Starting swimming sessions with Mini Water Adventurers for the first time? This post will give you with my Top Tips for the essential items to bring.
It can be overwhelming when you have booked on your first block of swim sessions, so I will try to give you some helpful tips and tricks to ensure your first adventure is a positive one!
Helen's Top Tips:
1) Pack both your bags in advance.
Pack a bag for yourself and for your child the night before so you are not rushing - as you know you could forget something.
I suggest to pack the following:
Child's swimming suit/shorts
Orca Swim Trainer (for ages 2+ years old) - these will be ready to purchase very soon
Swim nappy (cloth or throw away) - if not potty trained
Swim nappy cover
Baby warma suit / Warm-in-one baby wet suit (I do advise for ages 3 months - 2 years old)
Goggles (if need them)
Bath toy (if they would like to bring something which is familiar)
2x Towels (1 for you, 1 small one for floor to stand on)
A pack and roll changing mat (if you are lying them down to change them)
Extra nappies (if required)
Snacks and drink
2) Have your swim attire on underneath your clothing
Make sure you are dressed ready with your swimming costume on underneath your clothes (do not forget your change of underwear).
It makes it so much easier when you are already pretty much dressed and ready to go. Get your child changed and then whip your stuff off and voila you are good to go.
3) Your clothing & footwear for after swim sessions:
Wear something that is easy to put on for after the swim session. Nothing quite like a young child crawling or running around whilst you hop around trying to put your skinny jeans on. I am one for wearing a tracksuit with a zip up jacket and flip flops (with socks may I add) so I can get changed like lightening whilst the little one is sat quietly eating their yummy treat.
You don't need to wear flip flops like me but some footwear that is quick and easy is so beneficial.
4) Bring a t'shirt
This is especially for the mummy's (or aunts or grandmothers or female friends). Please bring a t'shirt for you to wear over your costume in the water. Some children like to grab and you wouldn't want any boob whoospy accidents to happen.
I do add in some very cool activities involving the both of you swimming together and the t'shirt really comes in handy (this doesn't happen straight away so don't worry if you not at that stage yet).
5) Buy yourself a velcro wrap around towel!
It is genius - I have been swimming since I was 11 years old (yes nearly 30 years ago) and I have only stumbled across this in the past 12 months. You won't have to worry about trying to tuck it in or it dropping to the floor and you getting cold. You have your hands totally free so you can do all that you need with a towel around you.
You won't be getting your child wet whilst you put their nappy on (if they are wearing one of course) and getting them dressed.
There is a turban towel for your hair available too if you have long hair and it's also useful but I wouldn't say a necessity.
6) Get your toddler their own swim bag.
If you child is old enough to carry their own bag then let them. They like carrying their own things, let them even pack their own bags the night before too. Involving them with their first swim session at this age is really important too.
It also means you won't need to have a Mary Poppins bag with everything in there.
7) Buy a roll and pack baby changing mat.
For those with babies - the roll and pack mats are brilliant - saves on an extra towel and they are quick to dry. They are slim too so perfect for your bag.
8) Bring a snack and drink.
Make sure you pack a yummy treat for your child. Your toddler can sit and eat it whilst you get dressed. And it is a fab reward for when they have finished their swim session. Involving them in the choice of this beforehand is great too so it is something for them to look forward to. Please try not to bring something that is really crumbly or sticky, nothing worse than other customers coming in after you and contending with loads of crumbs and sticky mats.
Don't forget to bring yourself a little something too and a drink. You deserve a little treat as well.
9) Baby needs.
Bring your baby in to the facility in their car seat. Easier for you when you are getting dressed and they most probably will fall asleep pretty quick after their swim session. Have a bottle ready for them to have or you are more than welcome to sit and breast feed in the changing rooms before you leave.
10) Bring extra layers.
Especially this time of year during winter an extra layer will be needed (vest & hat etc) as they will be chilly once they have finished their session.
11) A special toy/blanket.
If your child has a favorite toy or blanket that they don't mind getting wet, have them bring it to poolside. It's a great talking point and a distraction if needed (which I am sure we won't) and it brings a little comfort to them if they require it.
Last and not least:
12) Bring your singing voices and inner child with you.
Expect to let loose and enjoy your sessions with Helen going on many adventures and exploring the wonderful world of the water.
I hope these tips help and please comment below if you have any tips of your own that you would like to add.
I look forward to seeing you at the pool.