Why are Swim Nappies Important?
One of the most important things to think about before you start swimming with your baby/toddler is swim nappies.
There is a huge variety available on the market and, at first, it can be a little confusing trying to decide what is the best option to go for, understanding what will be the most reliable and which will be the most cost-effective, which is precisely why we are going to explain all of the ins and outs of swim nappies to help you to get to grips with them.
Understanding Swim Nappies
Why do we need swim nappies?
Swim nappies have one main purpose: to prevent faecal matter from entering a pool. Many people do not initially realise that swim nappies do not actually hold urine but this is one thing that they are not designed for.
The reason that they cannot be absorbent is because they would also soak up the water from the pool, therefore, making the nappy heavy, altering its shape and becoming a potential water safety issue as it will prevent your baby from moving effectively and may drag them down.
Have you ever accidentally got a regular nappy wet? If so, you will be very aware of all of these problems.
Not only is it very important to have a swim nappy for every visit but it is also important to have one that fits correctly because if a swim nappy does leak faecal matter, the pool will have to be immediately evacuated and shut down for cleaning– which will take on average 4 hours to fully disinfect. A swim nappy helps to keep the pool a clean and safe environment for everybody.
What options are there?
The swim nappy options have grown in the last few years but to put it very simply you have 3 options:
- Disposable (usually required with a Neoprene Swim Nappy over the top)
- Reusable with neoprene over the top
- Reusable fitted neoprene Such as the Splash About Happy Nappy
The Disposable Swim Nappy
A disposable swim nappy can only be used once just as a regular disposable nappy can. Some swimming pools may allow this to be worn on its own but you will need to speak to your local establishment prior to arriving in order to discover their swim nappy policies as many now prefer a double nappy system to be on the safe side.
Most organised swimming lessons will insist on a neoprene being worn over the top as disposables are quite flimsy and can be prone to leaks.
The Reusable Swim Nappy
A reusable nappy can be used time and time again. It works in exactly the same way as a disposable but can be washed and reused. There is also a wider variety of styles and fits available to you in shops and online. Some reusable nappies look like swimming trunks and will need a neoprene over the top to ensure that any leaks are safely contained.
The reusable neoprene swim nappy like our Splash About Happy Nappy can be worn on its own. Due to its snug fit and design, it will not leak:
"Ergonomically designed to move with the baby as they kick and move about in the water, the Happy Nappy is shaped to cup baby’s bottom, whilst specialist waist and thigh ribs fit snugly to the child’s body, forming a seal that prevents any solids leaking out"
The Happy Nappy is trusted by parents worldwide and is relied upon by swim schools across 30 countries to keep their pools free from the germs that come from a swim nappy leakage. It’s patented technology gives reliable leak protection without the need for any other under nappy to be worn. The 1mm neoprene is supple and moves with the child to prevent any gaping.
What to Choose
Just like your nappy choice, your swim nappy decision will usually come down to personal taste but to help to shed a little more light on the matter, here are some facts about disposables and reusables.
Disposables are cheap to buy but in the long term, you will end up spending more on these than on a reusable swim nappy. They are readily available in all supermarkets which makes them easy to find, they come in different sizes and are usually a good fit for most children.
Reusables will cost you a little bit more to purchase upfront but once you have one it is going to last. Not only is this kind to your wallet, it is also good for the environment.
Reusable swim nappies cause about 1.5-2.5 less CO2 production during manufacturing, use and waste processing compared to disposable swim nappies and this includes the washing of them too.
Reusable swim nappies are available in a variety of sizes from birth to toddler and even beyond, but you will need to check each brand for their own measurement and weight charts prior to buying. You can also purchase a nappy wrap or liners to help with any accidents and to make the cleaning up process easier.
Another important point to consider is taking your swim nappies on holiday. If you are going abroad for 2 weeks, you will need to take swim nappies with you.
By taking disposables you will require the space for approximately 20 nappies which can be a real inconvenience, especially with weight regulations added in. Compare that to 1 reusable swim nappy and you can start to see that this option has far more benefits for your lifestyle.
The key thing about reusables is that a style like the Happy Nappy will not leak, it will move with your child and be far more comfortable due to the materials it is made from.
Washing a Reusable
A reusable swim nappy, like the Happy Nappy, isn't difficult to look after. Neoprene nappies cannot be machine washed or tumble dried, We recommend a hand wash in warm water without conditioner. Roll in a towel and then leave to dry flat and away from direct sunlight.
Understanding how to fit a reusable neoprene nappy is very important. A correctly fitting nappy may feel like a bit of a struggle to get on the very first time but this is actually quite essential.
The Lycra band must sit tight against the skin on both of your baby's legs and their waist with no gaping, in order for it to work effectively.
You should be able to comfortably fit a finger against your baby’s thigh in the leg opening, but no more.
A tip to help you out with fitting the reusable neoprene and to prevent your baby from being hurt is to pull the nappy right up to the top of your baby’s legs before you attempt to pull it up over the under-nappy and then up to the waist.
The waistband should then sit quite high on the tummy and be over the belly button. If you find that the nappy keeps slipping down then either it is too big or the Lycra fibres in the waistband have deteriorated.
To test this, gently pull the waistband and let it go. It should immediately pingback to the body and stay quite tight against your baby's skin. If there is any looseness or does not retain its position on the body then it is time to purchase a new nappy.
When Should a Child Stop Wearing a Swim Nappy?
Most swim school require your child to wear a swim nappy until 3 Years old even if your child is fully potty trained as they actually see more accidents from children who are toilet trained.
A reusable swim nappy is made from similar material to a swimming costume so it does not inhibit them in any way whilst doing the activity so there isn't any urgent rush to stop wearing swim nappies immediately.
Important Points to Remember
It is very important to remember these key points when it comes to swimming:
- Do not go swimming if your child has or has had diarrhoea recently. Pools will have their own sickness policies on this and some will state a period of 2 weeks before swimming again. Swim nappies cannot effectively hold stools this loose.
- Take spare swim nappies with you in case of an accident.
- The double nappy system is recommend by most UK swim schools.
- Choose a nappy that fits snugly to the body. Do not buy a reusable nappy for them to grow into, it will not do the job required of it.
- Check your reusable before each swim for any wear and tear.
- Encourage your child to take regular toilet breaks (age depending).
- Check your baby's swim nappy regularly during your swim and change if you are aware of a poo.
However, probably one of the most important things to remember and understand about swim nappies is that it is your responsibility to be prepared prior to entering a pool.
We highly recommend trying swim nappies on before your first swim session, making sure that the fit is correct, that your child is happy and that you can easily put it on.
Understanding swim nappies is far easier once you break it all down and are made aware of all of the choices out there.
National Baby Swimming Week & The Benefits of Baby Swimming
National Baby Swimming Week & The Benefits of Baby Swimming
Now in its third year, National Baby Swimming Week is a time to discover and celebrate all the joys of baby swimming for both babies and parents.
Created by Water Babies back in 2016, National Baby Swimming Week runs from the 13th - 19th October this year.
It is the perfect time to raise awareness of the importance of water safety and water confidence, as well as the documented benefits of swimming with your baby.
The Benefits of Swimming With Your Baby
By Emma Reed.
A weekly swimming lesson will start to build your baby's water confidence from an early age.
The routine will soon become very familiar to your baby, the fun of the lessons will aid in building up water confidence and it will become an activity that they will learn to love week after week.
Once your baby becomes more confident in their swimming lessons, they will learn exactly what they need to do in order to remain safe in the event of a water-related accident. In baby swim classes your little one will be taught how to safely blow the water away, rather than inhale it.
They will be shown how to hold onto the side of the pool in order to keep their heads above water and they will be encouraged to swim under the water and then safely return to the surface all by themselves. Babies as young as 4 months old can often prove that they can do this very quickly and with ease.
Builds Muscle, Strength and Improves Health
Compared with non-swimmers, baby swimmers generally show that they have stronger heart and lung functions and will often walk earlier. Recent research by the German Sports College, Cologne have studies that show babies who swim are significantly stronger and more coordinated.
As your baby’s body is predominantly supported by the water and, of course by you, they can focus their attention on working on their balance.
The actions babies use whilst swimming incorporates the whole body and they will begin to fully acknowledge how everything feels, moves and works.
A Norweigan study which was carried out in 2010 has shown that swimmers have a far better balance over babies who do not swim, hence why they also tend to walk at a younger age.
The findings from an extensive 4-year study in 2009 by The Griffith University in Australia have remarkably shown that children, under the age of 5, involved in learning to swim were not only more advanced in both their cognitive and physical development than non-swimming children but that they were also far better at math solving problems.
One of the best parts about going swimming with your baby is the fact that you get to further work on that all-important bond.
Your baby has to fully trust your every move, they have to focus on you through the duration of the lesson, making plenty of eye contact and positive gestures, not to mention all of that wonderful skin to skin contact you get to enjoy.
As we all know, exercise releases endorphins, the happy hormones, around our body and it works in the same way for babies too.
Your baby will feel so much happier during and after their lesson.
Sleep Like a Baby
Exercise promotes sleep and everybody wants a baby that sleeps well! You will most probably find that naptime after your weekly swimming lesson will be the easiest one to put your baby down for and maybe even the longest as well as the most peaceful.
A Better Appetite
Exercise will always improve your baby’s appetite and swimming is a perfect way to keep them active but in a gentle way.
Don't be surprised if your baby requires a snack or extra milk after their lesson!
Having a routine in your week will benefit both you as a parent as well as your baby.
If you join a weekly baby swimming class, it will become a regular sociable activity for the both of you, it may spark up new friendships and prevent that loneliness a lot of parents can experience at some time or another.
Swimming is such a fantastic all-round activity for you and your baby and as you can see, it provides plenty of benefits for their physical, emotional and cognitive development as well as being great fun.
For more Splash About baby swimming guides click here, or choose from the list below:
Winter swimming lessons: why are they important?
When the temperature drops through the winter months, it can be tempting for parents to stop taking their infants swimming until the hot weather returns.
A recent survey by children and baby swimwear specialists Splash About found that over a quarter (28%) of parents take their toddlers swimming only in summer. However, continuing regular lessons throughout the year—regardless of how gloomy the conditions are outside—is crucial to avoid babies wasting any progress they had previously made in the pool.
What are the benefits?
The Splash About survey also discovered that one in ten (10%) parents take their babies swimming most of the year but avoid the pool in winter.
When toddlers are in the process of learning how to swim and have a break over winter, returning to the pool can not only be an unnerving experience, but can damage their confidence and possibly give them a fear of water. From as young as eight months old, children can quickly develop a hatred for being in the water and become afraid of swimming, even if they had formerly enjoyed it. This is often referred to as the ‘water wobbles’.
Bernadette Spofforth, Managing Director of Splash About, said: “Until swimming becomes second nature to the child, it’s vital they continue practising so they can develop their skills.
“A break is likely to disrupt their routine, slow down the process and lead to them forgetting everything they had previously learnt. This can be extremely frustrating for the child.”
Splash About’s study also revealed that 13% of parents take their toddler swimming on sunny or warm days only. In summer, it’s easy for infants to remain active as they are constantly running around outside in the hot weather. In winter, however, swimming is a great form of exercise, keeping their energy at a consistent level without them having to go outside and face the dull weather. Swimming lessons will also be unaffected by any changes in the weather, unlike outdoor sports.
Noël Janis-Norton, parenting author, coach and director of Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting, said:
“When young children are still learning how to swim, or when they have just recently learned, if they have a break of more than a few weeks (at any time of year) they are liable to forget some, or even most, of what they have learned. That’s because the complex skills involved in swimming are not yet stored in their long-term memory.
“The younger the child, the easier it is for their brain to forget what they have learned, so it’s best to continue taking a young child swimming throughout the year.”
Some parents may avoid winter swimming lessons, thinking wet hair in the cold weather will cause their babies to catch colds. This is a myth. Swimming throughout the year will actually help infants build a stronger immune system so they can fight off nasty bugs. However, drying the toddler’s hair before they go outside is recommended—that way, they don’t feel uncomfortably cold and associate that negative feeling with swimming.
Noel said: “If the infant is at all anxious about any aspect of swimming, the more frequently they are taken swimming, the sooner the fears will fade.”
How can parents encourage toddlers to swim in winter?
Although the pool’s temperature doesn’t change throughout the year, the air around it can sometimes feel much cooler and this will make the baby will feel considerably colder than they would in summer. Wearing swimwear that is designed to keep the child warm can improve their swimming experience and make the initial transition from the changing rooms to the pool much easier.
Bernadette said: “Wetsuits with fleece lining will cover the majority of the toddler’s body, and keep them warm while getting in the pool. This can help them enjoy water for a longer period of time. A swim hat can also be an added benefit.
“Before they change into regular clothing, hooded ponchos are perfect for keeping them warm after getting out of the pool and into the changing rooms.
“Changing mats can be used to stop their feet getting cold and to protect them from the wet and slippery changing room floors. This takes away a lot of the stress that is often associated with getting young children dressed and out of the swimming facilities.”
The most daunting part of swimming in winter can be getting into the pool due to the colder air temperature. Most baby-friendly pools are usually warm, and it’s often beneficial to use these to warm up in before switching to the larger, deeper and generally colder pool.
Swimming is a life skill which can be vital in emergencies. Consistently taking part in lessons prepares children for accidents in the future and enables them to become comfortable and confident in the water.
“What times of the year do you take your baby/toddler swimming?”
Only in summer
Only in winter
Only on sunny/warm days
Only on rainy/cold days
All year round
Most of the year but I avoid winter time
How to get young children past a fear of swimming
Even though swimming can be a joyous experience, it’s very common for infants to develop aquaphobia (fear of water) early on in life. A survey conducted by children and baby swimwear specialists Splash About revealed that only 16% of adults said their toddlers felt very confident in water.
From the age of eight months old, children can suddenly develop a hatred for swimming and a fear of being in the water, even if they had previously enjoyed the activity. This is widely known as the ‘water wobbles’ and is likely to occur when the infant has already had some lessons. Although this usually fades over time, aquaphobia can often prevent people from learning how to swim if it isn’t addressed. However, following some recommended steps can help lessen your child’s fear of water.
Bring in the experts
There are a variety of different approaches to carefully handle an infant’s aquaphobia. To find out how parents can best help their child overcome this fear, we decided to seek advice from the experts:
Bernadette Spofforth—Managing Director of Splash About
Noël Janis-Norton—Parenting author, coach and director of Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting
Sally Baker—Author, speaker and therapist at Working on the Body
What is triggering the phobia?
Possible causes of aquaphobia among children:
- Fear of separation from their parents
- A parent unintentionally passing on their own aquaphobia
- Feeling overwhelmed by the noise, smell of chlorine and general activity in a swimming pool
- A dislike of getting wet, or a fear of water going in their eyes or nose
- Remembering a negative experience they have had in water previously
- Having witnessed something upsetting while in water, or seen a distressing water-related scene on television
Bernadette: “If it isn’t already known, parents might find it useful to discover the cause of their child’s fear so they can better understand it.
“Knowing the trigger isn’t enough to diminish the phobia but it can help parents know what direction to go in to prevent the fear from being a lifelong issue.”
Noël: “An important thing to recognise is that children who become phobic of water or swimming are likely to have a relatively sensitive, intense, inflexible temperament to begin with.
“Most children don’t want to be scared but it’s out of their conscious control. Once it has become a phobia it’s irrational and it tends to persist, despite encouragement and well-meant lectures.
“I’ve known children who used to scream in terror at the sight of water who are now confident swimmers. A phobia need not be a life sentence but it does require careful handling.”
How can parents help?
Splash About’s study also showed that 10.2% of parents and carers said their infants were scared of all water and 11.2% were afraid of swimming pools. Once the cause of the phobia is established, parents should consider ways to help their children become more confident and relaxed in the water.
Sally: “You are teaching and letting them experience something wonderful and potentially lifesaving. There’s no rush.
“It’s important to take any pressure off and make all swimming pool visit as enjoyable as possible without cajoling the child to endure anything they’re not ready to do.”
Noël: “I recommend parents use systematic desensitisation, which is a method for gradually getting someone used to something that they want to avoid.
“The parents and the child together map out a lot of little steps between where the child is now, with the phobia, and where you want them to end up, which is with no fear whatsoever. At first, the steps will probably be very small.
“One benefit of doing this process really gradually is that the child is likely to become increasingly brave, confident and proud of himself. He becomes excited about completing the steps, possibly even keen to skip over a few of the steps and tackle something a bit harder.
“If parents try to rush it by making the steps too large, then the child will probably rebel and it will end up taking a lot longer to overcome the fear.”
Support and understand
Before gradually introducing the child to swimming pools, it can be beneficial to get them used to water in general with baths or paddling pools, so that they no longer associate water with fear.
Bernadette: “Acknowledge and accept their fear and don’t push them into doing something they aren’t ready for. It’s important that they trust you in the water so don’t trick them. Let them strike an interest in swimming on their own and move at their own pace.
“Refrain from showing any judgement or overreacting as this can cause stress and fuel the phobia. Instead, validate how they are feeling and remain calm.”
Consider the surroundings
Some children might find the idea of swimming scarier than the actual experience and it’s recommended that, as parent, you address your child’s fear before entering the water.
The child should feel relaxed and positive when swimming and not anxious or frightened, otherwise the fear will continue to grow. To get them used to the environment before swimming, sit near the pool with them and observe the surroundings.
Once your child is comfortable, encourage them to play with some water toys while sitting on the side-lines and, if they are ready to, paddle in the water. Splash About found in its research that 27% of toddlers were initially cautious about the water but fine once they got into the pool.
Sally: “All of a swimming pools noises, crowdedness and even water and ambient temperature will impact on the level of nervousness a child will experience.
“A swimming pool’s environment can seem very strange and alien to a young child and all of their reactions are completely normal and understandable as they acclimatise to this new experience.”
Choose a suitable class
If the infant takes part in group classes, consider whether the fear is linked to social anxiety and if one-to-one lessons with a teacher could reduce some pressure.
It’s also important to check that the teacher’s methods are right for your child, to ensure they will have a positive experience. While your child is still getting used to the idea of swimming, keep the lessons between 20 and 30 minutes.
Bernadette: “When they are ready to begin swimming, a smaller pool with fewer people could be more suitable for children who are likely to be intimidated by a busy space.”
If you’re afraid or uncomfortable in a pool, try not to show this when near your child because they might mimic your actions. By appearing calm and happy in the water, you encourage your child to relax.
It could also be motivating to set realistic goals for your child each lesson, and to acknowledge their bravery by rewarding them with a treat if they achieve their aims.
Noël: “Most children are motivated to overcome their fears by the promise of rewards but some aren’t. If your child is, then by all means give them an incentive.
“But the reward must be achievable without too much effort or courage. Make sure you’re not hoping for too much too soon.”
Floats and swimwear
Using float jackets, float suits or Fings (floats that fit around the child’s chest or under their arms) to begin with can help the child feel safe and at ease. However, don’t use them too long in case your child becomes dependent on the devices to feel secure in the water.
Bernadette: “Choosing colourful and bright swimwear that the child will be excited to wear can encourage them to enjoy swimming. Comfortable swimsuits can also make them feel calm and at ease.”
Sally: “Allowing them to choose the colour of their costume or the colour of their goggles or floats increases the control a child can feel in this new situation. It empowers them and reinforces their sense of influence and control, which can help them feel less overwhelmed.
“Comfortable swimwear and a swimming costumes with integral floats or inflatable arm bands all help a child feel more confident in the water.”
Have you experienced a baby/toddler in your care feeling scared of being in water?
Yes, they were very scared of all water
Yes, mainly scared of swimming pools
Initially cautious but fine once in water
No, they were not afraid of water
No, they were very confident in water
Millennial Mother Product Review
I have a confession to make. I can’t swim. I hate the water. I am petrified of not being in control. My mum took me to swimming lessons, I did swimming in school, my siblings are all good swimmers but me … I don’t even like going above my belly button in a swimming pool. You can imagine this makes it difficult to teach Nancy to swim. But, I am determined that she will love water.
It seems the done thing to do when you have a newborn is to attend baby swimming lessons. I personally didn’t attend baby swimming lessons partly because I hated my body and the thought of getting in a swimming pool in my swimming costume made me want to curl in a ball and partly because I was worried about the water with a little one. We tried to take her swimming once in a while during the first year of her life but she cried and I was so nervous. It didn’t really work. Everyone told me she had to start swimming for birth because otherwise she would never swim, she would hate the water and the whole world of swimming would collapse.
When Nancy was two we thought that maybe we needed to try swimming lessons to help us both feel confident in the water. At this point she didn’t even like baths and washing her hair left us both distressed. We signed up to one and we lasted maybe 4 weeks. Nancy cried and cried and clung to me in the water so tightly. I nearly exposed more than I wanted to as she clung to my swimming costume straps! We decided that her screaming for 30 minutes was a waste of time and money so we stopped swimming lessons. Plus when she cried I became nervous and I honestly think she picked up on my nerves. We tried to take her swimming a couple of times a month for the next 9 months. Although neither myself or my husband knew how to teach her to swim but we did help her develop confidence in the water. When we went on holiday this year she really fell in love with swimming.
Last month we decided to give swimming lessons another try. We spent a lot of time researching and found a lovely small business called Dolphin Swimming Academy run by Rich and his wife, Charlotte. He invited us to attend a free trial to see how Nancy got on and it really worked. Her instructor was so lovely and really took his time to make Nancy feel comfortable. He also has a magic watering can which is totally awesome.
We then made it fun by giving Nancy some fancy new swimming items from Splash About. She received a lovely swimming costume matched with a warm poncho to wrap around her when she got out the water. The idea of having something special for her swimming classes really made her feel excited about going. The costume itself is a beautiful design and Nancy definitely approved. I also find it so durable and we have used it a number of times and washes it with no problems. The poncho is an ideal purchase for putting on when Nancy gets out the pool, with a hood which keeps her head warm. The best part is that it washes and dries easily, so I imagine on holiday this would be a dream.
We then took her to a swimming class and from day 1 she went in the water on her own with the swimming teacher. This wasn’t too difficult because Nancy attends nursery so she is pretty confident without me. I honestly think going in the water on her own with a fabulous teacher is the dream combination. She now practices back stroke, bubbles in the water and even jumping off the water. For a girl who cried a year ago I couldn’t be more proud.
As I mentioned before, I’m nervous in the water. To try and help me with this and to increase my confidence I used Splash About’s floatsuit with Nancy. It’s different to armbands, because the floats are centred around Nancy’s chest and back so she can move her arms and now has more freedom in the water, it also puts her in a natural learn to swim position in the pool – watch this short video of the floatsuit in action here
I really hope the swimming lessons help Nancy grow into a strong confident swimmer who is able to enjoy the water safely. And in light of my title ‘what happens if you didn’t do water babies?’ Absolutely nothing. Nancy is learning to swim with children her own age. She grows more confident every week.
Splash About have a variety of products. I have previously purchased their happy nappies and they are ideal for youngsters as nothing is escaping those trunks. Here are my top picks
- Baby wrap to keep your newborn warm. Personally I love the Nina’s Ark print
- Happy Nappy Dragonfly costume. No number 2’s will escape those beauties.
- If I had a boy I would definitely be purchasing the Board surf shorts because they are so cool!
- Goggles are a great purchase. Nancy loves wearing them in the water and only lets the swimming teacher adjust them.
Thank you for reading everyone.
Guru Reviews Abigail & Cater: Baby Swimwear Bundle
Guru Reviews: Baby Swimwear Bundle
Reviewer: Abigail Fields
As a Mum of a very active toddler, I know first-hand how important it is to engage in stimulating activities. Swimming has always been a love of mine and it was always something I wanted to involve Carter in. Finding swimwear for babies and toddlers that are suitable for all types of water, be it regular swimming pools, hydrotherapy pools and the sea, can become very expensive. And the fact that your child is continuously growing at the speed of light, doesn’t bode well for our bank balances! The Splash About Baby Swim Kit combines all of those separate swimming costumes into one, for an affordable price, ensuring that they are long lasting and reusable.
The kit comes with the iconic ‘Happy Nappy’.A staple for every mini swimmer’s wardrobe. This is something we have used since Carter was 8 weeks old at his first swimming lesson and I will forever continue to recommend it. This soft neoprene nappy is kind to delicate skin but secure enough to prevent any leakage into the pool, (which is great peace of mind for any parent). The Happy Nappy, which is worn over the top of a reusable swim nappy can be used in warmer water or can be worn underneath the Baby Wrap for colder swimming conditions.
The Baby Wrap is perfect for those colder pools and the sea. It is incredibly easy to slip on, and with a wriggly toddler this is something I was extremely grateful for! The shoulders, torso and waist are secured with Velcro which enables you to adjust it specifically to your child’s body shape. (Another incredible money saver!) Both the Happy Nappy and Baby Wrap offer SPF 50+ protection against the sun and come in an array of designs which are certain to excite any young budding swimmer.
Finally, the kit comes with a reusable swim nappy and a pack of liners. This is something that is very new to me as I’ve always been guilty of buying disposable swim nappies. Not only do they cost a fortune, especially if your child swims on a regular basis, but they are harmful to the environment. The reusable nappy is an incredibly affordable alternative and the liners are 100% biodegradable (you can even flush them). They fit under the Happy Nappy perfectly and work just as well as the disposable nappies, but save you money in the process!
Protect your baby’s eczema from irritation at the swimming pool
How safe is it to take your baby with eczema swimming? It is well documented that swimming is extremely beneficial for babies. It can help aspects of their growth and encourage positive behavioural developments such as confidence and patience, as well as improve balance and coordination. Despite this, the pool can be extremely daunting for parents of babies with eczema as some might worry that chlorine will aggravate the skin and cause infection. However, research shows that it can provide long and short-term health benefits. Although there are concerns to consider before taking the plunge, there are a variety of ways to help protect your baby’s skin before, during and after swimming.
Bernadette Spofforth, managing director at children and baby swimwear specialist Splash About, says: “Swimming can be a bit of a worry for parents of babies with eczema, which is understandable, but if you do your research you’ll find those fears can be put to rest and swimming can become an enjoyable experience for everyone.
“It is an important skill for anybody to master and having eczema doesn’t necessarily mean that learning how to swim isn’t a possibility for your child.”
Research how the pool is cleaned
The majority of public swimming pools are cleaned with chlorine, which can make skin dry and cause aggravation. As part of an eczema and swimming factsheet, the National Eczema Society advises you to contact the facilities to find out what time they add the chlorine into the pool and to avoid swimming immediately afterwards. The higher the level of chlorine, the larger the risk of skin irritation.
Other options that can be kinder but are much more uncommon are pools containing ozone, which usually aren’t as drying to the skin, and salt water, which can be soothing but can also sting the skin if the child has broken skin.
When exploring each possibility, it is advised that you only spend a short amount of time in the pool in case it worsens your child’s condition.
“Unfortunately, it is trial and error to find the most suitable option for your baby’s skin. You may want to arrange a taster session with a swimming teacher, which most are happy to do,” Bernadette said.
Apply barrier cream and moisturiser
As swimming pool water can be quite drying due to the cleaning chemicals it contains, applying a generous amount of moisturiser an hour before can stop these chemicals from angering the skin. If a child has unhealed scratches, a barrier cream will help protect them from external irritants and infections. After leaving the pool and showering, apply moisturiser again.
Dr Adam Friedmann, from The Harley Street Dermatology Clinic, said : “Chlorine is quite an irritant to eczema, so often parents complain that the children get dramatically worse after swimming. Before swimming, I suggest applying a greasy moisturising cream all over the child, as this acts a little like a barrier and can prevent the chlorine irritating the eczema, whilst hydrating the skin.
“Ensure your child showers afterwards and moisturises well before getting dressed. I normally advise to wash the child using only creams, not soaps or detergent (EG aqueous cream, Dermol 500). Then, re-apply the child’s regular moisturiser immediately.
“I’d recommend when bathing or showering to use warm water, as hot water can make eczema worse, and keep baths/showers short as the skin can get irritated if kept in the water for too long.”
Use a protective wetsuit
A baby wetsuit is ideal for preventing children from scratching vulnerable areas of their body. Another benefit is that it will stop any barrier cream that is applied underneath the suit from being rubbed off or absorbed by the fabric. Equally, such suits allow parents to keep a firm grip of their child in the water. A wetsuit also helps protect the skin from abrasions due to the material on swimming floats, and from being in contact with other external irritants.
Water temperatures that help and hurt
Baby swimming classes are often held in warm temperatures, which are usually ideal for infants but not for eczema sufferers. Health experts warn that this can be drying to skin and worsen existing symptoms, while cooler water can be extremely soothing towards angry skin. Before taking your child, it is always worthwhile ringing the centre to find out the pool’s temperature.
Prevent itching at night
Many babies with eczema struggle to sleep due to their itchy skin and anything that can be done to change this is a huge help for parents. Recent findings discovered that for every hour of the day a child is inactive, three minutes are added on to the time it takes them to fall asleep. Swimming is a great way to get children active from a young age and although it isn’t guaranteed that they will sleep well every night, using the extra energy can improve sleeping patterns.
Short and long-term health benefits
Research shows that up to 80% of children with eczema develop asthma later in life. However, swimming can help control the symptoms by strengthening the heart and lungs.
Swimming can help irritated skin because chlorine kills the bacteria that develops infections. However, the National Eczema Society advises parents to avoid taking their child swimming if their skin is already infected or flaring badly.
Mumii VIP Jonathan's Review of Go Splash Swim Vest
Mumii VIP Jonathan
Mumii VIP Jonathan, his wife Louise and their 2-year-old daughter had lots of fun while testing the Go Splash Swim Vest from Splash About!
A really lovely design and great fit. Our daughter is quite petite for her age so we selected the 1-2 year old size. It fitted perfectly and was really easy to put on.
My daughter loved the vest. She would even try it on and wear it around the house, as you can see!
The fit was great and it had a really easy-to-use big zip, which was great with wet fingers. There was plenty of space between the top of the vest and my daughters chin, which was good – given its buoyancy, I was worried in case it kept rising up in the water, but it didn’t. It floated really well, though, and was definitely helpful. My daughter is still learning to swim and she was able to practise (and enjoy herself!) far more effectively in the Go Splash vest than when using standard armbands.
The design is also really pretty and I think this helped as there was never any fuss about putting it on; my daughter loved wearing it.
It’s also easy to get off whilst in the water. Some swim items are really fiddly and when it’s just one adult in the water it can make them almost impossible to use. This vest, however, was super straightforward.
The material is soft and dries really quickly.
I would definitely use this product again and would recommend it for use.
There were some lovely design choices, but I’d like to see more and have personalisation available too if possible. I think they would make a great gift if you could.
- Really soft
- Easy to fit
- Useful cover to prevent the child easily unzipping the vest
- I think the sizes are quite wide-ranging so having one for ages 2-4 could be very large for a 2-year-old; maybe half sizes would be better
I would recommend this product to other parents!
Tip and advice for staying safe in the sun
Last month we put out a shout out to all our fabulous splash parents in order to gather the best tips and advice for staying safe in the sun. We know the best advice comes from real people and real parents, not some marketing graduate in an office and you have done us so proud! If we could we would show all the advice that was entered but then it would be 100 pages long! So we have chosen a select few (plus our two winners) of our favourite entries…
We hope you enjoy and find them as useful as we did…
- Cover your little one as much as you can, including sun hats and UV swimsuit
- Use sunscreen. Best with no chemical filters, those in supermarkets not really the best choice. Use non nano uncoated Zinc Oxide, as it’s not chemical filter and saves environment as well.
- Plenty of water but be careful not to drink cold water as it’s the worst you can do in hot weather for your body and especially your baby’s body
- Snack, Bucket, Sunshade tent and you’re good to go
Make a game out of putting cream on. We ask our little one to count the squires of cream or how many he wants on each part of his body so he has some control. We also let him see us put cream on - advice make it fun (meltdowns will happen). Also making a shade den is a good tip - however- we've only managed a parasol this year- I'm in the middle of sewing a teepee right now - but will use the sheet over a washing line tip any day. Ohh and lots of hats to choose from -2 year old likes choice! Haha
Keeping out of the heat at the hottest part of the day is important, especially with little ones. Making sure you have well and frequently applied suncream with a 5 star uva and uvb rating is a must, as is keeping your skin covered with loose clothing. Always make sure you have a hat on too! Keep hydrated, but be careful not to drink icy water as this can actually be harmful especially for little ones. Be safe and make sure your sunny days are enjoyable!
1st and foremost: SPF - cover up with cotton / UPF clothing and hats with childproof sunglasses too
2nd: Teach water safety
3rd: Always ensure one person is watching at all times on the beach. Do it in turns
Common sense to say – don’t let your children go out to far in the sea especially with inflatables.
Katherine Howard (Was Shore)
In addition to the usual - high factor sun cream, hats, correct uva sunglasses, good swimwear with a high UPF rating, plenty to drink, get a flannel and soak it in water, then freeze it. Take it out in the morning and put into a plastic bag (in a freezer bag if possible for longer use) and take it out when you go out with little ones. Give their face a cool wipe for a nice cool break from the heat. Works a treat x
Gemma Louise Davies
My children love to wear the sunscreen bands which monitor uv sun exposure and change colour to let you know when to reapply sunscreen and when to cover up and get out of the sun. My daughter also has a doll (Sonny Ciccibello Doll) which actually tans when he is left in the sun- however these marks magically vanish when the doll is no longer exposed to sunlight! I think being sun savvy is of upmost importance.
Cover head to toe in protective clothing. Apply sun cream at least half hour before going out. A decent hat that covers the neck and ears.
Regular suncream application...
And on top of that staying safe in the water with a parent always watching. Swimming between the red and yellow flags. Learning the dangers of the water!! (I’m a baby and pre school swim Teacher)
If going to the beach you can take a cheap shower curtain dig a little pool in the sand line it with the curtain and fill with a little water for a perfect size baby pool anywhere on the beach keeping your little ones cool! To keep baby safe from the sun while they play in it take a pop up UV tent without a base (or cut the base out) and place it over your little pool so it’s safe and in the shade!
Such excellent advice! We also just want to say a huge thank you to everyone that entered. We’ll be a lot safer in the sun next year after reading all your advice!
Guru Reviews Samantha & Logan: Go Splash Swim Vest
Guru Reviews: Go Splash Swim Vest
Reviewer: Samantha Humphreys
The Splash About Go Splash Swim Vest is an excellent swim aid when your child is learning to swim and needs that extra bit of confidence in the water. Logan has swam in lessons since he was 8 weeks old but when I was about to pop with Evie we took a break from lessons as he was dealing with some separation anxiety and his next lot of lessons required him going into the pool by himself. After this he was very reluctant to try and practice his swimming and nearly lost all confidence he had in the pool, even with armbands on he felt like he was going to sink.
When we received the swim vest he was unsure at first at wearing a vest around him while swimming. However he soon realised how incredibly comfy it was to wear and easy enough to put on and zip up himself.
We took it away with us on holiday to Butlins for the week and it is compact enough for travel and can fit rolled in his swim bag or flat in a suitcase as it is nice and flexible.
After reassuring him that he was ok to swim with it in the pool he took the leap and left my arms and swam over to the side. Excited that he didn't sink and he felt more freedom than he did with armbands, there was then no stopping him! He was off and swimming away, it was such a lovely sight to see after we had struggled for so long at getting him to try.
To quote Logan 'It's awesome! Good and great!' and got a thumbs up when we got out the pool. He couldn't wait to go swimming again.
There are some gorgeous bright designs on the . They are a great alternative to armbands - easy to hook over your arm when heading to the changing rooms and no prep required before you head into the pool. We also found due to the high quality neoprene it was so fast drying and perfect for Holiday when kids are in and out of the pool. We've used it quite a few times now and it has washed up lovely and we have experienced no fading to the product.
Lots of people have asked me about it when we've been in the pool and always comment on the great design. Logan would have one in every colour if he could. We will be packing it in our suitcase when we head to America later in the year!
It is especially good that it gives that extra layer of sun protection when around the pool and at the beach without making them too hot.
I can't wait to see how Logan's swimming develops with his confidence at having the vest on. It allows us to relax a bit more while swimming knowing he isn't in a panic about being on the surface. It is a swim aid but he has never gone under the water while wearing it and quite happy to swim out into water where he can't reach the bottom of the pool. It has made all the difference to our family swimming experience and we highly recommend it. They come in ages 1-2 Years, 2-4 Years and 4-6 Years and I can't wait to try one out on Evie too to allow her more freedom in the pool, I don't think we'll ever go back to armbands now!