Swimming is fun for the whole family, from yourself to your babies! However, your swimming needs are not the same as your children.
Especially in the times that we live in, it’s important to have healthy, safe and entertaining ways to cool off in hot weather! Having a pool is a great way to check off all those boxes.
Let’s look into why you should swim with babies, how to do so safely and the top five pools for babies and toddlers.
Benefits of Swimming With Your Baby
We know that swimming is an amazing form of exercise for us, but it has a whole host of benefits for your baby. Here are just some of the ways that swimming benefits babies.
- Swimming improves cognitize function.
- Introducing swimming early on reduces the risk of drowning for children over 4 years old
- Swimming improves confidence.
- Children who swim have an easier time adapting to new situations and are more independent.
- Studies have shown that swimming in pre-school is associated with greater self-control, better self-esteem and a stronger desire to succeed.
- Swimming is a great way to have quality time with your children and for them to bond with you.
- It is a great workout and results in stronger bodies and increased muscle development.
- Swimming benefits the cardiovascular system, meaning healthier lungs and hearts.
- Babies that swim have improved coordination balance.
- Your baby will sleep better at night (which may be reason enough!)
- All that hard work in the pool increases your child’s appetite.
With all those benefits, it is clear that swimming is great for you and your baby!
When to take Babies Swimming
Most pediatricians reccomend waiting until six months old before taking a baby into a chlorinated pool. Their immune systems are very delicate up to that point and it is safer to just wait.
That having been said, it is a great idea to get your baby in the water (safely) at any time.
Swimming Safely In Your Pool
Of course, with anything that you do with your children, you want to make sure that you are safe. Swimming is no different.
So how can you get all those healthy benefits of swimming and stay safe? Consider the following.
Babies have a harder time regulating their body temperature, so that means that you want your pool to be at least 84 degrees Fahrenheit. If it’s too cold for you, it’s DEFINITELY too cold for your baby.
Hot tubs or any water over 100 degrees Fahrenheit is unsafe for children under three years of age.
As mentioned, chlorinated pools are unsafe for babies under six months of age. Saltwater pools have fewer chemicals, but are not risk-free.
NEVER leave your baby alone near water. Babies and children can drown even in one inch of water.
You MUST supervise them at all times! Practice what is called “touch supervision”, meaning that an adult should be close enough to touch them at all times.
This also means that you need to be focused. It is wise not to drink alcohol and put away any distractions (i.e. cell phones) if you are supervising children that are swimming.
Once your little one is old enough to be moving around, make sure that you are creating AND enforcing safety rules. Safety rules could include “no running around the pool” and “no pushing others underwater”.
If your pool has a cover, completely remove that cover before you go swimming.
Cleaning a Kiddie Pool
If you choose to purchase a kiddie or baby pool, you need to pay special attention to cleaning it. It’s unsafe to add chlorine or other chemicals to these pools, which means they can become a breeding ground for germs.
These pools also do not have filters to remove dirt and debris. Therefore, look at your manufacturer’s instructions on how to disinfect and clean your baby pool and make sure that you do so as recommended.
At the very least, the water in an inflatable pool must be emptied each and every day to keep germs to a minimum. It should be rinsed off with fresh water and left to air dry.
Babies should wear swim diapers while swimming. However, these are not leak proof so if a baby soils himself, you will need to disinfect that pool.
It’s also a good idea to take a bathroom break at least every hour to prevent any accidents.
Top Five Pools for Babies and Toddlers
If you are thinking of getting a pool, and really only want to use it to cool off, consider getting a wading pool. The water would come up to your knees, making it the perfect height for children.
Another option is called a “Baja Shelf”. This is an extended step that creates a perfect wading area for little ones.
Of course, some also opt to get a separate kiddie or baby pool for the babies and toddlers. If that is what you would like to do, consider the following options.
This pool is designed for children aged 1 – 3 years old. It is not very large, so it is perfect for a smaller space.
Some parents bring it inside and also use it as a ball pit! A repair patch is included if you run into any leaks.
What is nice about it is that the rainbow arch gives a bit of shade for your little one. Babies are sensitive to the heat so you want to make sure that they are not in the sun for too long!
Some users commented that the rainbow forms into a “peak” rather than a curve, but it seems that using an air compressor will correct that issue.
Product Dimensions: 56 x 47 x 33 inches
Water Capacity: Approximately 22 gallons
Approximate Price: $28.00
Average Amazon Rating: 4.2 stars out of 5
Another great baby pool from Intex. It also comes with a repair patch and has a mushroom sun shade to keep your baby safe and cool.
What makes this one a bit nicer than other baby pools is the padded floor. This creates a nice soft space for your baby to sit, roll and play!
It also has what it calls a “mushroom buddy”, another inflatable mushroom toy that babies can play with when they are not splashing around.
Product Dimensions: 40 x 40 x 35 inches
Water Capacity: 12 gallons
Approximate Price: $19.50
Average Amazon Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
This is the granddaddy of summer toddler fun! Bring the water park home with this great addition to any backyard
Designed for toddlers, this kiddie pool comes with all sorts of fun extras, including:
- Water slide
- Water Sprayer (that connects to your garden hose)
- Ring Toss Game
- Ball Roller and Ball Toss Game
The bottom of the slide has a landing mat complete with extra padding to make sure your little one stays safe. Many reviews comment on its durability.
It has a convenience drain plug and a repair patch included.
Product Dimensions: 9 foot 9 inches x 6 foot 4 inches x 4 feet 5 inches
Water Capacity: 54 gallons (main pool) and 46 gallons (wading pool)
Approximate Price: $49.99
Average Amazon Rating: 4.1 stars out of 5 stars
This splash mat is recommended for children older than 18 months. It’s a perfect pool for that age, as it is very interactive.
The rim can be connected to your garden hose to crate a sprinkler. There is also an inflatable duck water fountain and a water filled stomp pad.
It can attach to any garden hose and is made of durable PVC.
Product Dimensions: 58 x 42 inches
Water Capacity: TBD
Approximate Price: $14.56
Average Amazon Rating: 3.9 stars out of 5 stars
For the parent that wants learning to be fun, look no further! This pool has a fun, interactive learning mat as its base so you can combine swimming with learning.
There are three learning mats to choose from:
- Color Balloons
- From A to Z
- Around the World
Education experts agree that learning through play is the best way for small children to learn. This pool is not only a way to keep cool but fosters creativity and cognitive growth for babies and toddlers.
Product Dimensions: 60 inch diameter
Water Capacity: TBD
Approximate Price: $21.99
Average Amazon Rating: 4.3 stars out of 5 stars
How a Pool Cleaning Service Can Help
Owning a pool means taking on the responsibility of keeping that pool safe for your whole family, including any babies.
A dirty pool can cause infections and illnesses; keeping your pool clean can help reduce the risks. Wear and tear problems (such as in the lining, walls or surrounding your pool) can cause safety hazards in your pool.
Your pool filters need to be in good working order, otherwise contaminants will end up in your pool. These can make your baby very sick.
A pool cleaning service is professionally trained to make sure that those risks are regularly inspected and handled as necessary. As well, having a professional service maintaining your pool and its equipment means that these issues are less likely to arise.
Keeping your babies safe is a priority and for many pool owners, hiring a pool cleaning service is one step to ensure that is cared for properly.