Heading to your local pool or beach with tots in tow can be a daunting task, to say the very least! The worries of managing your tribe multiply as you factor in sun, sand, and easy access to open water for tykes that are barely toddling, let alone swimming. Here are a few simple suggestions to guarantee that you and your little ones have fun in the sun this summer...
- Apply sunblock at home. This goes for you and the kiddos. Once they set foot on sand or sight on that kiddie pool, the battle of the sunblock will officially be lost. Save yourself the struggle by applying sunblock with the last diaper change or trip to the potty before you leave home. This way, by the time you reach your destination, the lotion will be absorbed and you can start your day with one battle won.
- Set boundaries and stick to them. Want your kids to stay in the kiddie pool? Then don't introduce them to the big one. Not with Dad, not with big brother, not with you, not at all. Once they get a taste of what lies beyond, the kiddie pool will forever be, well, child's play. Like any discipline or rules you follow at home, consistency is king at the pool or beach. If your wee one knows that the big pool is off limits or shoes must be worn on the playground or they can only wander to the water's edge with a grown-up by their side, they will get it... and it's up to you to ensure that they do!
- Lead by example. This may sound obvious but I often need to be reminded that my actions have a causal effect on my little ones reactions! Want them to wear a hat? Then you should wear one too. The same holds true for sunblock, seat belts, healthy eating habits, you name it. This is one tip that will take you to the pool and beyond. Little ones learn by example and look to you first and foremost to show them the way. Which is why you will see me in a big-brimmed blue hat for most of the summer. Is it cute? Probably not. But is it worth it if my five fair-skinned offspring wear their hats too? Absolutely!
- Keep baby powder in your bag. Why? We call it the "powder treatment". Powder can remove the most stubborn of sand from fingers, toes and all places in between. And, if you get home and find your tots (or yourself!) too tired for the post-swim bath, you can tuck them in knowing that if nothing else, they will smell (and feel!) powder fresh!