Tips for a Pool Day with Baby

I recently realized Baby A and I had seventeen more punches on my punch card, to be used before Labor Day. 

So, we'll practically be fish for the next month, and when Labor Day comes around to break my heart with its soft-spoken declaration of the beginning of fall, we won't have any regrets about this summer.

I've learned how to be that really efficient and prepared mom at the pool. Or, at least, I've learned from many mistakes, so I can dole out advice and then remind myself to take it.

Apply sunscreen all over, generously, 15-30 minutes before going out. I like the baby/child sprays for the body, and the sunscreen sticks for the face. And for goodness' sake, put a hat on that baby--they protect the scalp and hair and shade the eyes of babies who think they are too cool for sunshades.
Use a reusable swim diaper. They cost as much as a pack of disposable swim diapers, but they can be used until they don't fit anymore. Just wash them in cold water with the swimsuits and hang to dry.
Baby A goes to the pool in a loose dress and a diaper, and I slip her into the swim diaper and suit just before she runs for the water. Let's just say I learned the hard way that swim diapers are not meant to absorb.  

Be paranoid about drowning. Without fail, whenever Baby A is one and a half arm's length away in the baby wading pool, she will fall under the water.

After an hour, take a snack/drink/sunscreen re-application break in the shade. Our favorite snacks to throw in the pool bag are bananas and graham crackers, or some other kind of cookie pretending to be healthy.

Get baby cozy in a zippered, hooded towel. Baby A wears her towel during breaks, and home. When it's time to go, I slip her bathing suit straps down, put on the towel, and slip the swim diaper and suit off and a regular diaper on. Changing is easy, and we can avoid wrestling on the slimy tile of changing rooms. (I step into the changing room to slip off my suit and slip on a sundress.) She is dry and warm on the ride home, and her car seat is, too.

  • towel for you
  • towel for baby
  • swim diaper and suit
  • back-up swim diaper (in case of BM)
  • sunscreen
  • drinks
  • snack
  • sunshades
  • hats
  • plastic bag for wet suits

What would you add?

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