on my very last day of maternity leave, Pip and I had a lovely time together. we went swimming with an Olympic swimmer and then had afternoon tea at a hotel in Kensington. we were invited by Huggies Little Swimmers to join a waterbabies swimming class which was hosted by Karen Pickering. it was a wonderful hot day, so much so that even I enjoyed the cool water, and I normally make myself swim because Pip loves it so much. we were also lucky to have some beautiful photographs taken of the class; normally photography is banned in baby swimming classes, so it was a real treat to have such a lovely record of our last day at home together.
you can see Pip talking to Karen Pickering in the bottom right photo. Pip thought she was wonderful and spent quite a few moments trying to hand Karen imaginary items, which is what she is doing in this photo.
we were given swimming nappies and hygiene mats to use for the swimming class, which I thought were excellent. given that we did 3 terms of swimming classes, the Huggies swimming nappies were already familiar to us, but I can safely say that they are worth using. they don’t expand when full of water, so they don’t become heavy and then leak. the hygiene mat is a brilliant item; something I would have loved during that winter of swimming classes in a cold and dirty leisure centre. we tried it out a couple of times and Pip was content to stand and sit on it whilst I was changing her, thus limiting contact with a dirty floor. I think it would work just as well on a beach. (and when we got home, I just chucked it in the washing machine with all the rest of our swimming kit and hung it on the line). we have the penguin one and Pip loved its feet!
Ps// here are some of Huggies top tips for baby swimming:
It’s never too early – your baby doesn’t need to be immunised before swimming so get them to the pool as soon as you feel ready
Planning your swimming trip is essential for ensuring a stress-free session. Put your swimming costume on under your clothes before heading out so you can focus your attention on changing your little one at the pool
Always put a swim nappy on your little one before going into the pool. Huggies® Little Swimmers® are made from absorbent materials that won’t swell in the water, have unique leak guards to avoid little accidents escaping and easy open sides to make change time as hassle free as possible
Stay by your little one at all times – not only is it safe, but it also helps to form a close bond
Maintain eye contact with your little one; smile, relax and drop down to the same level – your baby will love seeing you splashing too!
You may want to have your partner or a friend with you when you first start swimming, just whilst you get used to handling a wet baby – or even better, join a baby swim school like Water Babies to help with both yours and your baby’s confidence in the water
One of the best ways to get into the pool is to lay your baby safely on the poolside, enter the water and then lift them in – your Water Babies swim teacher can teach you the best way to do this
Keep your little one safe and hygienic at the pool side and avoid any trips or falls with the durable non-slip Huggies® Little Swimmers® Hygiene Mat, available in fun frog or penguin designs!
I can’t fault the Water Babies lesson that we had, but I can add we also had excellent classes run by our local leisure centre. I know these tips are from Huggies, but I can honestly say that (save for their recommendation of Water Babies) I could have written this list myself!