When I first started taking Baby J swimming last year I hadn't a clue what I'd need or even how I'd manage it, but now a year on, I've got my swim bag & routine down to a fine art so I thought I'd share some of my top tips:
Baby swimwear - this can be a mine field with so many options to go for, I've settled on using a Lycra all in one suit for Baby J, it looks like a mini wet suit. I've found the ones with 3/4 sleeves and legs are easier to get on and off. These are readily available from most shops and prices can vary depending on where you go - Primark do them for under £10 - bargain! You can also pick them up cheaply at nearly new sales, I recently just paid £1.50 for the next size up for Baby J.
Swim Nappies - totally essential, but do not be fooled into thinking they are like normal nappies, these should only be put on baby just before you go in the pool, they aren't waterproof, so any watery accidents prior to the pool will not be held in!
Mummy Swimwear - through trail and error I've discovered it is far easier to wear a 2 piece suit than an all in one, when your changing you can do it in stages and save some modesty at the same time!
Towel - one for parent, & 2 for baby, I used a hooded one for when we first get out the pool, and have a second one handy to wrap round him whilst changing, or to put underneath him if there are limited facilities in the pool. If the changing rooms are a fair distance away from the pool, I'll often take my towel pool side and wrap Baby J in it as soon as we get out.
Shampoo - I tend to take a foam wash with me, mine has a pump action which makes it super easy to use, I tend to use it all over Baby J to wash away the smell of chlorine. Its mild enough to use on my hair too, if it gets wet.
Body cream - I like use a rich cream on Baby J after swimming, his skin readily absorbs it, and helps keep him moisturised. I also use it on myself too.
As you can see, I don't see any point taking separate products for Baby J and myself, juggling baby, towel and one bottle is hassle enough let alone adding another set of bottles to the equation. I usually wear my hair up, and often it'll stay dry, some swimming instructors encourage Mummy and baby to go under together in which case I do it and afterwards quickly rinse my hair when showering.
TOP TIP: Take a supermarket fold away shopping bag with you, load all of your clothes into it first, then baby's, its much easier to fit into a locker this way and easy to carry to the changing rooms after, and when you told it folds up flat into your bag for next time.
I hope my swimming tips come in handy, please feel free to leave comments with yours