When Can You Take Your Baby Swimming?

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There are no strict guidelines on taking your newborn baby swimming. However, it is advisable to wait until they are vaccinated and at least 3 months old.

In this article I answer your most asked questions on swimming with a newborn, talk through the pros and cons of infant floatation devices and give you lots of tips on enjoying the water safely with your baby.

Tips for Taking Your Baby Swimming

Taking your baby swimming for the first time can be a fun and exciting experience, but it’s important to keep in mind the safety and comfort of your little one. Here are some tips and answers to common questions about taking your baby swimming:

  • Wait until they are vaccinated or at least 3 months old, your baby in vulnerable to infection and can’t regulate their body temperature well.
  • keep it short and regular 15-20 mins once a week is ideal, this way your baby will get used to it and not be in long enough to get cold.
  • Enroll your baby in swimming lessons. Swiiming lessons from 6 months are the best way to keep your baby safe around water.
  • Hold your baby in the water and avoid using floats.
  • Use toys
  • Have a towel ready to keep baby warm after.
  • Dress them appropriately, Swim nappies are and must sleeved sun safe suits and hats should be used if outside.
  • Get your Dr’s advice if your baby is premature or has been unwell.

Can a 6 Week Old Go in Chlorine Pool?

Yes, a 6-week-old baby can go in a chlorine pool. However, it’s important to keep in mind that babies’ immune systems are still developing, so it’s best to wait until they are at least 6 weeks old before taking them swimming. Additionally, make sure the pool you choose is clean and well-maintained.

When Can You Take Your Baby Swimming?

Strictly speaking there is no formal guidance for what age to take a baby swimming. However, it’s important to consider that your infant can’t regulate his or her body temperature very well, and are vulnerable to diseases before they have had their vaccinations. It’s generally safe to take your baby swimming once they are 6 weeks old or after they have had vaccinations. At this age, your baby’s immune system is stronger, and they may be more comfortable in the water. However, it’s always a good idea to check with your pediatrician before taking your baby swimming for the first time, especially if your baby was early or had any additional medical needs.

What Age to Start Swimming Lessons?

Most swimming schools recommend starting swimming lessons for babies when they are around 6 months old. However, it’s important to keep in mind that every baby develops at their own pace, and what works for one baby may not work for another. Be sure to choose a reputable swimming school that has experience working with infants and young children.

Can My Newborn Have Swimming Lessons?

While some swimming schools may offer classes for newborns, it’s generally not recommended to start formal swimming lessons until your baby is at least 6 months old. This is because your newborn baby will not have been vaccinated and is more susceptible to infection.

Infant Swimming Aids

When taking your baby swimming, it’s important to choose appropriate swimwear and swim aids.

For infants, swim aids such as inflatable rings are not recommended as they best way to teach your baby to swim. Infants can easily slip out of baby swim rings or fall forward. The seams on inflatable rings can fail without you knowing. Inflatables are particularly dangerous for use outside use as a gust of wind can flip them over! Never use inflatables or floatation devices in the sea as your baby could quickly be dragged out of your reach and drown.

If you are using a floatation that has straps they are important to stop your baby slipping down, however, they also make it more difficult to rescue your baby from the device. Which is why you should follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and swim next to your baby whilst in the device at all times.

YOUR BABY CAN DROWN IN AS LITTLE AS 20 SECONDS so you must stay within an arm’s reach!

Similarly the sun canopy attachments can prevent you from getting to your baby quickly- it’s safer to remove this altogether to prevent it acting like a sail! US Florida based swim coach warns of the dangers of these types of devices. “They are notorious for flipping over” and because baby’s are strapped in “make it more difficult to rescue your child.”

Most cases of infant drowning occur whilst a supervising adult is in the pool with their child. This is often due to thinking their child is safe due to a floatation device, they are toys NOT life jackets, helpful only to ease the pressure off your hip whilst in the water. If you are going to use one Mambobaby is the best IMHO as has the additional safety of not being inflatable and allows your baby to either lay on their back or stomach which prevents your baby from starting to swim in what is known as the drown position (feet down head up) and ultimately can prevent them from learning to swim. I wouldn’t use the sun canopy, instead it would be for occasional use for 15 mins at a time.

MamboBaby Float Review


Non inflatable- This is good because seams wear on inflatables so you can be sure this will stay afloat

Meets US TOY safety certifications

Has a sun canopy that can be removed

One button strap fastenings

Baby can lay on tummy and back not in “drown position”

Intended for parents to use swimming WITH their baby


bigger for plane travel

parents must check the age and weight recommendations

Parents think they can get out of the pool and watch their baby

Will still flip in strong wind/ wave/splash

Not a coast guard approved floatation device

Can give babies a false sense of safety in water that could be dangerous as they get older

Overall this is a great TOY!! and for occasional use it is fun and the best baby floatation device you can buy, It is safe so long as you stay within an arm’s length of your baby AT ALL TIMES!

Infant neck pool floats- are they safe?

In recent years there has also been a growing popularity of inflatable neck rings for babies. These were originally designed for disabled children to help their parent’s bath them. They are NOT SAFE and have been known to cause 2 infant deaths in recent years due to seem failure. Here’s why;

  • Puts pressure on baby’s neck and spine

Would you hold your baby by the head letting their feet dangle? I hope not! Baby’s are not designed to support the weight of their body’s by their necks.

  • Holds baby in the “drown pose” with feet dangling
  • Baby can slip through easily and suffocate on the ring or drown

Ultimately the biggest danger of floatation devices for infants and young children is that they lul parents into a false sense of security around water, it’s so easy to drift off for a moment, get distracted and just relax.

How to swim with a baby

how to swim with a baby by Sarah McHale

The only way to be safe with your baby around water is to stay alert and hold them at all time and teach them to swim. Learning to swim reduces the risks of drowning by 88%. So developing a positive experience of going into the water with a grown up and a fear of going near water without an adult is the safest way for a child to enjoy water. Using floatation devices, such as water wings and floatation rings not only teaches your child to swim with their feet down, which won’t keep them afloat, they can also develop a false sense of security around water and they are more likely to jump into water believing they can swim when they can’t.

This happened to me and a saved my son from drowning! We had been using a float suit and despite warning him he jumped straight into the deep end of a pool on holiday.!

Every Year 451 children under four in the US alone sadly die as a result of drowning.

Children’s Safety Network

Swim toys for babies

Instead of using a float, hold your baby close while in the water and play with them. This is a wonderful experience for you and your baby. I remember taking my daughter swimming when she was little. she loved splashing and being dipped in the water, it was one of the first times I heard her really giggle she was about four months old. We still swim regularly together, (she is now 15! she’ll kill me for saying it but she still loves that watering can) Swimming toys, such as watering cans, pouring buckets, floating toys and balls are great ways to have fun in the water with your baby.

We love Green Toys. They are made in the USA from recycled bottles and are free from BPA and Phthalate Free, battery free and dishwasher safe so they won’t get grotty. Trust me your kids will play with these for years and years- you will secretly enjoy them too!

What should my baby wear to go swimming

Choose a swimsuit or swimming costume that fits your baby well and provides good coverage, including protection from the sun if outside.

When Can My Baby Swim in the Ocean?

It’s generally recommended to wait until your baby is at least 6 months old before taking them to the ocean. The ocean can be unpredictable, and the salt water and waves can be overwhelming for a young baby. When you do take your baby to the ocean, be sure to keep them close and watch them closely at all times. If your baby isn’t walking and is less than 1 only hold them in the ocean. DO NOT USE FLOATATION DEVICES.

Baby Swim reflex, How can babies swim underwater?

While it may seem surprising, babies can actually swim underwater from a very young age. This is because infants have a natural instinct called the diving reflex, which causes them to hold their breath and slow their heart rate when they are submerged in water. However, it’s important to note that babies should never be forced to swim underwater, and should always be supervised closely while in the water. It’s also recommended to wait until your baby is a little older and has developed stronger neck and core muscles before attempting to teach them to swim underwater. Baby’s loose this reflex at around 6 months of age, and it’s very important to only use this method of baby swimming under the guidance of an approved coach.

Baby Swimming Essentials

Are you ready to to take your baby swimming? checkout our essentials preparation list to take your baby swimming.

  • Swimsuit
  • baby towel
  • wet bag
  • swim nappies
  • baby safe shampoo
  • toys

Final thoughts

Taking your baby swimming can be a fun and rewarding experience for both you and your little one. By following these tips and taking the necessary precautions, you can ensure your baby’s safety and comfort in the water. Remember to choose appropriate swimwear and aids, take it slow, and most importantly, have fun!

When it comes to taking your baby swimming, there are a few essential items you’ll need to keep your little one comfortable and safe in the water. For swimming suits, look for designs that offer good coverage and sun protection, as well as a comfortable fit that won’t rub or irritate your baby’s skin. For infants, one-piece swimsuits or swimming diapers are recommended to avoid any accidents in the water. In terms of equipment, a swim aid such as a floatation device can be useful for older babies who are starting to explore the water, but it’s important to choose a safe and age-appropriate product. For younger babies, a baby carrier or holding them close to you in the water is the only safe. Finally, don’t forget to bring towels, a change of clothes, and any necessary baby care items such as diapers, wipes, and lotion. With the right swimwear and equipment, you and your baby can enjoy the water together and make some special memories!