Hi Rookie Mom’s readers! Remember me? I’m the long, lost rookie mom who started out strong on her challenges and then went back to work and life kind of got in the way of writing. But I’m happy to say we’re finally in a decent routine and no one is sick (at least for this week) so I’ve got a couple of challenge recaps to share with you.
Up today: Challenge #27 – Take your baby swimming!
My husband, Chris, and I are big fans of water/oceans/lakes and it was important to us that Garrity got started in the water early, so as soon as she turned 6 months we put her swim lessons. Our class is every Wednesday from 5:10 – 5:40 for 10 weeks and there are about 8 other kiddos in our class (ranging from 6 months to two years). So far, we’ve been to 3 lessons.
My husband brought Garrity to her 1st two lessons. He was a competitive swimmer in high school and still hits the pool for a workout a couple times a month so swim lessons were always going to be his “thing” with her. I was really excited to see the two of them in the water. It was one of those mama moments I’d been waiting for and sure enough, my heart melted the minute the two of them got in the pool.
Each class follows the same format with the first half of the lesson in the big lap pool where we practice getting the babies’ heads wet, kicking on a kick board, floating on their backs and lots of movement that could only be done when the parent is standing (moving in circles, up and down in the water etc). The second part of the lesson is in the smaller (much warmer) toddler pool where the parents are sitting down and the kids do things like throwing balls to practice reaching their arms out, along with modified moves from the big pool.
In both pools we do “humpty dumpty” where the kids practice jumping off the edge into the water and the instructor even has us get their faces wet as though they were going under.
Garrity has been awesome, but I think she’s done better with Chris than with me. I’m a little more hesitant to dunk her head under water and I’d rather just sit and play with her where Chris is better about getting her to do all the fundamentals. I was also more interested in getting good pictures of the two of us than some of the songs we were singing…whoops.
I’m really glad we have her in these lessons but I wish they were every other week or even on Saturdays. We’re very lucky that the gym is on the same campus we work on so it’s easy to get there, but even so I have to hustle from work at 4:30, pick Garrity up from daycare and get both of us changed and on the pool deck by 5.
Since I’ve made it through 3 lessons, I thought I’d offer up a couple of tips to my fellow moms out there (and the version of me last month who had no clue):
- Milk. Try to time out her feedings/bottles so she’s not hungry in class. I always bring an extra bottle to daycare and warm it up there as we’re leaving and feed it to her in the locker room before lessons.
- Bath. Bring everything to give your baby a “bath” in the shower after lessons. I learned this the hard way after week 1. She was so tired we just rinsed her off and packed her in her regular clothes but when she got home she was still covered in chlorine so we had to get her back in the tub. Now I bring soap and lotion and take a shower with her after class. This does require some coordination and the bather has to spend a little time wet and cold until the baby is dressed but it’s better than putting a sleeping baby in the bathtub.
- Jammies. After the shower bath, put them in jammies so she’s ready for bed when you get home.
ps The Honest Company makes great swim diapers. They even contain poop. Trust me. I’ve learned from experience.
Find more challenges on the list of 52 rookie moms challenges for babies (while on maternity leave or back in real life!)