Swimming with your baby can be a hugely fun and rewarding experience for both of you– but there's no denying those first couple of visits to a pool with a squirming baby can be pretty daunting!
Most of us worried over everything from the fear of leaking swim-nappies, to safety issues (wet, slippery baby mixed with shaky nervous hands, anyone?) when we made that first tentative trip to the pool with our little ones – and although it does get easier and much more stress free once you've been a few times, it is without a doubt stress-central at first!
So to make things that bit less angst-inducing if you are taking your baby swimming for the first time this summer, we've got some top tips and advice from swimming expert Anna Woodhart, who is a Water Babies instructor and trained Swimming Teachers' Association baby and pre-school tutor .
Anna agrees that many people are put-off going swimming with their little one 'because of the hassle or stress that they think taking him in the pool may cause'.
"Being swim savvy actually gives peace of mind," she says, "And lots more fun – for mum and baby."
Anna is currently working with nappy brand Huggies, who have launched a 'swim savvy' campaign, with The Swimming Teachers' Association and travel association ABTA, to ensure every trip to dip is fun rather than fraught for both parent and baby.
Anna's Swim Savvy Tips
1. Always put a swim nappy on your little one before going into the pool.
2. Avoid swimming if you or your little one has had a tummy upset in the past 48 hours
3. If you are going on holiday, it's a good idea to get your little one water-ready first – even if it's just splashing a little water over them in the bath
4. Stay by your little one at all times – not only is it safe, but it also helps form a close bond
5. To help your baby relax, keep your baby's face close to your own and maintain eye contact. Smile, relax and drop down to the same level – your baby will love seeing you splashing too!
6. You may want to have your partner or a friend with you when you first start swimming, just whilst you get used to handling a wet baby
7. One of the best ways to get into the pool is to lay your baby safely on the poolside, enter the water and then lift him in
8. If you are new to baby swimming, go during off-peak times or earlier in the morning if you are on holiday - it makes the entire experience less stressful and more enjoyable
You can find more sensible suggestions at littleswimmers.co.uk
Were you nervous of taking your baby swimming for the first time?
What were your biggest worries? Nappies not doing their job properly?