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Page reviewed 04/12/2023

How to choose the best baby swim accessories: Towels, Hats, Goggles, and Toys

Having the right kit can make trips to the pool a fun and relaxing experience to share with your kids. Below we take a look at the essential accessories for swimming with children:

  • How to choose the best swim towel for your baby or toddler
  • Baby swim hats and caps for stylish, comfortable swimming
  • Baby goggles to extend swim time
  • Changing mats for quick and easy drying
  • Swim toys to entertain and stimulate babies and toddlers

After Swim Towels

How to choose the best swim towel for your baby or toddler

Wrapping your baby up in a cosy towel after swimming helps make the transition from the pool to the changing room much easier. Babies are at particular risk of getting cold after swimming—their bodies quickly cool down as water evaporates from their skin.

There are three things you need to look for when choosing a swim towel for your kids:

Is it suitable for your child’s age and range of movement?

Ponchos are great for toddlers and older children as they make moving about easier, without the danger of tripping over a towel

Small babies will feel safe and snug being swaddled in a soft towel—diamond-shaped hooded towels are perfect for this.

Does it cover your child’s head?
Covering your child’s head with a warm, soft towel will help dry them and ensure they don’t lose precious heat.

Keeping small babies’ heads warm is particularly important. New-born babies have large heads compared to their bodies, which means they lose more heat from this area.

Does it fit in your changing bag?

Bulky towels take up valuable room in a changing bag, so look for towels that fold flat but are still soft and large enough to make your child feel warm and cosy.


Happy Nappy and Towel bundles to save money kitting out your baby, for a comfortable, leak-free swim and quick and cosy drying.

Baby Swimming Hats

Baby swim hats and caps protect babies’ skin and keep their heads warm

Baby swim hats aren’t designed to keep hair dry. Instead, the soft material makes swimming a more comfortable experience for babies and children by:

  • Keeping their hair out of the water and away from their face
  • Providing UV protection when swimming outdoors
  • Keeping babies’ heads warmer for longer in the water
  • Protecting sensitive skin from chlorine—swim hats can hold barrier cream in place for babies who have eczema or other skin conditions

The wide range of styles available means you can match swim hats with your baby's swim outfit.


Goggles to extend swim time

A key milestone for children when learning to swim is being able to open their eyes underwater and handle being splashed in the face.

Before they use goggles, it’s important that children learn how to cope with their heads being submerged. Once they’re confident, a pair of well-fitting goggles can extend the time they spend underwater.

Below is a checklist of features that the best goggles for children should have:

  • Meet British safety standard
  • Anti-fog lens
  • UV protection
  • Watertight
  • Easy to adjust
  • Fun, bright colours

Caring for children’s goggles correctly will ensure they last as long as possible. After each use:

  • rinse goggles with fresh water
  • allow them to air-dry, out of direct sunlight
  • avoid touching or wiping the inside of the lenses as this could break up the anti-fog coating
  • store in a glasses case or pouch to stop them from getting scratched


View our children's goggles here, with styles and colours to suit everyone.


Changing Mats

For quick and easy drying & changing

Why aren't waterproof changing mats good for swimming?

Waterproof changing mats may seem like a good idea, but they actually make it harder to dry your baby. As the water drips off your baby, it pools on the mat and can make clothes and towels wet. Neoprene keeps babies warmer and makes drying faster as it draws water away from your baby and absorbs it into the mat.

Changing a baby by the side of a pool or in damp changing rooms can be tricky and unhygienic. So a changing mat that makes it as quick and easy as possible, is essential.

The best changing mats for swimming should:

  • roll up to fit into a swimming bag
  • be big enough so your baby’s head and bottom can fit on the mat
  • dry quickly
  • be non-slip, for added safety
  • absorb water easily, for faster drying
  • be comfortable and soft, to protect your baby from cold, damp changing-room floors
  • be antibacterial, to protect your baby from germs on floors

Splash About’s neoprene changing mat is available in a range of eye-catching colours and designs. It features all of the benefits above and can be wiped down and rolled up for easy storage.

Find out more about the multiple benefits of neoprene here.

Swim Toys

Swim toys to entertain and stimulate babies and toddlers

Toys are regularly used in swimming lessons as they have a multitude of benefits. They can:

  • help babies relax in water
  • aid co-ordination and balance
  • boost children’s confidence in the water when they see a familiar toy
  • be used for simple water games for older children, such as collecting and throwing

Although bath toys can work as swimming toys and vice versa, toys designed specifically for the pool can have added benefits. Look for pool toys that are:

  • buoyant enough to hold their position in the water
  • robust enough to withstand being chewed by tiny teeth

It’s also important that pool toys are:

  • free from BPA, PVA, and phthalates (chemical additives used in plastic that can cause potential health issues)
  • mould-resistant, to prevent the build-up of harmful spores
  • light and easy to pack for holidays
  • suitable for use in the bath and pool


View the full range of swim toys here

Pufferfish Sensory Toys

Splash About’s Pufferfish Sensory Pool Toys are perfect for teething babies during swim sessions.

Made from soft plastic with no squirt holes for water to enter and grow mould, they are perfect pool playmates and safe for teething babies. Mould on bath toys is not only hard to remove, it can also be dangerous to babies and children as it provides the perfect breeding ground for harmful bacteria. These Pufferfish toys are hand painted with food grade paint and contain no BPA, PVA or phthalates, meaning they are completely safe for little hands and mouths.

Splash Mirrors

Babies love looking at different faces—including their own—so mirrors are a great way to entertain them while they learn.

Using mirrors in the swimming pool can help build babies’ confidence as they see how much fun they’re having in the water. The Splash Pals Mirror is ideal for helping babies get used to being in water, whether this is in the bath or the pool.

The Splash Mirror has been specially designed to perfectly fit babies’ grip so they can easily keep hold of it in the pool or bath. The mirror is made from high-density foam acrylic, which means it’s robust enough that pieces can’t be ripped off by sharp teeth.

After Swim Waterproof Onesie

The perfect swim kit accompaniment

Versatile and warm, the After Swim Onesie is the perfect solution for getting children out of the changing rooms quickly and with minimum effort. Lined in luxuriously cosy fleece, the Onesie will keep children warm even if they have nothing on underneath. Get the out of the pool, whip off cold, wet cossies and put this straight on for the journey home. Cuffed sleeves and legs help to keep the cold out and a large hood stops heat escaping through children's heads.

The After Swim Onesie can also be used on top of clothes as a puddle suit as it it waterproof and will protect against wind and rain. The perfect purchase!

What next?

You can view our complete range of swim towels, hats and mats here and our goggles and toys here.

If you’re new to taking your baby swimming, this essential guide will give you all the information you need for a happy, stress-free swim.