool. Reassure him by maintaining eye contact, keeping your face close to his, cuddling him close to you, smiling and giving him plenty of gentle reassurance.
Watch for signs that your baby isn't enjoying himself. If he gets cold or seems distressed about being in the water, take him out and get him dressed and warm. It’s best to take it slowly while you build his confidence in the water.
There's a lot to see and do in the pool! Let your baby feel the water running over his skin, encourage him to splash and kick around, move around the pool so that he can take in all the sights. And if you think he's ready, why not try a game? Take a look at our article on 'Pool fun and games'.
Find out more about baby swimming and how to get the most out of it in our brilliant Step-by-Step Guide.