Taking your baby to a swimming pool for the first time is a momentous occasion that both parents tend to love, but most mums and dads aren’t sure when they should slip their bundle of joy into a thermal base layer for their first dip.
Though lots of people think they have to wait until baby has had its first round of vaccinations, according to NHS guidelines, they can actually go into a pool from birth.
“You can take your baby swimming at any age, both before and after they have been vaccinated. It does not matter if they have not yet completed their course of vaccinations,” it advised on the website.
However, while your little one is safe to go for a little float in the pool, it is wise for mums to avoid going until their vaginal bleeding after birth has come to an end, which can take a few weeks. This is to avoid picking up an infection. Those who had perineal tears or caesarean section births might have to wait longer, so it is a good idea to check with the GP first.
Mums who are desperate to get their baby used to the water before this can get the father involved instead, with some specialised baby swim classes beginning from as young as four weeks old.
It is worth noting these classes tend to be in small, warm pools to prevent little ones getting cold soon after they enter the water. If you are taking your child to a public swimming pool, you might want to consider putting him or her in a thermal outfit over their swim nappy to avoid them getting chilly.
Don’t expect to be in the pool for very long at the beginning. Although it might take several hours of preparation, babies may only last ten minutes in the pool. If you see signs of them feeling cold, such as shivery or crankiness, it is time to take them out and get them dressed and warm.