I don’t have the best track record when it comes to taking my babies swimming.

 

I started off parenthood with eager intentions to take my eldest to the pool regularly. But from around 12 weeks of age, he started to suffer from the most terrible eczema. It would crack and bleed and easily become infected. We floundered in our attempts to keep his skin under control. It would usually worsen after swimming. So we just stopped taking him for fear of a flare up.

My second born didn’t stand a chance of having any swimming time as a baby because toddler plus baby = not enough hands for everyone in the pool.

And by the time it came to my third born? Well, it hadn’t even crossed my mind to THINK of taking him swimming. (I mentioned this on instagram after our swim session last week, and apparently I am not alone – many parents of 3+ had never taken their youngest swimming apart from on holidays).

So, when an invite from Baby Dove and Waterbabies popped into my inbox recently, I thought “Great! This will be the perfect excuse to take my poor neglected third child for some one on one swimming time with me for the first time in his life!”

Out of my three children, Otto is by far the most water confident. He loves a good splash around, so I knew he would love this day out. I expected to have a fun time with my toddler, what I didn’t expect was to come away learning some new facts about protecting your skin whilst swimming.

As I sit and listened to a research and development specialist from Dove talk about skincare tips, a guilty realisation dawned on me that I’d never attempted any of these tips, or really ever attempted to arm myself with any kind of skincare information – the sort of information that perhaps might have helped in those fraught early days with my eldest’s eczema, and at the very least would have been useful to follow for all of my children, as they are all blessed with unfortunately sensitive skin that is known to react post-swimming.

Tips for protecting your baby’s skin whilst swimming

Did you know that the skin is less absorbent when wet? So by having a quick shower before you enter the pool, you are aiding your skin in creating a barrier to protect against the absorption of any chemicals and chlorine in the water.

Applying a lotion or moisturiser to your child’s skin before swimming helps form a protective layer to help skin baby’s skin stay moisturised during swimming. But don’t forget to check first that your pool is comfortable with you applying moisturiser before getting into the water!

After your swim, it’s important to have a good rinse under the shower to wash away those pool chemicals.

Simply rinsing in water alone is good for washing away chlorine, but it can also wash away the natural lipids that help lock in skin moisture. By applying a generous dose of moisturising lotion after rinsing and drying, you can recreate this natural skin barrier.

I followed the above baby skincare swimming tips during our Waterbabies session, and I am pleased to report that Otto’s skin remained clear and soft over the next few days post-swim. This is actually quite rare so I can only conclude that the skincare tips really did help.

There were Baby Dove skincare products on hand for us to use during our swim. The Baby Dove range includes a soap bar, a head to toe wash. a shampoo, and a moisturising lotion. All products come in both a Rich Moisture version and a fragrance-free Sensitive Moisture version. I used the sensitive skin range on Otto’s skin.

So, how was our swim?

It was great! To my surprise, Otto was a little apprehensive at first. But he soon warmed up with the fun Waterbabies games that were brilliantly targeted for his specific age group. We had a really lovely morning together (With three children, it’s not often that we get quality one on one time like this).

baby swimming

Otto fell asleep almost immediately afterwards, which had me REALLY resolving to take him swimming more often ; )


4 ways to protect your baby's skin when swimming. Useful baby swim care tips from a mum of three, including how to protect skin before during and after swimming. How to avoid a sensitive skin or eczema flare up after swimming.

 

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I was paid a fee to attend and write about this event.

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