Our local sports centre offers swimming lessons for babies aged 3 months+ called "Bibs-N-Bubbles". Our first class focused on getting the babes used to the water, splashing, and assessing their comfort level with it all. We sang songs, splashed around, had the babes jumping in and out of the water (with our assistance - do I even need to say that?), etc. Jane had been splashing like crazy in the bath at bedtime so I thought it would be a great time for her to get even more comfortable in the water. By the end of the course, babes will be learning to "swim" - kicking their legs as we move them through the water, how to hold their breath and be "dunked" under the water (which I'm scared to death about but comforted by the lack of fear of all the other parents). I blame it all on Oprah and her story on Dry Drowning. As much as I hate passing along this fear, I think it's important for everyone to be aware of the risks of everything. Obviously, dry drowning must be fairly rare as this Oprah-case is the only one I've ever heard of ever - although I'm sure there are other cases.
Anyways, we're loving it and Jane's amazed by this "new room" in our house with the giant bath tub (as I'm sure she sees it in her little brain). :p
I thought I'd provide a list of the things I brought with me, to save you the trouble of thinking it through (if anyone has anything to add to the list, comment please!):
- Swim suit - or not. If you don't have one, a diaper alone is fine!
- swimming diapers - reusable (like Gabbys or Bambinomio Swim Nappies) or disposable (Huggie's Little Swimmers). FYI - I got Little Swimmers and I had no idea what size to get (S, M or L). Jane is 27" long and 17 lbs, and the small fit her perfectly (for comparison).
- regular diapers/diaper bag (for afterward) - Personally, I just stuck a diaper, some wipes and vaseline in our swim bag. The less bags the better!
- Car seat/stroller - initially when I brought it in, I was cursing myself because obviously it wasn't going to fit in my locker! Then, it worked out perfectly as a place to put Jane while I dressed myself. I brought it out to the pool deck with me, embarrassed, to find 3 others sitting next to the kiddie pool. :p
- 2 towels - One towel for just out of the pool and one to keep warm while changing (the first one gets pretty wet so doesn't provide much warmth). My FAV are the Pottery Barn Kids Bath Wraps ($30 US). I find the baby towels too small and PB's wraps are huge and thick! I love 'um!
- Baby Lotion - chlorine can be pretty drying to the skin.
- Change pad - to sit on while changing/dressing... cause change rooms are gross.
- Bathing suit (scary thought but took comfort in fact that all participants where Moms/Dads and not swimsuit models as I feared)
- T-shirt - If your babe is anything like Jane, the pretty ties of your bathing suit are a gold-mine... cover them up with a t-shirt (among other things you want to cover) and you won't have to worry about baby pulling off your top!
- Towel for me - although, drying myself off was pretty near impossible with Jane in my arms, so next time I'm not bringing it "on deck" with me. I'll leave it in the change room.
- Lock for your locker.
- Flip flops - cause change rooms are gross.
- An extra arm - out of 10, it was a 7 on the hard-to-do-it-alone scale. Obviously would have been easier with an extra arm to hold Jane while I got dressed/undressed, dry, etc. But it wasn't so difficult that I was stressed by it. I know some dressing rooms have playpens and such to put your babe in while you take care of yourself but the thought freaks me out a bit... yucky change rooms! :p
- A plastic bag - to keep your wet stuff separate after "pimming".
Will keep ya posted on how it all goes!
PS - Thanks to the girls on Facebook for helping me figure out the swimming diaper situation last minute!