|By Eo Lim
Are you ready for some summer fun with your
baby? Doctors and health professionals agree that there is no reason
that even newborns as young as one month old can’t go in the pool (the
old school thought that parents should wait until babies have at least
had their two-month immunizations no longer holds water) and say that
introducing children to water early on can be conducive to teaching
them to swim. Taking a baby into the pool means providing the baby with
the appropriate swimwear.
Swimwear for newborns younger than three months is
rather hard to come by. Most manufacturers start their swimwear sizes
anywhere between three and twelve months, which is okay because babies
younger than that are better off swimming au natural. For the older
babies and toddlers there are a good number of swimwear choices
One potential issue that used to keep parents from
bringing babies into the swimming pool was the worry about what would
happen if the child had an “accident” in the water. While it was really
never that much of an issue (pool chlorination is intended to combat
exactly this sort of problem), parents would refrain from bringing
their babies to public pools for fear of the embarrassment this would
cause and were reluctant to bring them into their own pools if they did
not know what steps would need to be taken in the event of a solid
waste accident. With the advent of swim diapers, those fears no longer
need to prevent a child from going in the water.
Swim diapers are polyurethane lined with cotton
cloth. Machine washable and dryable, they are the perfect answer for
parents who are concerned that their babies may relieve themselves
while in the pool. Available from many stores and online retailers,
swim diapers typically cost anywhere from ten to fifteen dollars.
The most popular and effective children’s
floatation devices are the “water wings” that slide over the arms and
keep the child afloat and free to splash and play in the water. These
are, unfortunately, not suitable for children under twelve months.
There are floatation devices designed for younger babies, but the
general recommendation is that babies that age stay with the parents
unless being taught to swim (swim classes for babies can start as early
as twelve weeks).
Swimsuits and Trunks
Baby swimwear comes in various styles, mostly in
full body tanks and trunks similar to those worn by older children and
men. For girls there are one and two piece styles, as one would expect.
Because baby’s skin is very sensitive it is important to use the
appropriate sunscreen to prevent your little Ethel or Mark from getting
a nasty sunburn while at the pool.
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