Molly and I agonizingly miss our outdoor swimming days now that summer is officially over and the pool has closed. While sunny fall weather coaxed us outside to play (earth, what a novelty for summer lovin’ mermaids!), I’m getting anxious about two things:
- Keeping Molly’s swim skills and love of the water FRESH (and preferably growing.) She played hard all summer to earn these! If you don’t use it, you lose it.
- Drearier days ahead + when it gets dark at 4 pm this winter. How will I keep her busy?!
In the shortest post of this blog’s LIFE, I share:
- The most important elements I look for in an indoor pool
- 3 lists of kid-friendly indoor swimming pools (& the clear favorite)
- Warm up a cold baby while squeezing a few more minutes out of your swim sesh
When I think of taking babies or toddlers swimming, the 2 most important questions for me are:
- Is there a shallow water option for her, and what is it?
- How warm is the pool? (I look for ~90 degree water temp.)
Less important, but other factors I’m curious about:
- Location… because timing of naps and neither of us love car rides.
- What’s in the water? Chlorine or saline. (Chlorine is harsher on our eyes, bodies, and swimsuits. Saline is less irritating – but not chlorine-free – and adds a slight amount of buoyancy.)
A quick Google search directed me to 3 family oriented websites with lists of kid-friendly indoor swimming pools in the Greater Seattle Area: ParentMap, Red Tricycle, and Seattle’s Child. BUT these lists are not created equally. One guide is a clear winner.
THANK YOU, ParentMap! For a true guide. Here’s why I love it so:
For including the pools we already love on the list (now I can simply hand this list over to you guys instead of making my own!), for introducing me to several warmer pools I didn’t know about on the Eastside where we currently live, and for making your list visually appealing! Photos, sections on water temperature (!!!), price, and other important pool-specific info. (like what’s in it for our littlest mermaids)… this will be my new go-to guide when planning pool play-dates and surviving winter in the PNW.
Tip: Babies get cold quickly in water that’s lower than their body temperature and it’s harder for them to warm up (as opposed to an active toddler or kid who runs around a lot.) Babies like warm water right about 100 degrees. So, how do I squeeze a few more minutes out of our swim time in pools set to less than 100 degrees?
Prevent chills… hold her close to your chest, and sink into deeper water. Bounce to raise your own body temperature while keeping yourselves low in the water. Throw in a song or chant to make it fun, act like you’re LOVING this (whether or not your are), encourage kicking and arm splashing to get her blood moving, and your baby will probably love the whole sensory experience. As you warm up, your baby will warm up, especially if she gets her body moving vigorously, too. (Be ready for a hungry kid afterward!)
Best Indoor Pools in Seattle, the Eastside, Kitsap, and North and South Sound.
Source: Swimming in Seattle: Insider’s Guide to Kid-Friendly Indoor Swimming Pools
As always, I love hearing from you! My greatest joy is knowing this blog makes a difference for you. Happy swimming!