Summer’s right around the corner, and you’re most likely itching to stay cool with a little swimming. But, if you have a newborn, you also have to ask the question: When can baby go in pool?
Your pediatrician can give you the best advice on this front, but here’s a look at recommendations by leading authorities on caring for babies and children.
The Risks With Newborns and Swimming Pools
If you’re looking for a firm age at which babies can get into the pool, shoot for 2 months. Prior to 2 months, there’s simply too much risk for a little one. What types of risks do swimming pools present? Here are just a few:
- Illness: Even a well-maintained swimming pool can have bacteria floating around in it. If your baby comes into contact with the bacteria, it could mean an illness. Diarrhea is one of the most common issues, and it’s very difficult for babies to handle.
- Body Temperature: Babies aren’t yet able to regulate their own body temperature to respond to cold water. For that reason, don’t take a baby into a swimming pool before 2 months, and make sure the water is warm enough up until your child turns 1. If the water feels cold to you in any way, it’s far too cold for a newborn to handle.
- Chemicals: Chlorine and other chemicals can help keep pools clean. But a newborns skin isn’t yet ready for these chemicals, and it’s not a good idea for your baby to swallow pool water either.
The Benefits of Swimming for Babies
Let’s be clear about one thing: Don’t avoid the swimming pool once your baby is old enough to get in. There are so many benefits to swimming for babies, including:
- Exercise: Swimming is great exercise, and it’s even better for little humans who can’t yet walk or even crawl.
- Confidence: Swimming is one of the earliest ways your baby can experience what it means to be independent. For that reasons, swimming helps develop much-needed confidence.
- Coordination: Swimming is also great for development and helping your baby begin to develop motor skills.
Fun: Swimming is just a lot of fun, for adults and for babies.
Let your baby explore and enjoy the water, and you’ll unlock these benefits and many more.
Simple Baby Swimming Rules to Follow
Ready to get in the pool with baby? Here are some simple rules to follow in order to keep everyone safe:
- Check the Temperature: If it’s cold at all, it’s too cold for baby. The same goes for heat. You wouldn’t want to take baby in a hot tub.
- Avoid Chemicals: If a pool has too many chemicals, it’s best to skip it altogether. If there’s a powerful scent of chlorine, it’s too much for baby.
- Discourage Swallowing: Keep your baby’s head well above water and do you best to keep him or her from swallowing any water.
- Keep Baby Secure: Hold your child tight the entire time. Make sure you can always stand securely — so stay as far away from the deeper end of the pool as possible.
Final Thoughts on When Baby Can Go in Pool
Don’t let the idea of a swimming pool paralyze you with fear. Swimming is fun, and it can be a blast for your baby, too — if you take the right precautions. Start slowly this summer, test out the water and see how your baby responds. It could be a great activity for passing the hottest time of the year, and it might also help accelerate your child’s development.
Do you have anything to add about babies and swimming? Leave a comment below, or you can always send us a message through our contact page.