10 Steps for Surviving the Pool with a Baby or Toddler

I only have 18 months experience with taking Surviving the Pool with a Baby or Toddlera kid to the pool, so you can take this with a grain of salt. Whether you’re going to Parent & Tot swimming lessons, or just going to the pool for fun, here are my tips for surviving the pool with a baby or toddler.

10 Steps for Surviving the Pool with a Baby or Toddler:

Step 1: Everyone have a snack before you go.

Step 2: Make sure you’re wearing a swimsuit that won’t distract you every 3 seconds. (make sure it fits, covers what you want covered, and won’t give out on you mid swim). Don’t worry about shaving, greasy hair, bikini lines, or your gut. No one is looking at you, they are looking at your cute kid.

Step 3: Put your swimsuit on before you leave the house. Wear as few piecesSurviving the Pool with a Baby or Toddler of clothing as possible. I wear a dress and flip flops regardless of the weather. (If its snowing I wear boots). I don’t bring socks, bras, underwear, sweaters etc. If its cold, I add a jacket that covers my boobs so its not so nipply.

Same goes for the kid. If you’re 30 seconds from the pool (like we are), I slap a swim diaper on him before I leave the house. If I’m expecting a poo, or the drive is further, leave them in a normal diaper. Those swim diapers are only meant as poo catchers; they absorb nothing. If we’re going first thing in the morning; he’s still wearing his sleeper when we go. His shoes are easy slip on/offs. And his outfit for coming home is as few pieces as possible.

When he was 4-8 months old, swimming lessons were in the evening so his attire when leaving was his pjs. One piece, zips up, makes it as easy as possible. If you have a little girl, a dress is perfect “go home” attire. I often put Callahan in a romper for going home. One piece, zipper, you get the picture. Do not fuck around with snaps! Zippers are the way to go!

Step 4: Pack a toy or an easy to manage snack, or both depending on the kid’s age. No stuffed animals or books as they will get wet.

Step 5: Once you’re in the change room, rearrange your bag so that the items you’ll need first are at the top, lessening the amount of stuff that gets soaked and making the going home meltdowns endured for as short a time as possible.

Step 6: Have fun swimming!Surviving the Pool with a Baby or Toddler

Step 7: Take them in the hot tub for a couple minutes before you shower. This helps them to mellow out. It used to be the only time we would get cuddles from Callahan! He would be ready to fall asleep within 2 minutes. Plus you deserve some time in a hot tub.

Step 8: When showering the kids, use a “sleepy time” soap to help them have a big long nap or ease into bedtime. Do not attempt showering yourself. You can shower at home in peace, once they are asleep.

Step 9: Dry your arms, face, and chest to keep from getting them wet every time you dry them. Get them changed and in their shoes, then give them the snack/toy. Quickly slip back into your dress (your choice on whether you wear your wet swimsuit home or not).

In the summer I’ve just dried myself while still wearing my swimsuit, put Surviving the Pool with a Baby or Toddlermy dress over-top and gone home. In the winter, I usually take it off and slip the dress on (minus undergarments because that’s unnecessary fuckery). Wear a jacket and BAM! No one knows you’re not actually dressed like a lady. Putting on a bra while you’re still kinda wet/sticky from the humidity is a pain in the ass. So why bother?!

Flip flops are key here too because then you don’t have to wear socks and do the one foot hopping routine to keep them dry.  If its snowing, I’d recommend boots, but also, don’t bother with socks. I’d prefer to be cold for a few minutes on the way home, than attempt looking put together with my kid running around the change room like a madman.

Step 10: Go home and enjoy nap time. (hopefully)

Hot Tips:

-Get a bag big enough that you can fit everything into just the one bag.

-Pack light. If you’re going straight to the pool and straight home, you don’t need to look like a million bucks, and your clothes can be less bulky. And you definitely don’t need more than one toy or snack. Get that shit all in one bag!

-Kids are slippery when wet. They are jacked to go swimming, and then Surviving the Pool with a Baby or Toddlerthey are tired miserable bastards when you’re trying to get changed and go home. Prepare yourself. I highly recommend going with someone else so that you can take turns. A 2:1 ratio of adults to kids is ideal. But another mom friend is good because then you can both be in the same change room and take turns corralling children while the other mom gets changed.

-The family change room always has a humidity level 3 billion times that of the women’s or men’s change rooms. I don’t know why, so for now I’ll enjoy using the women’s change room until Callahan is too old and we’re forced to use the family change room.

-You’re going to be bagged too, so try to nap if they are napping. You deserve it.

So there you have it, a no BS pool routine from a mom that prefers to use the word “efficient” instead of “lazy”.

Surviving the Pool with a Baby or Toddler

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The Descent Into Madness

It’s 4pm, the sun is closing in on the horizon. You notice that the tone of the room has changed. The hair on the back of your neck stands up; you quickly look at your toddler, their smiling face has turned into a momentary 1000 mile stare. Your butt puckers when they let loose their battle cry, signifying the descent into madness that is Dinner Time.

The first stop on your slow and agonizing descent into insanity, is the task The Descent Into Madnessthat requires the most multitasking, focus, and agility. Making Dinner. You have to whip something up quickly, while your toddler rotates between clinging to your leg like a leech, reaching for the knife on the counter, and climbing onto the table. Every time you open a drawer, he’s there, reaching in, grabbing the soy sauce and shaking the bottle as he runs away. Every time you take a step, you trip over him, sending him flying into the cupboards. Now he’s crying. Well, fuck kid, what did you expect? You strap him into the highchair and hand him a portion of his dinner. Just a few more minutes you say, ya right. Eventually you manage to get some semblance of a healthy meal put together. And now the real work starts.

You’ve whipped up a meal, you’ve dodged your kid over and over, and now you have to find somewhere deep inside of you, a level of patience so high, even nun’s look at you in awe. You see, you’re once amazing eater has turned into a complete and raging asshole. Suddenly, he doesn’t want to eat anything, despite being hungry. A meal he scarfed down yesterday he turns his nose at today. When he does take a bite, he chews it for a few seconds and then spits it out. Oh, lets not forget about the fact that now he won’t even think of taking the food if he isn’t feeding it to himself. Greeeeaaaaat. That alone slows the process down by 10-fold.

You sit there, without distraction, having left your phone elsewhere so you could compete at your highest level. You will face no greater challenge in your time than feeding a toddler dinner. You’re a competitive athlete? Your skills are useless here. Oh, you’re a competitive chess player? Your skills are also useless here. You negotiate treaties/with actual terrorists/hostile takeovers? YA AGAIN, NOT GONNA HELP YOU HERE.

A toddler is an effective manipulator because they don’t speak your language. Their body language makes no sense. And their logic is non-existent. You can’t figure out what they are thinking. One bite is too hot, despite you checking, the next bite is totally fine, despite being the exact same temperature as the previous bite. But the most difficult challenge in this daily mind fuck, is that you don’t know when it will be over.

Will it be over in 15 minutes? Will he eat everything? Is this just a phase, or is my kid a complete dickhead now? How long is this phase gonna last? Next week, next year? Until he moves out? The trick is to take it one day at a time; don’t think of anything more than the amount of food you’ve set as the bare minimum.

You clap, you sing, you cheer with every bite. You yell, you swat, you curse, you clean up spilled food.

Finally, you sigh with relief when he finishes. Hell, you sigh with relief even if he didn’t. Whether you finished the feat of strength with a “OH YA WELL THAT’S ALL SHE WROTE KID!” and sent him on his way. Or you managed to finish it with some semblance of dignity, you attempted to nourish him. That’s all anyone can ask.

The Descent Into Madness

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Holiday Gift Guide for Parents of Toddlers

Looking for gift ideas for your friends or family that have a toddler? Look no further! You’ll be the favourite friend/family member for years to come when you provide your loved ones with one of these gifts!

Dinner

No, not for them, please feed the tiny monster dinner. Be prepared, this will be like trying to convince Trump to stop tweeting; “No Sir, trust us, this will be good for you.” “PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD STOP MAKING A MESS!”

Morning-After Babysitting

The fear of having to parent hungover, is what nightmares are made of. Give them the gift of not having to deal with real life hitting them like a brick at 6am. Bonus points for having the coffee ready for them when they wake up.

House Cleaning

You’ve been to their house, you’ve seen the sticky fingerprints on everything, and the piles of paperwork, laundry, and dishes that never seem to get done. Whether you clean it for them, hire someone, or take the tiny tyrant off their hands for a day so they can FINALLY get to the bottom of their to-do list, they will feel like they’ve been to therapy and had a massive breakthrough, not breakdown.

A Barrel of Coffee

Not Costco sized. A 50L drum of coffee.

A New Coffee Machine

They’ve probably worn theirs out. It needs an on button, and a brew button. Easy to use even when deliriously tired.

Babysit the Doggo

This one needs to be repeated.

Do they have a furry friend in the family? Is the little fluff ball being ignored on the regular? Or is the canine companion annoying as shit and not helping itself out? Take the dog for a day or weekend. Get it groomed (especially nails clipped), and give the dog the attention it’s owners wish they could give him. Burn all the dogs energy before returning it home, so that it does nothing but sleep for 2 days.

Booze

Booze is always a good gift.

Things NOT to get them

Toys for their kid that make lots of noise.

Anything breakable.

Hobbies, don’t get them anything that could be considered “a hobby”. They ain’t got time for that.

Books. They do not have the time for such a luxury.

Holiday Gift Guide for Parents of Toddlers

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