So, you signed your toddler up for swim lessons! It’s exciting and scary all at once, but you’ll be glad your child is being taught these life-saving swimming tips to keep them safe in the water. What they learn now will help keep your water-based adventures much safer and less stressful.
But what should you pack to take along to the pool for your toddler’s swim lessons? If you want things to run smoothly and be successful, don’t forget these 10 essentials!
PACKING FOR SWIM LESSONS 101
1. THE RIGHT POOL BAG
You’re going to be right in the splash-zone, Mama. So the best thing you can do is get a big enough bag that will hold all the things you need with ease. And extra points if that bag is waterproof. This way, when you get splashed, you won’t have to worry that your child’s change of clothes and towel will be wet. Bonus if the bag has a special antimicrobial section for wet items (like that swimsuit after the lesson!). Otherwise, a small wet/dry bag can work wonders for wet swimsuits and towels. Here's a couple swim bags that will hold all the essentials you pack for swim lessons that we think are functional, affordable, and cute.
2. SWIM DIAPERS
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all public swimming facilities require the use of swim diapers on infants and toddlers. Their reasons for this are as follows:
- Swim diapers prevent bathroom "accidents" in the pool.
- Swim diapers significantly decrease the spread of fecal bacterial contamination.
- Swim diapers prevent waste from spreading bacteria like E. coli.
- Such infection-causing bacteria can be dangerous and potentially lethal to individuals in and around the pool facility.
Unless your toddler is fully and completely potty-trained, you will need to dress them in swim diapers. Regular diapers can’t be worn in the pool, they will expand like crazy, get really heavy, and will leak. You need swim diapers and be sure to pack extras just in case! There's reusable, eco-friendly, and traditional swim diaper options readily available at any major store or on Amazon. Here's a few that have great reviews and available at the click of a button.
Appropriate swimwear is another essential item you’ll need to remember when packing for swim lessons. Whether you pack it along and change or have your child wear it there, choose something practical and well fitting. In other words, no dangling designs like those mermaid tails. Keep the swimwear simple without frills and in a one-piece style for girls. For boys, it’s easier to find something basic. But for both boys and girls, it helps to have them choose from a selection of pre-approved-by-you swimsuits to help get them excited about learning to swim, especially if they’re scared. Double check that the swimsuit is not too big or too small, as both can be very distracting for your young swimmer. Also, consider if you're lessons will be outdoors. If so, it'll save you added sunscreen agony if you purchase something with sleeves.
4. WATERPROOF SUNSCREEN
Even on a cloudy day, the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays can penetrate that tender toddler skin. Keep it safe by packing your toddler swim bag with a quality sunscreen. The creams and lotions are safest because there’s no risk of inhaling the chemicals as there is with the sprays.
A formula that is SPF 50 and waterproof is the best protection, however, be sure to reapply it every 60 to 80 minutes to protect your child’s skin. Additionally, you should aim to apply it about 20 minutes before you head out in the sun so it has time to penetrate the skin for proper protection.
Chlorine stings the eyes, and if you want to help keep your child from wailing at the pool, goggles are the answer when packing for swim lessons. Do yourself a favor and test them out before going to the pool. Make sure you’ve sized them comfortably for your child to wear and things will go so much more smoothly than if you’re trying to do it poolside. Here's a few we've researched that will do the trick for your little this summer.
That summer sun is no joke, and even in the water, your toddler will need plenty of water to stay hydrated. When packing for swim lessons a water bottle with cold water is essential to make sure your little one stays thirst-free and happy. Any water bottle will do, but these are our favorites for keeping water cold, being compact and easy to transport, leak proof, and BPA Free.
7. THE RIGHT TOWEL
After the swim lesson ends, your toddler will need to dry off and change. It’s not a good idea to let kids sit around in wet swimwear. Particularly for girls, it can cause bacteria and yeast to develop. Start the process by giving them a nice, hooded towel that dries them off and keeps them cozy and warm.
At the Land of the Wee, hooded towels are made from organically-grown bamboo which is soft, safe, and oh-so comfortable. They can even cozy up to it in the car on the way home. They even come with a wet/dry bag instead of the old usual throw away packaging. You can purchase them here on the website and get 10% off with code 10lovewee and Free Shipping on over $40 or you can get them on Amazon with Two Day prime shipping. Either way, it will make your kid's day at the pool a lot cozier.
8. GENTLE KIDS SHAMPOO/BODYWASH
Head to the locker rooms with your toddler to help them rinse off the pool chemicals. When packing for swim lessons, be sure to choose a body wash/shampoo specially formulated for children that doesn’t have sulfates, parabens or those nasty artificial fragrances or dyes. Keep it as natural as you can to protect and nourish their skin.
9. CHANGE OF CLOTHES
Even if you don’t have a place for a private shower, you can rinse while still in swimwear at the pool to get the chlorine off until you can get home for a proper bath. Some children are terrified of showers in their toddler years so it may be best to wait anyway. In either scenario, don’t forget the change of clothes!
After toweling off, your child can change into a fresh pair of underwear, shirt, and shorts. Don’t forget socks if they’re wearing sneakers, or better yet, get them sandals that will make summer life easier.
Once they’re done dressing, be sure you've packed your kid's swim bag with a healthy snack. They’ve likely worked up an appetite. Choose something you don’t mind them eating in the car or find a bench or picnic table to have a quick snack at. This will cut down on cranky behavior on the way home.
Soon, packing for swim lessons will be second-nature to you. And before you can even blink, your child will be swimming like a fish and you’ll be able to breathe a sigh of relief knowing they can swim safely!
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