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A rubber duck floats in a swimming pool

Your first swimming lesson: what do you need to pack?

Stacey Solomon recently shared a gorgeous video of her son, Rex, enjoying his first swimming lesson. The video really made us smile, and for a number of reasons! 

First and foremost, Stacey is teaching her son a valuable life-saving skill; even from an early age, Rex will be learning important lessons about water safety. Secondly, the smile on his little face – I mean, how cute is that?! He is loving his first lesson, and his smile is reflected on Stacey’s on face – beautiful mummy-baby bonding moment right there. Thirdly, Stacey is rocking that black and white bikini! There’s so much pressure on us mums to snap back into shape after having kids; let me tell you, though… it doesn’t just ping back! Stacey looks fantastic, and is showing off her impressive post-baby body with pride – it’s lovely, and so refreshing to see. Finally, we love how honest Stacey is – about her nervous she was about ‘dunking’ Rex in the water, and about how she forgot to pack her underwear before heading off to the pool.

My first swimming lesson

Stacey’s confession about her underwear – of lack of, should I say! – brought back memories of the first time I took my little girl swimming. She was about 11 weeks old. Although I was starting to become a little bit more confident at this whole parenting thing – or getting better at winging it – that ‘baby brain’ fog was still there (on that note, does it ever go away?!).

A parent-baby swimming lesson – lots of smiles, giggles, and wonderful memories

I’d remembered to pack a nice soft, hooded towel for after the lesson. I had swim nappies for Evie, and a neoprene Happy Nappy to put on ever the top – boy, that was a struggle and a half to get on a wiggly baby! As she was still so little, I had a swim vest to go over the top, too. Trying to be organised, I’d gone to the pool with my swimming costume under my clothes. Thankfully, I had remembered to pack underwear – unlike poor Stacey! I also had, like every new mum: several outfit changes,, enough nappies to last a week, wipes, nappy bags, a hat in case it was cold, sun cream (just in case), Calpol, a couple of toys for entertainment, a teething ring (why, at that age, I’m not sure!), the kitchen sink, a partridge in a pear tree, and various other important things.

Uh oh (and that’s putting it mildly!)

You might think that I sounded pretty organised, right? Any guesses what I had forgotten to pack? A towel for me. So, I ended up using Evie’s baby towel, which by that point was soaking wet. That wasn’t the end of it, though.

After leaving the pool, I headed to the car park to find that my car wasn’t there. I started to doubt where I had parked it, but the ticket in my hand confirmed that this was, indeed, where I had left my car just an hour before. There was a ticket warden walking around who spotted that I was in distress, so he came over to help. He asked me for my vehicle registration number, which I gave to him. He then gave me a look that I can only describe as pity, and pointed over at my ‘mummy wagon’  parked mere meters away. Turns out I had completely forgotten that I had, just a few months earlier, swapped my car – ditched the impractical three-door pride of joy, and traded it in for a sensible five-door with a large boot. I have to admit, I felt pretty embarrassed! Of course, I blamed baby brain, and I still do every time I do something a bit silly (even though my little one is now three years old).

What to put in your swimming bag

OK, so back to the point… what should you actually pack when you take your child swimming. We’ve put together a handy list for you – print it off and stick it on your fridge so that, unlike me and Stacey, you don’t end up forgetting something rather important!

>> Download our handy Swimming: things to pack checklist

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