Thursday, June 25, 2015

Tackling the Pool with multiple Kids {a post on summer time}

Today the Babywise Friendly Bloggers are all blogging about various topics on summer! You can head on over to our pinterest page to see everyone's posts!

Last Summer I had a 5 year old, a 3 year old, an almost 2 year old- and a newborn. Needless to say, going to the pool was not an option for us. Besides giving my everything to nursing a brand new baby at the time, I was scared that someone would die if I took them to a pool by myself. I was overwhelmed and terrified at the sheer thought. So guess what? Besides splashing in a tiny blow up pool in our back yard, my older girls did not get to swim. I really had wished differently, but at the time, this was all I could wrap my mind around when it came to going to the pool. So I did the best I could (tiny blow up pool) and tried to forget the rest. We did not even do swim lessons!

I decided this year was going to be different. For safety purposes, I was not going to skip out on swimming lessons for the oldest 3 girls. I was also determined to let them swim in a real pool. I have so many wonderful summertime childhood memories that involve swimming, and I want for my girls to be able to say the same thing one day.

So as the summer approached, I kept thinking about how I could safely take my 4 children 6 years and under to the pool.

I live in a small town, and there are not a lot of pools available to frequent. We have a large aquatic center- that is big, and extremely crowded. Also- expensive for a family our size to go on a regular basis. The aquatic center is really the city's only option for a public pool- other than a pool in an area of town I am not really comfortable taking my children too.

I had a few friends who were members of our city's Country Club tell me about how amazing the pool was there. They told me that it had a 1 ft deep kids pool and two slides. One slide is for tiny toddler types, and the other one is bigger, and winds around and drops into a small area of 3 ft of water. Above this kid friendly area is a larger, lounge pool. This pool is 5 ft deep at its deepest area.

I felt like this was the perfect solution. So we jumped in.

I chose a pool that was not crowded. Too many people in one pool can be dangerous, and honestly- isn't any fun for anyone. So you can see why this was important to me. I wanted for us to be able to swim freely and be able to enjoy age appropriate/safe pool play, and this really is just that.

I chose a pool that is child friendly, and appealing. There are slides, and even a tiny waterfall falling over a large rock that they can splash under. There is a giant octopus and two fishes that spout out water (think splash park) that the kids can play in. It's a beach front entry, so the kids can ease their way into the water or smaller kids and babies can sit right down in and play with toys or under the sealife spouts and splash in. It really looks like a giant playground- just with water!

I also chose a pool that I would enjoy myself. I wanted to be just as excited as the kids to pack up and go! I love playing in the kids pool, and helping them with their skills in the larger pool. It's just as fun for me as it is for them!

I do have several rules that allow me to be safe and still be at the pool with all 4 babes.

1. Life jacket at all times for my 3 oldest if I am not physically in the water with them- even in the kids pool. (Yes, I will even sit out of the pool, with Wynn in the stroller next to me while the 3 big sisters stay in the kiddo pool and I eat lunch with friends) if I am out of the pool- life jackets are on (and guys- these things are incredibly effective!) and they can only stay in the kids pool. If Wynn is not in my arms she is in her flaotie and right next to me.

2. If we go the larger and deeper pool, they must wear their life jackets- unless I am working with one of the older two on swimming. In this case- only one of them can be without their life jacket- and I have to be totally focused on every move they make. So, I will have Wynn in her floatie that keeps her upright- and I keep my finger on it- while either Anslee or Kensington is practicing swimming back and forth to me. Then- they will switch and the other will be free to play near us in their life jacket.

3. We all stay together (for the most part) the exception being if I have a friend there who is willing to keep an eye on one of mine while I take the others with me to the lounge pool. Life jacket on- always.

My older 2 (Laynee has too,
But she is still so little that she stays in her life jacket the entire time we are at the pool) girls have been taking lessons twice a week all summer long- and they have done great. Since I have been taking them to this pool and allowing time for practice with me, I can really see the strides they have made. This is why if I am working with one at a time I will let them swim for a little while to me without their life jacket.

Being able to be at the pool was something I really wanted to make happen this year, and I feared it would just not be possible. I am so thankful we found the perfect pool, made some reasonable rules, and have worked on our skills enough to make this possible!

1 comment:

Carrie said...

Love this Shea! Such great tips! Thanks for sharing!