4 Mistakes To Avoid When Swimming With A Toddler

The sprog and I have been swimming with Water Babies pretty much every week for the last 1.5 years. During this time, I’ve learnt a lot – both in terms of what to do and what not to do before, during and after swimming.

I hate to jinx myself, but things are going pretty bloody well swimming-wise at the moment. Toddler L is LOVING the water more than ever, with any notion of water wobbles a thing of the past. Every week she gets more confident and able in the pool – seeing how far she has come is truly remarkable.

I’ve also become somewhat of an expert – for instance, I can arrive in the car park at 9.26am and have us both changed and in the pool by 9.28am. People praise Clark Kent for his ability to quickly change outfits from man to superhero, but I’m able to do that with a toddler in tow. I don’t see him doing that. He ain’t got shit on me.

Another fab @waterbabiesuk swimming lesson today. Chapter 4 nearly done!

A photo posted by The DADventurer (Dave) (@the_dadventurer) on

Although I may have other dads in the changing room looking at me and silently mouthing “wow”, I’m happy to admit that it’s not always been easy – just to clarify, that’s a “wow” because of my ability to get the sprog and I changed quickly, not because I’ve just pulled down my Speedos.

I’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way, but have made sure that I’ve learnt from them. However, if there’s one thing that children bring to the table, it’s uncertainty. Kids have an annoying knack of mixing things up – just when you think you’ve got everything mastered, they go and change what and how they do things.

So, as a way of ensuring that you don’t encounter some of the failings, mistakes and misdemeanours I’ve made, here’s four things NOT to do when swimming with your baby / toddler. You. Are. Welcome.


Don’t Let Your Toddler Piss In A Locker

You’d think that not pissing in a locker was common sense, however it’s now happened twice. You may recall that in a previous post, I gave the advice to treat a changing room like soft play. This has been a technique I’ve employed for a while now to keep the toddler entertained as I get changed.

In addition to exploring the showers, toilets, sinks and hand dryers, Toddler L loves to climb into the lockers. They’re just the perfect height for her to stand inside as she creates her very own version of peekaboo. However, I often let her do this when she’s just wearing her hooded towel prior to getting changed. This has resulted in a couple of ‘accidents’ best summed up by the mathematical equation:

No Nappy + Not Potty Trained + Locker = Pissy Feet + Pissy Locker + Flustered Dad

It’s not all bad though. At least she’s not had a dump in the locker. Yet.


Don’t Let Your Toddler Acknowledge Naked Men

So this point may not be that relevant for the females reading – unless you’ve gone into the wrong changing room by mistake – but bare with me (Get it! Bare! ROFL. LOL).

We go swimming at a hotel pool, so the changing rooms are also inhabited by people using other facilities such as the gym. From what I’ve seen, blokes – particularly the older, fatter ones – are more than happy to parade around naked in the changing rooms. For context, I usually do the awkward ‘pull your trousers up with towel around your waist’ gyration as I’m not *that* comfortable being undressed in public.

For an inquisitive toddler with no concept of social norms, a stranger’s low swinging cock and balls provides a point of intrigue, confusion and amusement. So much so that she often acknowledges their head height presence with an overly energetic point, wave or ‘sentence’ such as “Man. Stick. Look.”.

Apologising to someone as they stand stark bollock naked in front of you is something that I thought I’d never have to do in my lifetime. Well, if we ignore the night that I lost my virginity…


Don’t Let Your Toddler Steal Your Glasses

Unfortunately, my eyes are defective. This means that I have to wear contact lenses or glasses to correct my dodgy genes. As water and contact lenses are a no-no – plus because I’d like to see what my daughter is doing in the pool – I’m left with little option but to become an aquatic speccy four eyes.

Wearing glasses whilst swimming creates some problems though. Firstly, I need to take them off when doing underwater swims with the sprog. Secondly, it only takes a drop of water to distort my vision. And thirdly, Toddler L loves nothing more than trying to wrestle them off my face.

Actually, I lie. She loves nothing more than trying to wrestle them off my face, then purposefully dropping them into the water. What usually ensues is me frantically using any – and sometimes all – of my body parts to simultaneously stop both her and my glasses falling to their watery grave at the bottom of the pool.

Don’t worry though, she’s only touched the bottom twice.


Don’t Forget Your Toddler’s Nappy For Afterwards

One of my ‘finest’ parenting moment came a few weeks ago when we went swimming. I’ve made a lot of mistakes as a dad, but none so rookie as leaving the house in a hurry without a nappy. I obviously hadn’t realised until it was too late. By too late, I mean frenziedly looking through my bag for the seventeenth time in the hope of finding a nappy after swimming, all whilst a soggy toddler stands there wondering what I’m doing.

On realising that I didn’t have a nappy with me, I tried to figure out what to do. Having briefly toyed with the idea wrapping her in a towel or just hoping for the best, I decided to instead stuff her trousers with toilet paper. A pretty genius idea – well, until she pulled it out again.

Luckily, once in the car seat, the straps prevented her from removing the bog roll. We were home 15 minutes later – the journey usually takes 25 minutes – without any pissy or crappy incidents from either of us. I now ensure that I keep a spare nappy in the car. At. All. Times.


So those are four mistakes I’ve made whilst swimming with Toddler L. I hope that you learn from my mistakes. Has anything ever gone wrong when you’ve gone swimming with your kids? What lessons do you have to share with other parents? Let me know below!

It still baffles me why it took so long to find Nemo. He’s there!

A photo posted by The DADventurer (Dave) (@the_dadventurer) on


Like this? Then you might like my other swimming-related posts such as baby swimming vs toddler swimming and 4 things I’ve learnt from baby swimming lessons.

N.B. We receive complimentary Water Babies lessons in exchange for sharing our swimming experiences.