Exploring Seattle: Public Pools
Exploring this city with a baby or toddler is a whole new experience. Gone are the days of going anywhere at the drop of a hat, staying at one place as long as you wanted and going home when you felt like it. Now it's all about nap time, snacks, lunch, diaper changes, where your stroller can fit and how long they'll stay in it. I wanted to create a series of options that make getting out of the house the most pleasant for everyone involved. They will highlight great places to explore with your baby/toddler/child that's also easy on you.
We started swim lessons for Totes here when he was 5 months old to get him familiar early with the water. He loved it! The pool is heated to 85 degrees, but most importantly they keep the air temp high so it feels warmer all around. By contrast, we have been to other pools where the water was just as warm, but the air was much cooler and he was miserably cold the whole time and clung to me for body heat. Needless to say swim lessons were rather unproductive at that point. I recommend a rash gaurd with long sleeves and if your little one is still too cold, consider a baby wetsuit, which keeps body heat in (Jojo Maman Bebe Baby Warm Wetsuit).
They also have a jacuzzi tub to dip in after your 30 minute pool session to warm up before heading to the locker rooms. Queen Anne Pool has a sauna kept at a reasonable temperature, comfortable for babies to stay in for a few minutes to warm up.
There are community pools in all neighborhoods of Seattle. Check out the Seattle Parks & Recreation page for information, locations and schedules.
I have had several people ask me if I feel that swim lessons this early on did any good. Definitely! He was so comfortable in the water that we all went swimming a few times in Lake Washington this summer and he LOVED it. I credit early exposure for this.
By the way, these floaties from SwimWays are the BEST! A must have even for shallow pools.