Thinking Of Taking Your Baby Swimming? What You Need To Know (#AD Brand Ambassador)

[AD - BRAND AMBASSADOR] Whether you are heading on holiday or just to the local pool swimming with children is great fun, but when you have a baby the thought of going for the first time can be a little scary. At what age can you start to take children swimming? What should they wear? What happens if they do a  poo? How should you hold them safely? What should you do with them in the pool? And how do you get both baby and you changed? 

This year I am a Baby Swimology Brand Ambassador with Konfidence and I want to help encourage parents to take their young children swimming by sharing my experiences and answer some of the common questions about taking baby swimming for the first time. I also have a giveaway for a £50 voucher to spend on the Konfidence website and a discount code for all my readers.

A flatlay showing Baby Swimming Kit from Konfidence

This post contains affiliate links.

What You Need To Know Before Taking Baby Swimming For The First Time


When Can Babies Start Going Swimming?


The answer is simple: whenever you are ready. Many swimming lessons recommend babies are at least 6 weeks old before they start, but there is no reason why you can’t take baby to the pool before then, although if you have recently given birth you probably won’t be ready to go much earlier.

A dad holding a baby while he swims taking his baby swimming for the first time and getting tips as part of swimming lessons

Are Baby Swimming Lessons Worth It?


I took my eldest swimming for the first time with swimming lessons when she was 4 months old. This was a great way to get started because I shared the experience with other new parents in the company of a supportive and knowledgeable teacher. The lessons taught me the basics of what to do with my baby in the water and how to encourage her to learn water safety skills. 

The lessons weren’t cheap though and they unintentionally taught me a few things that are super important when taking a baby swimming: 
The baby needs to have had a good nap before the swimming lesson so they aren’t tired (I often got this wrong with my eldest and she would get really upset).
Time their last feed before swimming just right: too close to the lesson and they risk being sick in the pool, too long before and they will be hungry (grumpy). It is suggested you feed them no closer than an hour before the lesson.

My middle child didn’t get to go to swimming lessons (second child syndrome), but when we went swimming as a family I had the confidence from going before so I knew ways to hold her and as she has got older I have taught her how to climb in and out of the pool safely. I plan to take her to swimming lessons now she is old enough to go in the pool without me.

When Baby Boy was born it was nearly 7 years since I had baby swimming lessons with his big sister so I was grateful that as part of our Konfidence Ambassador role we got to go to swimming lessons. Baby Boy loved his lessons and spent all the time splashing around and smiling, even on days when he was otherwise grumpy.

I strongly recommend baby swimming lessons: they are a great activity to do with your baby and you get lots of advice on how to hold them in the water and activities to keep them entertained. When I went to week day lessons it was with all mums, whereas at Baby Boy’s weekend lessons it was mostly Dads in the pool with the babies. 

Konfidence have a list of many of the swimming schools around the country if you need help to find your nearest. 

Baby Boy on the Konfidence roll & go neoprene changing mat in a Babywarma baby wetsuit to keep warm and double swimming nappy

What Should Babies Wear To Go Swimming?


It depends on where you are going swimming. We were lucky enough to have our swimming lessons in a lovely warm hydrotherapy pool, but normally swimming pools can feel a bit chilly for babies so the Konfidence Babywarma is a great idea instead of a thin swimming costume or just a swim nappy. I first bought Konfidence Babywarmas for my eldest daughter when she started to go swimming and I reused them with my youngest daughter. We were given a Babywarma wetsuit from Konfidence for my son in the cute Fergal and Crabby design.

The suits are secured with velcro and open up flat which makes them really easy to get on (and off). They are made from high grade soft neoprene which helps to keep baby warmer in the water (hence the name!) and the design means they fit well so they are easier to hold on to. They are great on holiday too because they provide 100% UV protection wear the body is covered. 


A Swimming Nappy Is An Absolute Essential 


Whether you choose a wetsuit, swimming costume or nothing you need a swimming nappy. A bit of wee in the swimming pool isn’t going to cause much harm, but poo will probably mean the pool has to be closed so it could be hugely embarrassing. Choosing the right swimming nappy is an important decision and many pools and swim schools ask baby to have a double layer to be extra safe.

You can buy disposable swimming nappies from most supermarkets, but a reusable one can be a better investment (not to mention better for the environment). The Konfidence AquaNappy has adjustable velcro and poppers so it fits from around 3 months to 30 months. If you go swimming even just twice a month think about how many nappies you would save going to landfill in that time!

I have used the Konfidence AquaNappy with both of my daughters when they were younger and Baby Boy received one as part of our Ambassador role. When he started his lessons at 3 months it was a little loose on him, but it is starting to fit better now and I know it will fit him for a long time to come. 

On top of the swimming nappy, to provide the required extra layer or just for piece of mind, you can get neoprene nappy covers. These are sized and have a snug fit around the tummy and legs to keep everything inside. The Konfidence NeoNappy is approved by swim schools and the designs match the Babywarmers too so they can coordinate. Baby Boy's swimming lessons were in a warm hydrotherapy pool so he wore just the AquaNappy and NeoNappy cover in his lessons, but in public pools we will use the Babywarma over the top too.

What Happens If Baby Poos In The Pool?


Fortunately I have never experienced this, but if the nappy and nappy cover are fitted properly you should have time to get out of the pool safely. If the worst does happen and there are leaks let the teacher or lifeguard know so they can take appropriate action. This will normally be closing the pool for a period of time.

What Is The Best Swimming Aid For Baby?


Have a quick search of the internet and you will find a few different floatation devices aimed at babies from a very young age, so what’s best? You are. A baby should have an adult with them at all times when they are in the water so they shouldn’t need anything else. While the devices available may mean they can float around baby will almost certainly enjoy it more (and be safer) if you are holding them. It means you can cuddle them close if they are starting to get upset or cold and you can have a lot more fun with them: swishing them side to side, supporting them to float on their back and holding them so they can splash the water happily with their hands.

Konfidence sell floatsuits from 1 year and swim jackets from 18 months for when children are ready for a little more independence. These both help children to float without getting in the way when they are learning to swim.

Mum holding a toddler while she swims in the pool

How To Get You And The Baby Changed Before And After Swimming


Different swimming pools have different facilities for babies and lots of them have a great changing table with a recessed curved bit in so you can easily change baby, if they don’t have one of those you might find it easiest to change baby on the floor. We were sent the Konfidence Roll & Go Neoprene changing mat. I had never thought about it before, but they are a great idea because it means you have somewhere clean to put baby down. The machine washable cushioned neoprene mat has a non slip back and it is much better than the normal portable changing mats in the wet pool environment. 

When I am going swimming with baby on my own I put my swimming costume on at home and choose my clothes carefully (no buttons) so I can quickly take them off at the pool and then get baby changed. 

After swimming I tend to super quickly take off my wet costume and speed dry and then focus on getting my baby dry and warm before getting dressed myself. 

When I have had lessons at private pools parents often bring the car seats in for babies so there is somewhere to strap them in safely while the adult gets dressed. I have seen a few public pools with seats you can strap 6 month plus babies into safely, but these aren't common. Pushchairs normally aren’t allowed in changing areas because the wheels are dirty.

If there are no options to restrain a moving baby to keep them safe (and dry) and you are on your own my best advice is to choose your clothes carefully so you can get dressed quickly and with one hand if necessary eg when the weather is right a dress and slip on shoes work well. I tend not to worry about doing my hair or makeup at the time.

After swimming babies (and children) tend to be hungry so I have kept a toddler entertained while I get dressed by giving them a snack bar or sandwich. For younger children remember to plan in time to feed them before you leave.

Check out the Konfidence website for more ideas and guidance.

10% Konfidence Discount Code and Giveaway


I hope my tips will help you feel more confident to take your baby swimming. Remember as part of my Konfidence Ambassador role you can use my affiliate links in the post above to save 10% on purchases on their website, alternatively enter AFFILIATE-4503-EC4RA-AAPD at check out.

I am running a giveaway to win a £50 voucher for the Konfidence website. This can be used to buy any of the products mentioned above as well as children's wetsuits, swimming accessories and anything else on their site. To enter just pick a method of entry on the Rafflecopter Widget below. UK entry only and giveaway closes on 7th July so you can get everything delivered before the summer holidays.

I would love to know your favourite tip for swimming with babies or children, leave a comment and let me know.


a Rafflecopter giveaway (Disclosure: We are working with Konfidence this year as Baby Swimology brand ambassadors. As part of our role we received products and swimming lessons for Baby Boy. I have been using their products for years and I am happy to be recommending them).

Great advice for taking babies swimming for the first time

29 comments

  1. Take them swimming from when they are a baby and have had their first vaccinations!

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    1. Thanks Tracy, definitely great to take them as a baby and although current advice is that you don't need to wait until after their vaccinations I think in practice most people wont end up going until after 8 weeks anyway.

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  2. Take as soon as able - less chance of fear

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  3. Let them learn at their own pace and take them from a young age.

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  4. My best tip is to always make swimming fun.

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  5. Go swimming as a family - it's a great way to spend some quality time together.

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  6. Babies will take to the pool a lot more quickly if there’s something familiar there. So think about taking their favourite rubber duck, watering can or cup with you.

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  7. Best tip is start young and enjoy it, have fun and they'll have fun :)

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  8. Take it gently so they build up confidence gradually

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  9. I need to get back to the pool. My tip is to keep time in the pool brief for little tiny babies as they will soon tire and get grumpy

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  10. start as early as possible to get them confident in pool

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  11. I'm taking my 8 month old swimming soon so reading these tips are nice

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  12. Limit the first few sessions to about 20 minutes each

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  13. My tip has to be patience if they get upset keep trying at it.

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  14. make sure you are confident as babies will pick up any anxiousness about water

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  15. Make sure you have more than one towel in case the first gets drenched! Xx

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  16. Take them at the earliest opportunity and for short periods initially so they get used to it.

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  17. make it fun, follow their lead don't push them too much

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  18. never push them to do anything they're not comfortable doing, and never take your eyes off them!!

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  19. Go with them as soon as you can and take some pool toys to keep it fun

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  20. Go swimming as a family - great competition.

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  21. Learn to swim it's a very important lesson to educate your children around the safety of water, my children were taught to swim from being babies and they love swimming as a result. Its a good way to have fun a keep fit at the same time.
    This is a fab competition good luck everyone xxx

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  22. Best tip is take them to the baths as young as possible, they learn to get their faces wet from an early age

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  23. I think it's best to start very early and don't spend too long in the pool as babies get cold quickly.

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  24. Start early so they don't develop a fear of water, especially of getting their heads and ears wet.

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  25. Get started early (as a lot have already said) and make it fun. Learning should be an enjoyable experience and patience is key.

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  26. I took my lads to duckling club and swimming lessons, they enjoyed it, I can't swim and hate the water

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