How do your little ones like the water, Mama?
Mine are like little fish!! Especially my oldest – she’s been swimming since she was 3 years old and can never get enough. I’m pretty sure she was a mermaid in another life. And her little sister is following in her foot steps!
My fiancé James and I love taking our girls swimming – in the pool, in the lake, in the ocean… Fully supporting our children’s love of water! Because nurturing your child’s love of swimming is the first part of water safety. Get them used to it, let them have fun, teach them to swim properly, and keep them safe!
As parents, we know all too well the danger water poses to children. Look away for a split second and things could end in disaster. There have been families in our community and friends of the family who have sadly lost children to drowning… Which is why we believe it’s SO important to teach ALL children about water safety and how to swim – no matter how young! Not only to prevent accidents or drowning, but also because swimming is so much FUN.
I remember when I was a child my parents were also adamant that my younger brothers and I learned to swim. We attended swim classes at a friend of the family’s home pool for years and had so much fun! Not only did it help nurture our love for water, but it built our confidence in our swimming abilities and taught us the importance of water safety.
That love for water meant summers full of trips to the community pool, birthday parties at NRH2O, days out on the lake with family, diving from the high dive, playing mermaids, swim races and holding your breath contests… and endless hours of memorable fun! Which is exactly what I want both my girls to experience as they continue learning to swim throughout their childhood.
Many of the tools they used in my childhood swim classes were the same toys we played with at our local community pool – pool noodles, floaties, goggles, and the little toys you drop to the bottom so you can swim down to retrieve them. Funny enough, most of the swim toys we played with are made by the same brand my kids play with now – SwimWays!
Introducing Baby to Water
Floaties and life jackets are a big part of teaching water safety – especially when kids are first starting out. So I was thrilled when SwimWays sent Kandy Apple Mama the new Baby Spring Float Sun Canopy! It gave me a perfect reason to finally introduce little K2 to the pool!
Now it’s important to note that K2 was the kind of baby who HATED the water when she was teeny tiny. She would scream her head off any time we tried to bathe her. It wasn’t until she was 5 months old and able to sit up on her own that she discovered she could splash. And once she saw her older sister in the bathtub, suddenly water seemed a lot more fun! But because of her previous disposition, we know how lucky we are any time she gets excited to be in the water.
So last week when it finally got warm enough for our little family to get back in the pool, we were super excited about trying out our new SwimWays Baby Spring Float Sun Canopy. It’s labeled as the single best floatie on the market today – because of its comfort, durability, security, and convenience. In my eyes, that makes it the perfect product to introduce baby to the water for the first time.
And boy, was it! K2 loved the baby float – can you see how giggly she was in the photo?? I just love that smile!
*Fun fact: Back when my older daughter K was a baby, she had this same float that a friend gave me. Sadly, it ended up getting popped by the dog. Even so, I’ve made it a point to always start my children out in floaties like this one with constant adult supervision. They love it, it’s easy to tote and simple to transport, and doesn’t take long to air up.
Keeping Baby Safe
As Step 1 of 3 Swim Training stages, the Baby Spring Float supports young children ages 9 – 24 months as they are introduced to the water. (There was no weight limit on the package, only an age range. Some of our friend’s elementary-aged daughters tried to get in it, but their legs didn’t fit. If they had, it seemed like it would have still held them up.)
It’s important to start young children off with flotation devices or life jackets that are the right size for their age or weight to keep them safe in the water. It gives your arms a break from holding them the entire time, and gives them just a little “independence” so they can experience what it’s like to float on their own. Plus, the more you put baby in the water and the more she gets used to it, the more comfortable she’ll be when you actually start teaching her to swim.
*Under no circumstance should you leave a child alone in the water! And a baby or toddler needs a parent next to them at all times.*
The Next Step
When baby gets a bit older, you can graduate her on to these cute swim vests (for ages 2-4). In fact, SwimWays offers 3 different steps or options of floats you can choose for your child. You can pick the Baby Float, the Swim Vest (like a life jacket) or a Graduated Swim Vest – depending on your child’s age and skill level.
It’s a good idea to keep little ones in floaties like this or life jackets until they’re strong enough swimmers to keep themselves afloat, swim back and forth in the pool, touch the bottom and come up, etc. Our family takes advantage of swim lessons at our local community center to build our kids’ swimming abilities (and confidence!). They aren’t too expensive and usually last about 2 weeks in the summer.
SwimWays Baby Spring Float with Sun Canopy
Isn’t this baby float adorable? The sun canopy is UPF 50+, is attachable and removable because of handy little snaps, and can pin back out of the way so you have some versatility. K2’s favorite part was splashing in the mesh play space (I’m very glad they have that in there!).
The entire float (and canopy) easily folds up into three compact circles by twisting after you let all the air out, fitting easily into its mesh bag to transport. (Pro tip: if you have trouble twisting it together correctly, they have a nifty video to help you out here.) The wide circumference and soft mesh seat help keep baby safe and comfy.
*But again, don’t leave baby in this float – or ANY float – unattended. A floating device won’t keep your baby from flipping over! That’s an adult’s job!
SwimWays’ Baby Float has a patented inner spring around the outside edge that adds stability, safety valves (that you blow into) and dual fabric-covered air chambers to enhance security. (Remember to squeeze the valves as you blow into them so that air can pass through.) This floatie helps baby become comfortable in the water, keeping her balanced and supported.
If you’re ready to introduce your little one to swimming, you can purchase the SwimWays Baby Spring Float from Target’s swim department (both online and in store).
This week is actually a perfect time to start water adventures because Saturday, May 20th (and every 3rd Saturday of May each year) is National Learn to Swim Day. This year marks the 6th annual national holiday! To celebrate, guess what we’re doing? 😉
Yep! We’ll be swimming!
Thank you SwimWays!
SwimWays is a leader in its industry – in helping children learn to swim AND in promoting water safety.
They started National Learn to Swim Day in 2012 as a way to educate parents and children about water safety and the importance of learning to swim – something we should ALL encourage!
This amazing company encourages parents and caregivers to celebrate the national holiday in all different ways – from swimming, to boating, to playing with water toys in the backyard – whatever floats your boat! As pools open across the country this month, we have an important opportunity to raise awareness about water safety and teaching children to swim.
What about you and your little ones, Mama? What are you planning for National Learn to Swim Day?
I hope you all have fun!