In these summer months, many new parents will be anxious to visit the pool with their little one.  With that, they may be wondering how soon they can introduce their baby to the pool. Since safety is our number-one concern, so let’s go over how soon you can bring your baby in the pool, and review some of the basic dos and don’ts for their safe swimming!

Guide to Bringing a Baby in the Pool

Under Six Months

Bath time water can be easily controlled. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about pool water. Babies aren’t able to regulate their temperature like adults.  For this reason, it is recommended that babies younger than six months old stay out of the pool. Unless the water temperature is very carefully monitored, it’s best to wait for a little one’s body to naturally adjust to the water before fully entering the pool.

Six Months and Older

Survival skills can be taught at a remarkably young age with specialized one-on-one swimming lessons called Infant Swimming Resource (ISR). These lessons teach young children what to do if they fall into the water. These skills include holding their breath under water, rolling over, floating, and more. It’s important to remember that these lessons are not a substitute for active supervision. Whenever a young child is in the pool, an adult should always be in pool with them, within arm’s length. 

Other Pool Safety Tips for Babies

Based on the above recommendations, if you decide to bring your baby in the pool, it is good to know some basic tips that will help to keep them safe.

Say No to Floaties.

Water wings, often known as floaties or swimmies, may seem like a good idea. The inflatable device keeps a child afloat and gives them the freedom to play in the water. However, these floatation devices can cause more harm than good. In reality, floaties often give parents a false sense of security. This leads to a greater possibility of the supervising adults becoming distracted. One reason this is a problem is that floaties can potentially pop. For the best protection, use a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket instead.

Stock Up on Swim Diapers.

Swim diapers absorb water better than regular diapers, which would weigh your baby down if worn in a pool.  They also create a better barrier to prevent pool water from getting contaminated.  Not only is this the healthiest option, it is also required by most public and community pools.

Beware of Kiddie Pools.

Here’s another inflatable device to watch out for. Kiddie pools can be a good alternative for younger kids. Like floaties, a kiddie pool can also make a parent feel like their child couldn’t possibly be in danger. The truth is, drowning can happen even when there is very little water. For this reason, it is important that when you have a child of any age in a kiddie pool, you actively watch them in order to avoid an unnecessary tragedy.

If Your Child is Missing, Check the Pool.

This isn’t a tip for designated swim time, but it is a vital bit of knowledge to keep in mind if you have both kids and a pool. When a child is missing, it is often the case that they have found their way to the pool. This is true even when they were previously seen in the house. Since someone can drown in a very short amount of time, it is always a good idea to check the pool before more obvious hiding spots.