One parent with two non-swimming children at the beach/pool - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 26 Old 06-05-2007, 05:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This summer I will have a newborn and a 2.5 year old. I'd like to spend some time at the pool and at the beach, but will typically have to bring them all by myself.

Any tips? The 2.5 year old doesn't swim yet. She likes to be held in the water, but I'm thinking wading might be more our speed while I hold the newborn. (Are there water slings?)
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#2 of 26 Old 06-05-2007, 05:04 PM
 
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Check with the pool, there might be rules which require there to be one adult per child.

There are water slings - some made out of mesh and other lightweight, quick dry fabrics.

Good luck.

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#3 of 26 Old 06-05-2007, 05:06 PM
 
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I've seen/heard of water slings, but have never tried one myself. The 2.5 year old might like floating around in a lifejacket when you're not at wading depth. My almost 5 year old loves to swim (can't swim much yet) and will wear a lifejacket to swim on her own in deeper water. She is a little too wild at the pool (goes off the slide and diving board on her own) so I don't take both kids on my own and won't until the youngest can float on her own in a lifejacket and the older one can swim on her own.
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#4 of 26 Old 06-05-2007, 05:07 PM
 
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I wouldn't do it. But my kids are, uh, rather spirited.

If your 2.5 year old listens and sticks close to you, I think using a baby sling w/the newborn and staying in shallow water would be okay.

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#5 of 26 Old 06-05-2007, 05:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I wouldn't do it. But my kids are, uh, rather spirited.

If your 2.5 year old listens and sticks close to you, I think using a baby sling w/the newborn and staying in shallow water would be okay.
Right now my 2.5yo is quite timid when it comes to the water, she would definitely stick close by my side (if not actually cling to me the whole time).
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#6 of 26 Old 06-05-2007, 05:17 PM
 
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Get a water sling!

I have one and it has been indesbencible the last 2 summers

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#7 of 26 Old 06-05-2007, 05:20 PM
 
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Can you hire a mother's helper? A 10 year old can be trusted to run after the toddler while you stay with the newborn, and young kids don't need to be paid as much as adults or older teens.

Alternatively, try going to the beach/pool with another mama. Then you can take turns chasing the little kids in the water while somebody else stays with the baby(ies.)

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#8 of 26 Old 06-05-2007, 06:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Can you hire a mother's helper? A 10 year old can be trusted to run after the toddler while you stay with the newborn, and young kids don't need to be paid as much as adults or older teens.

Alternatively, try going to the beach/pool with another mama. Then you can take turns chasing the little kids in the water while somebody else stays with the baby(ies.)
Yeah, we're kinda broke this summer and I don't have a lot of (okay any) really local mama friends... so if I go it's going to be *mostly* alone, unfortunately.

Maybe I'll try it solo once and see if it's ridiculously stressful, if so I can look into getting some help...
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#9 of 26 Old 06-05-2007, 06:57 PM
 
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My oldest 2 were 3 yrs apart and we went to the pool all the time. Ours had a separte fenced wading pool that was 1 1/2ft deep. The beach was a blast. I purchased one of the small inflatable pools and filled it with ocean water that warmed in the sun. I would sit with the baby under the umbrella and ds1 would play in the sand and water. Its very doable what gets hard is when you have 2 moving in different directions.

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#10 of 26 Old 06-05-2007, 08:16 PM
 
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my 2.5 yr old is a clinger in water and i also have a new baby. as a result i won't be going to the pool this summer unless dh can come. my solution to the hot days will be to fill up a kiddy pool in our backyard and hang out there. is that an option?

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#11 of 26 Old 06-05-2007, 09:06 PM
 
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This was me last year! We did just fine. DD1 waded or was in a floatie. DD2 was in a little sunshaded seat near the pool or I would hold her out of the water. I wasn't comfortable putting a baby that young in the chlorinated water. I also couldn't find small enough swim pants and didn't want to take a chance with unpredictable-young-baby-breastmilk poos. I will tell you, getting out in the sun by the pool really helped with my PPD. I used to feel amazing when I got home.

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#12 of 26 Old 06-05-2007, 09:07 PM
 
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Well, it will be a lot easier now before you have a 3.5yo and a 1yo.

At that age my older son was very timid/safe around the water, and while he loved the beach, would gladly hold my hand while we splashed on the shore while I had the baby in the sling.

I stopped going by myself once my younger son got mobile. My youngest is almost 3yo, and I am just now a little more up to the challenge.

I would prefer a beach over a pool. I can't imagine how I would go in a pool with a toddler and a baby.
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#13 of 26 Old 06-05-2007, 10:05 PM
 
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You can make a mei tai out of solarveil (I think that's the name of it) and it will dry quickly and help protect the baby's skin, although it's a bit pricey. (makes a great stroller shade too, if you ever use a stroller). My friend did this and is a champ at taking her two kids. Often my son and I tag along, which makes 2 mums for three kids which isn't bad either.

The lifejacket is not a bad idea, but don't mistake it for supervision - it's sort of there to give you a minute extra, not to replace it.

For the chlorine - obviously do what makes you comfortable, but if it is an outdoor pool, I wouldn't worry so much about little lungs (as long as the baby doesn't get dunked) because the chlorine dissipates in the air so quickly. In a low-ceilinged indoor pool I would feel totally differently.

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#14 of 26 Old 06-06-2007, 12:34 AM
 
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I have a great solerveil ring sling that I think came from Kangaroo Korner. I expect it to be a lifesaver when I have another baby but I use it with dd anyway for walking along the beach, to the water from the parking, etc.

I know that www.gypsymama.com has a water wrap and I think a wrap would be great for this--very secure and hands free. Hotslings has a water pouch, and I have seen a water mei tai too, maybe from Babyhawk?

I think a water carrier is the way to go, and after one trip you'll know how it goes and whether you want to keep it up!

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#15 of 26 Old 06-06-2007, 01:18 AM
 
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lucien is almost 3 and marcus is 3 months and we have an in-ground pool. i wear marcus in a mesh taylor-made swim sling (bought at theslingstation.com or something like that) and lucien wears a tube with the tank-top like shirt thingee (it kinda looks like a tutu). he's been wearing it since last year and he's over 30 pounds now.

some public pools have rules about flotation aids so im not sure if that will help.
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#16 of 26 Old 06-06-2007, 06:38 AM
 
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Check with the pool, there might be rules which require there to be one adult per child.
That rule would shock me into the ground! They have this rule in Seattle?
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#17 of 26 Old 06-06-2007, 10:49 AM
 
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Yes, water slings are available and quite convenient.

FWIW, I often take my 4 children to the beach alone. The older kids have taken lessons, but aren't proficient swimmers yet. I have had no problems. At our beach, there is a shallow area that is roped off. All of the kids can reach the bottom without their heads going under in this area. The rule is that the kids have to stay in that area unless I take them into the deeper area. It's never been a problem, and the kids just lloooovveee going to the beach.

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#18 of 26 Old 06-06-2007, 10:52 AM
 
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:::dons lifegaurd hat:::

I would NOT under any circumstances take two non swimmers to a pool alone, esp. 2 that young. It is just not safe. I would go 1/2 as often and take another adult / mother's helper. I'm assuming there is a charge to get in wherever you go, so I would offer to pay her charge and give her some time off to swin on her own (while you were far away from the water with both kids). If you can't get someone I would invest in a kiddy pool and just let your 2.5 year old splash around in that. Yeah, it stinks to skip a summer of swimming but what can a parent do? Your kids' safety comes first. Also you shoudln't have a young baby / todder out at the beach for that long (esp. a newborn). Honestly I would just skip the pool / beach unless you can find someone else to go with you.

Signed,

The swimming teacher lifegaurd mom who loves swimming and loves teh beach but hasn't been since teh summer of 2003 because she has 2 (then 3) non swimmers.

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#19 of 26 Old 06-06-2007, 12:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OK, so I appreciate this as a concern, but how exactly is it not safe?

Let's say I'm wearing the newborn the whole time. So, presumably, nothing can happen to the baby without me noticing immediately.

This frees up my attention for the 2.5 year old, no? I ought to be able to keep my eyes on her at all times. Considering the fact that she is quite timid in the water and probably will only wade and play in the sand... I'm thinking that should be quite safe as long as I am attentive.

As added backup, we have flotation devices and there are always lifeguards on duty.

I guess I can see the pool being a concern, but not so much the beach? Am I being utterly naive?
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#20 of 26 Old 06-06-2007, 12:52 PM
 
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My concern would be if you had to jump in to save your toddler, what would you do with your newborn? I took my small ones to my mom's pool by myself but my mom was there. She can't swim, but at least she could help with the baby when I was in with my toddler. At the ocean, if all you do is walk the beach and maybe stick your toes in the water, you would be okay. But then again, if your toddler got swept in the waves a little, could you bend over and jump in to save him/her? You could always try it and it if doesn't work, you wouldn't have to go again.
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#21 of 26 Old 06-06-2007, 12:59 PM
 
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I didn't have quite this situation last summer, but I had a 3.5 year old and an almost 1 year old. We went to the pool a couple of times, but it was too much for me. My 3.5 year old wanted all my attention and my little one wanted to crawl off and get into trouble. This year I may try it once, but no way am I getting a pool pass. My now almost 2 year old is FAST and rather mischevious. I tend to need two extra people to help keep track of him if I want to pay any attention to my older son. It's bummer. I hope the sling works out for you, though!

Marie-Mom to two boys and a girl.
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#22 of 26 Old 06-06-2007, 01:13 PM
 
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OK, so I appreciate this as a concern, but how exactly is it not safe?

It's not safe to keep a newborn (or really a 2.5 year old for that matter) out in the sun all day. It's not just the sunscreen / wearing covering clothes. It's the heat, the reflection from the sand, everything.

Let's say I'm wearing the newborn the whole time. So, presumably, nothing can happen to the baby without me noticing immediately.

The baby can get overheated. The baby can need to nurse, the baby can be hot in the sling (even a water sling, it's hot in the sun and if you are near teh water w/ your 2.5 year old I assume you are not in the shade). The baby can be thirsty from being hot, and it can be hard to nurse in a sling (or some babies don't like to).


This frees up my attention for the 2.5 year old, no? I ought to be able to keep my eyes on her at all times. Considering the fact that she is quite timid in the water and probably will only wade and play in the sand... I'm thinking that should be quite safe as long as I am attentive.

She can get swept by a wave, she can step on a rock, she can get water splashed in her face and be frightened. She can overcome her timidness and decide to run in the waves and wind up in a non ideal situation.


As added backup, we have flotation devices and there are always lifeguards on duty.

Flotation devices are actually more dangerous in the ocean. She can slip and get swept away. The lifegaurd is watching a huge number of people. He/she is a good backup, but can't be counted on to keep an extra eye on your 2yo if you are tryuing to latch a fussy baby.

I guess I can see the pool being a concern, but not so much the beach? Am I being utterly naive?

I am NOT trying to be a party pooper, I am just trying to be realistic. The pool would probably actually be better. There is usually more shade, there might be a kiddy pool where the lifegaurd is only watching the kids, there are places nearby or indoors where you can bring the baby to cool off, there won't be sand blowing in the newborn's face, you can lie the newborn on a blanket near you and not worry about sand on his / her face. I wold feel better about a community pool than a beach, esp. if there is a kiddie / wading pool.

OK I hate trying to quote. I'm going to bold what I said b/c it just blends in as one long quote.

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#23 of 26 Old 06-06-2007, 02:56 PM
 
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:::dons lifegaurd hat:::

I would NOT under any circumstances take two non swimmers to a pool alone, esp. 2 that young. It is just not safe. I would go 1/2 as often and take another adult / mother's helper. I'm assuming there is a charge to get in wherever you go, so I would offer to pay her charge and give her some time off to swin on her own (while you were far away from the water with both kids). If you can't get someone I would invest in a kiddy pool and just let your 2.5 year old splash around in that. Yeah, it stinks to skip a summer of swimming but what can a parent do? Your kids' safety comes first. Also you shoudln't have a young baby / todder out at the beach for that long (esp. a newborn). Honestly I would just skip the pool / beach unless you can find someone else to go with you.

Signed,

The swimming teacher lifegaurd mom who loves swimming and loves teh beach but hasn't been since teh summer of 2003 because she has 2 (then 3) non swimmers.
I think it depends on the pool.

We have two pools here that have entirely separate toddler pools - one has steps into it, the other has a "beach" entrance. Both toddler pools are shallow enough that I could easily hold a newborn and reach under to get a toddler. And there are lifeguards there - not that I would depend on them for vigilance, but if an emergency occured, yes.

I actually consider those toddler pools safer than the wading pool at home because there ARE other adults around in case of a situation. They are both about the depth of a wading pool (one has a section that is a little deeper).

I mention this because I think that is is really important to be safe and to evaluate situations, knowing your kids, but I do not honestly believe that the only answer is to not take two children anywhere.

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#24 of 26 Old 06-06-2007, 03:13 PM
 
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I think it depends on the pool.

We have two pools here that have entirely separate toddler pools - one has steps into it, the other has a "beach" entrance. Both toddler pools are shallow enough that I could easily hold a newborn and reach under to get a toddler. And there are lifeguards there - not that I would depend on them for vigilance, but if an emergency occured, yes.

I actually consider those toddler pools safer than the wading pool at home because there ARE other adults around in case of a situation. They are both about the depth of a wading pool (one has a section that is a little deeper).

I mention this because I think that is is really important to be safe and to evaluate situations, knowing your kids, but I do not honestly believe that the only answer is to not take two children anywhere.
I had three kids under 18 months, so I know it is possible to go out with 3 little kids. Heck Ithink it's easy now with 3 kids under 4, different world than 3 under 2 kwim?

Honestly, I wasn't really thinking about toddler wading pools. I think those are safe (as I said in the other post where I said pool was better than beach). I really think the issue is with a regular pool and / or the beach. Even though I would take my 3 almost anywhere by myself, I wouldn't take them to a regular pool or the beach alone. Certainly not this summer, and I doubt I would do it next summer. It's simply too hard to keep a good eye on 2 or 3 little kids in such a potentially dangerous situation. I would take my 3 to a toddler pool by myself at this point, but I would be VERY careful, esp. if the main pool is close to the toddler pool and tehre was a chance a child could wander off.

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#25 of 26 Old 06-06-2007, 04:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just to clarify, when I said the beach I meant the local lake, not the ocean... so no riptides to fear.

And I'm not silly enough to take a newborn "out in the sun all day", I'm thinking an hour long trip to the lake would be plenty.

Please, folks, give me some credit here.
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#26 of 26 Old 06-06-2007, 06:11 PM
 
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As for the pool---I agree with other posters who say that's way too much work.
But, I live by the ocean, and I mean literally...so there is no avoiding it.
My kids don't seem to pay any attention to the actual water--they would rather throw sand in each other's hair and bury their toys in it and then drag it into the house everywhere. It's a pain.
But I do not let them outside without my supervision for fear of many things, including the ocean itself--but the ocean is the least of my worries it seems--my biggest worry is how fast the tourists drive when beach season comes around. When I have time, which is very rare, I find one of the most relaxing things I can do is sit in a chair and watch them play--I've never seen any small child (and we see a lot of them in the homes around us that are rented for the summer) run straight into the waves or anything, usually they play 'tag' with the waves coming and going (you know, run down to the water and as it comes in, turn and run back up the beach) OR they just ignore the water, as they are more fascinated by the sand, shells, remains of sea creatures, etc.
My kids are three and five and we've lived in our current home (by the ocean) for three years.
My son was a newborn when we arrived--and the only thing that was tough with a baby was that he wanted to put the sand in his mouth--eewww...and nursing wasn't easy because he was easily distracted by all the sights and sounds.
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