This post was sponsored by SwimWays as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
I started swimming on a swim team when I was four. My sisters tell me that it can’t be considered swimming: I mostly crept along the lane line during practices and meets. Fortunately, my swimming skills improved and it became an integral part of my childhood. Now that I’m a mother of two, swimming is one of my favorite things to do with my children. This summer, I hope to spend some of our beloved outdoor time at the pool. The only problem is that neither of my children can swim yet, and creeping on the lane line is frowned upon these days. Swimming with two children can be really tough. When the opportunity came up to write about the SwimWays Baby Spring Float, I knew it could help solve our swimming dilemma. This seemed like the perfect product to help me swim with more than one child in tow.
Getting Babies Used to the Water
The first step of swim training is to get babies and young children used to the water. When Miss H was a baby, I was so excited to share swimming with her that we started Mommy and Me swim lessons at six months old. That didn’t happen with E (18 months). So, when he does go swimming, he mostly clings to me for dear life. Add to that a preschooler who is a little too confident in her swimming abilities, and swimming with two children becomes nearly impossible. But recently, I visited the indoor pool with both kids, and the Swimways Baby Spring Float.
The Baby Spring Float is well-designed, with only two small compartments to fill with air. It was nice to not be stuck huffing and puffing poolside while simultaneously trying to keep track of two small children. It probably took no more than 45 seconds to fill up. When I put E in the seat, he was a little worried at first (OK- very worried. Hence the pacifier in the pool!) I kept a hand under his bottom so he knew I was close by, and that seemed to help.
After a few trips around the pool, I could already see his confidence building. He reached over the side of the float to splash in the water. He let me take my hand off of him, and just hold the float. This freed up an arm to hold Miss H as I waded around the pool. When his sister/best friend was right next to him, swimming suddenly became his very favorite past time.
My heart melted 🙂
After searching for other baby swim products, I can honestly say that this is the only would I would trust my children with. The inflatable areas are covered in fabric, so I don’t have to worry about popping plastic and slow leaks interrupting our pool sessions. There’s a canopy that goes over the top, making it perfect for hot summer days. (Colorado sun happens to be very intense because of our high altitude!) We didn’t use it in the indoor pool, of course! The design of the product allows for plenty of free leg movement, which is so important for little ones. E excitedly pedaled his feet as we floated along.
The Baby Spring Float is designed for children from 9-24 months. My “little guy” is big- always in the 100th percentile for height and catching up there with weight. He was comfortable and had plenty of room to grow. An older child swam by us and said, “It’s a baby in a boat!” We now call this E’s boat- and he didn’t want to get out when it was time to go. I consider this a success. A child who didn’t want to get in the pool didn’t want to get out 🙂 When the lifeguards blew their whistles for a break, I pulled that happy swimmers out. The spring float folds up really easily, and the small case fits into my swim bag. Perfect!
Other Tips for Swimming With Two
Go for Zero Entry Pools
I know this isn’t possible for everyone, but zero entry pools are my favorite for swimming with little ones. Since we can get in without an abrupt drop, Miss H has a little more independence navigating the shallow end. This gives me time to get E settled in his float.
When Big Sis is at swim lessons, E and I walk around the pool. This allows me to show him how to keep a safe distance from the water. We practice walking instead of running. Even though E is very young, I can tell he understands them now. I make sure to go over these rules with Miss H before we get to the pool so we don’t have any confusion about expectations. I also set physical boundaries for Miss H, like, “No going past the lifeguard chair.”
Keep Your Supplies Nearby
While swimming with two, someone will inevitably need a diaper or a snack at an inconvenient time. I used to try to pick a secluded spot to camp out so we didn’t interrupt the sunbathers, but I quickly learned not to. Having a spot close to the water’s edge makes getting both kids to home base quickly much easier.
If you swim in a pool that is too deep for your older child to stand in, have him or her wear armbands or a life jacket just in case you can’t be in arms reach at ever moment.
Keep Shoes Nearby
When the cement is burning-hot under the scorching sun, make sure to keep yours and your children’s shoes close to the pool for an easy exit!
National Learn How to Swim Day
Teaching children how to swim is the best way to manage swimming with two. May 20th is SwimWays’ 6th annual National Learn How to Swim Day. The purpose is to raise awareness about swimming safety and to encourage parents to get their children into swimming lessons. Miss H is currently taking swim lessons and it is amazing to me how much she learns in a session! She is so proud of every little accomplishment!
Having non-swimmers shouldn’t keep you away from the pool, as long as you’re smart and safe! Swimming with two children CAN be done. You can find the Swim Ways Baby Spring Float Canopy at Target, both in stores and online.