This post is sponsored by Carter's; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Your baby can start infant swim lessons much earlier than you would think. I had no idea these infant swim programs were available to such young babies. When Jack was four months old we attended our first swim lesson, the Little Otters, and the other babies in the class had already been coming for over a month! In some places, your baby can start their lessons as early as three months old.
I don't know about all infant swim lessons but our swim lessons (babies ages 3-6 months) are free with the exception of a $25 enrollment fee. The fee also includes a reusable swim diaper. We have also been doing private swim lessons because we want Jack to be familiar with his grandparent's pool.
I wanted to share this post with you because we pretty much did everything wrong for our first lesson; we arrived late, I forgot a baby towel for Jack, and dry clothes for myself. We hadn't purchased our swim diaper (or picked one out at the school) so we were rushing around like crazy. Hopefully our experience can help your first swim lesson go much smoother!
5 Things to keep in mind for baby's first swim lesson
(These are only suggestions and things that have worked for our family. Make sure you do your own research!)
(Shop these pieces from the Carter's Little Baby Basics online store)
1.) Take Advantage of Bath Time
You can start preparing your baby long before they attend their first swim lesson. Use baby's bath time to get them acclimated to the water. From a very early age we would gently pour water on Jack's head while rinsing him off so he wouldn't be afraid of getting water in his eyes when he was older. You can also help the baby float on their back for a few short moments while carefully supporting their head.
2.) Nap and Feed First
If possible, try to put your baby down for a nap before attending the baby's swim lesson. This new experience is really going to exhaust them. Making sure your baby is well rested (if possible) and well fed is key to enjoying your swimming lesson.
3. ) Be Early
You'll want to arrive at least 15 minutes early for your baby's first swim lesson. The classes are generally only 30 minutes long so being late at all cuts into a big chunk of your class. It took us a good solid 10 or 15 minutes to get Jack out of his car-seat, changed, and into his swimsuit.
I would also recommend you change your baby into their swimsuit once you get to your swim class location.
4.) Bring Towels & Swim Diapers
There is a reason they make bath towels for little babies. Adult bath towels are too big for your baby and you are most likely not going to want any accidental stains (because poopsplosions happen at swim class too) on your bath and beach towels.
One of our favorite baby towels to bring to our swim class is our Carter's Little Baby Basic's hooded bear towel. The terry velour fabric dries quickly and the cute animal hood not only looks ADORABLE (see image above ;)) but it keep baby's head warm as you're drying them off after their class.
You're definitely going to need a swim diaper! Some swim schools have reusable swim diapers to purchase, but it's still a good idea to bring disposable ones especially to your first class. For us a reusable swim diaper was actually included in the enrollment fee, but I still opted to put a disposable one underneath because who wants to be the mom who's baby poops in the pool… not me.
5.) Don't forget dry clothes
You also need to bring some dry clothes for YOU and your baby to change into! This past month it has been heating up so Jack has been living in the the bodysuits from Carter's Little Baby Basics Collection. The clothing from this line is soft, holds up well, and reasonably priced. The Neutral Little Baby Basics have pretty much shaped Jack's wardrobe since he was born.
Make sure you don't forget about yourself either! Since you're going to be getting in the pool with your baby you'll want a towel and dry clothes to change into when it's over.
Other things to bring
You'll also want to bring a wet bag (or plastic bag) so you can keep your wet suits away from your dry items, a swimsuit cover-up, and flip flops!
Another thing to keep in mind is that in most cases, the swim school is not primarily for babies. They will most likely have a changing station but it's still a good idea to bring a changing pad.
Cleaning up afterwards
Whether you choose to shower in the locker room or wait until you get home, make sure you get the chlorine off your baby's skin.
As I mentioned before, the Little Baby Basics line has adorable bath-time pieces that you and your baby will love. I love wrapping Jack up in his hooded robe while I get him prepared for a nap or bed time.
Right now Carters is offering 20% off $40+ through June 30th!