Everything you need to know about Baby Wetsuits
When it comes to swimming with your baby, the most important thing you want to ensure is they are both comfortable and warm. Your baby needs to enjoy the experience in order for them to want to enter the water again and to help them to improve confidence in the water and to prevent them from developing a fear. Any bad experience can remain with them and being too cold can play a major factor in this which is one of the reasons why baby wetsuits are often essential for swimming. Here is everything you need to know about baby wetsuits...
What is a Baby Wetsuit?
Baby Wetsuits help keep babies and toddlers warm in the water for longer, they are often made from Neoprene but can be made from other fleece lined materials. Baby Wetsuits work by trapping a layer of water between your child’s body and the wetsuit’s material which enables your child’s body temperature to warm it and in turn, keeps them warm in the water.
They come in a variety of sizes, styles and designs which means you can easily choose a wetsuit that suits the type of location, for example, for the beach in the UK, you will most probably rather have a full-body suit that will help to keep your little one warm in our colder sea whereas in a well-heated pool you may opt for a baby wetsuit that just covers their trunk. Here at Splash About, we have a wide selection of baby wetsuits in order to meet all of your swimwear needs.
The Variety of Baby Wetsuits
Fleece-lined Warm In One
This baby wetsuit is Splash About's warmest baby wetsuit, which is made from a fleece lined TPU fabric which provides extra warmth for those children who may find the water very cold (especially common in younger babies) and will allow them to enjoy their swim for longer. It is also beneficial for the chilly transition from the pool to the changing room. Splash About's Warm In One has full-length arms and legs, will provide 50+ UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) Sun Protection and it is also wind and sand resistant.
Happy Nappy Wetsuit
The Happy Nappy Wetsuit is the number 1 choice for both babies and toddlers. Made from 1mm thick Neoprene this innovative baby wetsuit will not only keep your child warm and comfortable in the water but it also features a built-in Happy Nappy which means you won't have to think about purchasing swim nappies on top of this product. This wetsuit covers your baby's trunk, arms and also has a high neck. Their legs are left out but for swimming lessons, this is perfect as it enables them to use their kicking action freely. It has a zip-opening on the back, making it very simple to get on and off and as with the other wetsuits it is also manufactured to UPF 50+ standards. This wetsuit is perfect for both swimming pools and beaches.
Made from the same warm Neoprene material, the Baby Wrap is ideal for those more active babies and toddlers who still require some warmth but are able to keep their own body temperatures up with the exercise of swimming. The Baby Wrap covers the trunk of the body but has no full-length arms or legs. The benefit of this is that it leaves their limbs completely free to move whilst still providing that core warmth to enable them to enjoy the pool for longer. This baby wetsuit opens up completely flat which allows easy dressing and has velcro tabs to help you to easily adjust the size.
The Jammer Wetsuit is a toddler wetsuit designed for children between 2-5 Years. Made from super soft Neoprene, it has coverage for the trunk and the upper legs and also features the integrated Splash Jammer which provides the same leak protection as the Happy Nappy, as well as a medical grade silicone on the legs to keep the suit in place and fully protect from any faecal leaks. It is ideal for toddlers or children who are not yet potty-trained but still require some extra warmth when swimming.
Does a Baby Need to Wear One?
Unlike the Happy Nappy ,Baby Wetsuits are not a compulsory piece of swimwear, however, it is highly beneficial for you to make the most out of your swimming session, it will make them feel far more comfortable in the water and it will allow them to concentrate on the activity rather than becoming upset due to being cold. Obviously, if the pool you are visiting is heated to a higher temperature than average (32° for younger babies is advisable) then you will need to weigh up what type of wetsuit they will require, but for the majority of public pools, the water will be far cooler and you will need to take this into consideration. If you get cold during a swim, imagine how chilly your non-moving baby will be. If they become too warm you can at least remove a layer, if they become too cold your only option is to cut your swimming session short.
Do They Come With Floats/Swim Aids Built-in?
A baby wetsuit is designed for children under 2 years old and mainly for swimming lessons and therefore we do not sell any Baby Wetsuits with in built swim aids as all Splash About Swim Aids start at age 1 Years.
How Do I Wash a Baby Wetsuit?
After every use, a baby wetsuit should be rinsed out using cold tap water to try and remove as much chlorine or salt water as possible and then left to air dry. You should avoid drying them in direct sunlight to prevent the material from perishing. If your baby has had an accident inside their wetsuit, you can gently hand wash in mild detergent, no conditioner and again air dry.
What Else Do I Need for Baby Swimming?
Your baby swimming checklist should look at these items:
- Happy Nappy with either Happy Nappy System or disposable swim nappy underneath
- Swim Nappy Liners
- Changing Mat
- Baby Wetsuit
- Swimming costume or trunks (personal choice)
- Swim hat with UV protection if on the beach
- Suncream if outside
- Hooded Towel
- Swim bag
- Wet bag
We hope this has made choosing a baby wetsuit far clearer and highlighted why we believe they are essential for your child to enjoy their swimming session.
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.
If you are looking for new ways to engage your baby when you take them swimming or your youngster is having “Water wobbles” and suddenly developed a fear of lessons, one of the best distractions is a swim mirror.
These fantastic water skill toys are sure to stop tears and certain to be chewed. In fact mirrors are incorporated into many baby swim lessons, as teachers have developed programs and songs focused on using the mirror.
The splash Mirror spent many months in testing and development and lots of prototypes were discarded. Some were far too easily chewed leaving bits of floating foam in the water, some bent and the mirror distorted, scaring the babies when they looked at themselves (this was probably funny, but not at the time of testing) and some shapes were just too hard or too big for little hands to hold.
Hundreds of babies and toddlers took part in our trials whilst we perfected the Splash Mirror, finally agreeing that the shape had to be interesting and offer plenty of ways to grasp it and hold it. Too round and baby couldn’t manage it, too square and they lost interest, shapes of fish and crabs also didn’t work, because they were not as durable.
The perfect shape turned out to be our water splash shape, with lots of contoured edges to grip and chew, made from robust yet super soft EVA, which held a sturdy mirror securely in the middle and chew proof.
We have seen lots of fantastic uses in classes for the mirror but parents have had great use out of them at home as well, using them in the bath and when they visit the pool outside of lessons. Lightweight, anti mold and quick drying its an ideal bath and swim toy.
Available from Splash About direct or your local swim school. Happy splashing!
Splash into Autumn!
With the leaves beginning to turn their splendorous colours and Halloween just a few weeks away it already feels like the start of the silly season. Baby swim schools are in the full swing of things and hopefully all you new mums and dads, grandparents and babies are settling down and enjoying your swim lessons.
It’s daunting at first coping with a slippery baby, on a slippery wet changing room floor, whilst you are wearing a costume and holding a towel in your teeth! We totally hear you! But you are probably getting the hang of it by now and beginning to pay a bit more attention to other mums and babies, especially those in the next class up.
You purchased a Happy Nappy at the start of the term, but there seem to be lots of other options out there? You are right there are, there are many supportive swim products for babies and toddlers, below is the Splash Guide to getting the most out of autumn swimming;
Baby Wrap – This ingenious invention opens
out completely flat, allowing you to wrap baby
in super soft warm neoprene in a couple of easy steps. The unique design means that even the wriggliest baby can be dressed and ready for the pool in extra quick time. The warm and supple neoprene leaves the arms and legs free to move in the water, but provides extra warmth to the body’s core, helping babies to stay warmer for longer when in the water. The added brilliance of the baby wrap is its ability to give baby some grip, giving you peace of mind when carrying baby from the pool to the changing room, or in the water during activities.
The Happy Nappy Wetsuit – This ultimate 2 in 1 nappy and wetsuit is the envy of the changing room, combining warmth with security and giving great value for money. It’s the only item you need in your swim kit this autumn and winter.
This unique wetsuit is approved to wear in baby swim classes, as it incorporates a Happy Nappy into the body of the suit. Manufactured from the softest neoprene and designed in a range of beautiful surface patterns, the Happy Nappy wetsuit is multi award winning for a reason.
The Splash Mat changing mat. – It’s a tricky task changing baby at the best of times, but a swimming pool changing room has its added challenges. Many pools offer fantastic facilities, but even then with so many babies in the room it an be hard to get a change station, so the Splash Mat offers the perfect alternative. Naturally antibacterial and made from neoprene, this warm and waterproof mat is made to easily roll up and store between lessons, giving you a portable change station that is non slip and can be used on the floor, bench or changing table surface to keep baby clean and warm during change time.
Apres Splash – It’s always chilly when you get out of the pool and even more so for babies, as they find it harder to regulate their temperature. The perfect solution is
to get your baby wrapped up in Splash About after-swim specialist toweling.
Made from naturally antibacterial charcoal bamboo cotton, the hooded towels provide the perfect way to dry off after swim class and the Apres Splash All in one, is fantastic for travelling back home cozy, warm and comfortable.
Splash About products are all designed with you and your baby in mind. Have a look at our website for some of our other fantastic products, from mold resistant bath and swim toys, to costumes and safe in the sun holiday gear. Our products are enjoyed in over 40 countries worldwide and our specialist Happy Nappy range of baby swim products, are recognized as the most effective and advanced in the world. Get in the water with Splash About.
Changing the world one bottom at a time.