View Full Version : When did you manage 2 kids at the pool by yourself?
07-24-2009, 10:48 AM
I have been going to my parents' community pool but it takes two and a half adults to manage!
Either my dad or I are in the pool with fearless 2yo DD, who can't swim yet but thinks she can and doesn't like to hold onto us, OR one of us is with DS in the stroller or holding him on the pool deck. He is too little to go in the pool yet.
And then if I have to run to the bathroom or something I have just been leaving DS in a stroller with my mom right there.
I could probably manage with just two capable adults but I know some moms take all their kids solo to the pool and I'm wondering how they manage. Do you basically have to wait until at least one of them can really swim while you hold the other one?
No personal experience but I think there are infant carriers/slings made for water use - - or you could just use an old bjorn off of craigslist.
07-24-2009, 10:59 AM
Thankfully ds1 is so much older than ds2 that I don't have the same worries. Last year, when ds2 was 6-8m, the pool was actually a breeze. This year it is a lot harder! We go to a small pool where the baby pool is maybe 15' away from the big pool and the chairs are really close to the side of the pool. Last year I would take ds1 and ds2 into the big pool, while holding ds2. Or, I would leave ds2 in his stroller by the side of the pool. I made friends with a lot of other parents so and there were never many people at the pool so I felt ok leaving ds2 over there in his stroller. I never loved it though so I sat out there with him a fair bit. I am doing even more of the sitting with him this year b/c some days it is too much work to chase him!
I did buy a carrier at One Step Ahead last year but found that it was just as easy to hold ds2. However, if I had a 2yo that needed hands on help I could see a lot of merit in the carrier.
07-24-2009, 11:18 AM
I actually went when the boys were really young. Gator was 2 and Cha Cha was 6months old. However, I went with a girlfriend who could watch the boys while I went to the bathroom and I put weight and size-appropriate lifevests on both of them. Oh, and I went to a pool that had a zero-depth entry and was intended for babies and toddlers.
I wouldn't have done it in a regular pool alone. Or even in a toddler pool alone. I guess you could put them in a stroller and wheel them into the restroom while you went potty. But that would be the ONLY way (eww- babies on the floor of the bathroom- ewww!).
07-24-2009, 11:47 AM
DS was just-turned 2 the summer I first had 2 babies. DD was 7 months when the pool opened. I had DS wearing a speedo vest from Target and he bobbed around while I had DD in a water sling by TaylorMade. I gave it away and then had to buy another one when baby #3 was born.
So I did it by myself from the very beginning. I always had a stroller for getting from the car to the pool and if DD fell asleep, I could lay her in it in the shade.
It's definitely not easy. But now I am supervising 3, and it's even harder. Baby is approaching age 2 and is fearless. DD is 6 and a passable swimmer, but really has to be watched. DS #1 is 8 and he's basically on his own, but is a good, strong swimmer. I really liked the sling and found it so much harder once they started trying to move away from me.
And I still don't go to the pool without already having my swimsuit on, because there is NO time for mama to do anything - it's all about keeping up with the little ones. So I pack a big, well-stocked bag so as not to have to go back to the car.
07-24-2009, 12:17 PM
DS1 is 2.5 and the baby is 5 months and I think I could handle them both fine in the pool (DS1 is getting to be a pretty decent swimmer). But I think afterwards would be too much of a pita trying to get them showered, dressed, etc. I'll probably wait until next summer before attempting it on my own.
07-24-2009, 12:20 PM
My girls are 3.5 (and fearless) and I still can't handle them alone, except in a wading pool. We can do splash pads and the like, but not the real pool. They will run and jump in the deep end without thinking twice.
07-24-2009, 01:09 PM
This summer is the first summer that I've been able to take the kids in the pool by myself, and it's also the first (sort of) summer that I've had three kids (Fiona as a newborn doesn't count, 'cause she stayed when I put her down somewhere). Both boys are able to float around with those rings, without any help from me. So I can get in and hold the baby, if I feel like it. Should one of the boys slip out of the ring, I'm confident I'd be able to get to him in time.
07-24-2009, 01:44 PM
I still would not take my kids to the pool by myself. Sarah can swim, but is not a strong swimmer. Amy is a daredevil with no fear at all, so I don't feel like I could safely take them both by myself. If there were another adult around that I could depend on to help me out, that would be OK.
07-24-2009, 01:46 PM
I just got back from taking both kids to the pool. :D My local Y has morning toddler hours for 6 and under at the outdoor pool. This falls during DS's morning nap time, so I carry him in a solarveil sling and he usually sleeps for most of the time. The attendance is very low compared to normal hours so it is really easy to keep an eye on DD. Also, we have friends who usually show up so I can tap them for a few minutes if necessary.
07-24-2009, 01:56 PM
DD is 31 mos and DS is 20 mos. There is no way I can handle them both by myself.... and we have a pool. We can only use it when DH is available to be in the pool to help.
I think if it was one of those gradual walk in pools it might be easier.
07-24-2009, 01:59 PM
I can just manage by myself, but would rather not. DS1 can swim, but I put him in a life vest anyway. DD is in a life vest. DS2 is in a life vest. See the pattern :).
Anyway, I hold onto DS2 and th others can play. They do a good job of staying near me. I do not go to the bathroom myself. If I have to take one of the kids, I can manage.
Generally, my mom comes with me though.
07-24-2009, 02:00 PM
By myself - just this year with a 6.5 fairly decent swimmer and a FEARLESS toddler. We go in the zero-depth side and DS1 knows he can go over to the other part w/o me. I will then take DS2 in the regular side (connected thorugh small waterway with a lifeguard posted right there) just in case DS1 needs me, but he understands the rules and never goes to deep. He understands I am dead serious about this and he will lose big kid side priveleges for the remainder of summer if he goes too deep. I'm fairly close to him but it scares me just how quickly a child can drown. We also only go for "family swim" because it's far less crowded than open swim which makes it easier to keep my eye on him.
07-24-2009, 02:15 PM
DD1 was 5 months her first summer, so I took them- DS 21 months and DD 5 months- by myself all the time. I would schedule it around her feedings. I would get all three of us ready, nurse her and head right out the door so I could have at least a couple hours of being able to focus on DS. DD ususally fell asleep on the way to the pool so I could just leave her in the stroller.
I have taken all three to the pool by myself this summer (I swear, I've lost my marbles!). Again, I try to work it around feedings. If I need to feed the baby while we're there I will have the other 2 get out of the pool and give them a snack or a popsicle to occupy them while I nurse. I keep the baby in the stroller in the shade or I will position myself so she is completely shaded if she's in one of her many "hold me" moments!
So far it's been okay, but I definitely prefer to have an extra set of hands with me!
07-24-2009, 02:17 PM
I guess you could put them in a stroller and wheel them into the restroom while you went potty. But that would be the ONLY way (eww- babies on the floor of the bathroom- ewww!).
I bought cheap flip flops for my kids that are their "pool" flip flops. I make them put them on when we have to go to the bathroom. I shower them off befor we leave so they have become their "shower shoes" as well. Bare feet- ewwwww!
07-24-2009, 02:47 PM
I have taken the kids to the pool for the past couple of summers, but I always go with a friend. Even though my friends have kids of their own with them, it's just easier to have an extra person just in case of potty trips, etc.
07-24-2009, 03:05 PM
We first joined a pool when I had two kids that were 20 months and 4yo. That was very do-able. The following summer, though, I didn't go alone when I had three kids that were 5, 2.5 and 6 months. Then I went again the next summer and have been going ever since and now they're 8, 5 and 3.
We're lucky that our pool has a great shallow area that's 2 feet deep and it's a good-sized space. I'm usually there with the 3 and 5yo. The 8yo is totally independent and can go anywhere alone.
Also, the baby pool is immediately adjacent to the big pool and I can even sit on a chair and watch kids in both pools at once when my youngest chooses to go in the baby pool.
We're also allowed to have rafts/floats in the pool so the 3yo sometimes hangs out in a little tube right with me while I play with the older two in deeper water.
07-24-2009, 03:48 PM
My kids are 4.5 and 2.5. I can take them both to the pool without a problem. My older one plays while my younger one likes to sit on the steps or in the shallow area. My problem is *leaving* the pool. My younger one never wants to. I have yet to figure out a way to leave without her throwing a gigantic fit. Not even bribery has worked. That's why the inflatable pool went up today and we stayed home!
07-24-2009, 04:11 PM
I have a 4 yr old and 2 yr old. Last year I could just plop the little one in a floatie. This year they both are active, so the only way I can do it is to have them wear water wings or use blow-up rings. We are in swim lessons, but I can't take them to the pool by myself unless they have water wings. I know they don't get much practice with them on, but they get to play when mommy takes them alone!
Getting out of the pool is not bad. My 2 yr old is pretty mellow - I wrap him up and lay him down and then change DD into clothes and DS just lays there waiting his turn. My 4 yo finally stays by my side (and is not beelining to the deep end while I am wrapping up DS!).
One thing that really helped this year are those Lands End poncho towels that have the hood on them. I just throw them over their heads and then take turns drying them - nobody gets cold and whiney.
If someone has to go to the bathroom, it is such a pain because we have to all get out of the pool. But, luckily that is rare b/c I make DD go right before we go to the pool.
07-24-2009, 04:54 PM
I can't do it yet. DS is 4 and fearless but not yet with much swimming ability. Ditto for DD who is 2. Currently we go with another adult or else I take DD swimming while DS has his swimming lesson. I am hoping that by next summer DS will be more proficient in the water and it will be a little more doable by myself. We'll see.
07-24-2009, 05:15 PM
This is the first year I am comfortable taking my boys to the pool myself. The are 6 1/2 and almost 5. The older one has been a good swimmer for about 2 years and DS#2 kind of "got it" in the spring. They are both little fish now. :)
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