Information on the range of swimming accessories designed to make swimming with your baby safer and more fun.
Swimming is fantastic for your baby's development as it provides them with a weightless environment in which they can begin to develop strength in their little muscles and joints as well as balance and coordination skills that will help prepare them for moving around of their own accord.
A range of swimming accessories are available that are designed to help your child feel more secure and confident in the water.
- Swim nappies - These are an essential if you plan to take your baby swimming in a public pool. Disposable swim nappies are available however if you plan to go regularly, reusable swim nappies are likely to be a better investment. Make sure the swim nappies are a snug fit around your baby's waist and legs without being too tight.
- Hooded towels - Your baby looses heat quickly after a swim so it is important to wrap him or her up in a thick, hooded towel as fast as possible.
- Swim seats - These are like rubber rings but with a back rest and a seat in the middle so that baby is supported but is still able to kick their legs and move around in the water. Swim seats are often suitable for use from 3 months of age but you should check age and weight restrictions before using one in the water with your baby.
- Armbands (also called water wings) - These tend to be suitable for infants of one year and over and are designed to help support movement in the water. Check the age range for suitability and make sure they fit securely around your baby's arms without being too restrictive.
- Floats and floating tubes - These can be great for helping your infant to develop confidence and coordination skills in the water. Again these tend to be more suitable for older infants.
- Buoyancy swim suits - These are swimming costumes with floatation aids built in around the torso. They help your infant to float in the water without restricting arm or leg movement so that swimming strokes can be practiced and general water confidence built. This type of swim suit tends to be most suitable for older babies (approx. 12 months plus), however buoyancy swim suits for younger babies may also be available.
When choosing swimming accessories for your baby you should ensure they meet European Safety Standards, are made of a durable fabric and are of a suitable age or weight group. However, even when using buoyancy aids you should ensure that you supervise your baby at all times when in the water.