How to Swim Safely With Multiple Kids (When You’re Alone)
This post was sponsored by SwimWays as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
This summer, we hit the ground running. As soon as we could, we went the beach and as soon as it opened, we jumped in the pool. Between summer camps and travel plans, we’re set to have a great summer, but the best part about this summer is the new, more independent phase we’ve entered:
This is the first year I am able to take all three kids to the pool by myself.
This might not sound like much of a feat to you, but to me, it means the world! Teaching 3 kids to swim when you only have 2 hands is no easy task.
How to Swim Safely with Multiple Kids (When You’re Alone)
Over the last few summers, I’ve been reluctant to take the kids to the pool on my own. If my husband wasn’t around or if there wasn’t another adult available to help me, the answer was “no”. My kids are still learning to swim and their skills aren’t up to par yet. I was nervous about having all three in the water at the same time and didn’t feel safe. We missed out on a lot of time that could have been spent learning to swim because I didn’t feel like I could handle it on my own.
But this year is different….
This year, we are armed with the right equipment to make daily trips to the pool possible (not to mention easier and safer). No more settling for the blow-up pool in the backyard. Now I can actually take them to the pool on my own, when I want, and I’m excited because this adds tons more fun (and exercise) to our daily routine!!
The Current Swim Situation
My eldest is doing great in the pool on her own but my two younger ones still need support- at different levels. My middle kid is treading water but is unable to stay afloat on his own long enough for my comfort. My youngest is still learning about and exploring the water. All three need constant supervision and I need a little help if I’m going to go it alone.
SwimWays Swim Vest
My youngest used the SwimWays Baby Spring Float last year, but has grown considerably over the school year and is ready for the next step. He’s eager to try swimming- out of my clutch- and wants to explore the water like the older kids. The SwimWays Swim Vest is the perfect solution.
This vest is the 2nd step in the SwimWays Swim Step Level Program. It’s for kids aged 2 to 4 and is great for keeping kids afloat and balanced in the pool with its sturdy foam inserts. It has a zipper closure, which makes it easy to get on, it’s comfortable to wear, and there is an adjustable strap that goes between the legs to secure it in place.
The Swim Vest gives my little guy a little more freedom and the ability to make natural movements that will help him learn to swim. It keeps him upright but also allows him to lean forward to paddle, which is crucial when learning to swim in larger pools. (I don’t recommend using this or any other flotation device in baby pools.) Unlike wearing floaties, he has more control over his arm movements and the Swim Vest makes pre-swimming easy and fun. (It’s also made of UPF 50+ fabric which will help protect him from the hot Texas sun!).
SwimWays Power Swimr
My middle kid has learned to tread water for a minute or two at a time, but still needs support, so we tried the SwimWays Swim Step 3 Power Swimr on him. This flotation device is for kids aged 3-6 and has 9 removable float pads in it so that as your child’s skills progress, you can remove pads for an easy transition to swimming. The best part is that with enough practice, my middle kid might be fully swimming by the end of this summer (and we might even be able to have my youngest try it out, too!).
Using good flotation devices makes me feel safer going to the pool alone with all three kids. This is a huge thing for us because we’ll be able to practice swimming more- an important survival skill that all kids need to learn- and we can do this all ON OUR OWN.
1 Mom vs. 3 Kids… The Pool Rules
At the pool, I focus the most on the youngest because he has little-to-no experience with the water and/or swimming. The oldest two can support themselves much easier than he can, but in order to keep everyone safe, we do have some rules in place:
- Stay Close. My middle kid needs to stay in the area of the pool closest to me. As I mentioned, he’s having trouble staying afloat for longer periods of time, so he needs to stay where I can get to him quickly. We generally stay on the shallow side of the pool.
- No screaming/yelling. I need to be able to rely on all of my senses to keep all three safe and that’s hard to do with too much yelling.
- Pool Safety Rules. No running, jumping, diving, etc… To avoid serious accidents or injuries, I constantly remind my kiddos of safe play in AND around the pool.
- 3-Strike Rule. Staying safe is serious business. If they want to play at the pool, they need to abide by the rules. Our 3-strike rule is: If they have to be reminded of the rules 3 times, we’re all out of the pool and going home.
Making a Game of Staying Safe
In addition to the rules, I often divide my attention equally between them by playing games that involve all three. For example, I’ll ask my little guy where his brother is, he’ll point, and I’ll yell, “Swim!” and we both swim to “catch” my middle guy. It’s fun for all of us. My eldest will also play with us, or I’ll throw in some pool rings and time how quickly she can get them back to me.
Since we’re all interacting regularly, no one is being missed or left out and I’m able to keep a watchful eye on all of them (while creating some great memories!).
Between following the rules, playing games, and using these SwimWays products, I’m confident that my kids will stay safe and progress tremendously this summer. They’ll be able to practice more with support (and I won’t be a nervous wreck).
We’ve trusted SwimWays products in the past and know that they are quality swimming tools that safely help children learn to swim.
SwimWays promotes water safety and has been helping kids learn how to swim for 50 years. They have even initiated National Learn to Swim Day, whose 6th year just took place on May 20, 2017. Using products from an industry leader with years of experience is what has made me more comfortable with my kids in the water- and that is priceless.
For more information on SwimWays and how the 3 Swim Steps can help your kids learn to swim, check out this video:
Are you interested in using these products to help your little one learn to swim? SwimWays products are available at Toys R Us, in-store, or online here.
Enjoy your #summer with little ones at the pool safely with #SwimWays!! #IC #Ad Click To Tweet
If you’re looking for more fun ways to play with the kids this summer, check out How to Plan a Cheap Family Vacation, Keeping Kids Busy Without Using the TV, and 20 Ways to Keep Kids Busy During Spring Break (that can apply to the summer, too!).
How do you keep your little ones safe at the pool?
48 thoughts on “How to Swim Safely With Multiple Kids (When You’re Alone)”
Love the photos of your kids, they look like they had fun swimming. My daughter uses a vest very similar to this one and she loves it. She jumps in and is fearless and I’m always an arm reach away. Products like these are lifesavers for us moms with kids who love to swim!!
Hi Crystal! I couldn’t agree more. It’s difficult to manage multiple kids on your own at the pool (especially when they aren’t proficient at swimmimg!!) Without these vests and some concrete rules, I couldn’t do it alone.
We still have our kiddos in life vests of some sort unless I can be within arms reach! I love the of the Power Swimr that grows with their ability level. My older son is doing so well but still freaks out a bit when he doesn’t feel supported. This vest might be just the thing we need to boost his confidence.
Hey Lindsay- You’d love it! The Powr Swimmer was great for my middle guy- he was having more fun, practicing more swimming, and venturing away from the pool sides because he had the support. Definitely a boost of confidence (for us both!).
I can’t swim, so I never took my kids without another adult with me who knew how to swim. These tools sound so helpful!!
Hey Robin! Thanks for stopping by. That is definitely a good reason to make sure the kiddos have vests and other support equipment on at the pool.
This is so important! I have 2 kids so I will definitely been referring to this before we go swimming this summer!
Hi, Angela! That’s great! Hope you have a fun summer.
Fantastic tips and I love the Swimways products you’ve mentioned. You so right about wanting to make sure kids are safe in the water – I only had two, and that was heart-stopping enough at times when I was on my own!
I know what you mean!! It’s definitely scary with little ones at the pool. These vests and having rules makes it much easier.
You are so brave taking the kids to the pool by yourself! I love the rules you have set and am definitely keeping them in mind when I have my niece and nephew!
Hi Angela! Thanks so much for your kind words. This is the first year I’ve been able to take them on my own. 9Which is why I love the swim vests!!)
These are such great tips. I found these very helpful and I have 2 toddlers who have different interests. It’s hard to manage them whenever we’re outside.
Belle | http://www.OneAwesomeMomma.com
Hey Belle!! I know what you mean- kids all running in different directions!!
I have four kids and it was crazy when the three older ones were little. I think it’s really important that they have life vest and floaters when you have no choice but to watch them alone. It’s going to serve as extra help and it’s perfect for keeping them safe. Love the tips!
Hey Amanda!! I totally agree. Without the extra precautions, there’s no way I’d be able to take them to the pool by myself.
That Power Swimmer looks awesome. I love that kids hands are free so they can use them to swim!
Hey, Reesa! Yes- it was great because he understands the basics of swimming and needs the free movement, but also needs a little support. It worked out perfectly!!
Times like this are when I am glad that I only have 2 kids. Like you said, 3 kids, 2 hands just doesn’t match. But being in the pool with 3 kids makes me so nervous. Even when I have my niece or nephew with my 2 kids in the pool, I feel like I can’t enjoy my time too because I have to eagle eye them constantly. The swim vest is a great idea and makes a little bit of the anxiety go away.
Before my nieces and nephew were able to swim they wore these vests. They were so helpful to them and made me feel so much better about keeping track of them in the water.
It’s so nice to see the we’ve moved beyond the floats. These vests and even floating raft are great for little ones.
Thanks for the tips. I will pass this info along to my cousin. Her kids can be a handful.
We love the swimways float! My youngest lived in it last summer – and she is still small enough to use it this summer as well. I didn’t realize they had different stage products – definitely will check out for my older two.
I never take my two swimming unless I have a second adult I can drag alone. I’m too scared of something going wrong!
This is so helpful especially for summer pool days. You have some great rules and no wonder they seem so good. The float devices are so cool and I must need to find a way to keep the life vest on my young nephew. Great tips I’ll pass along to my cousin for all her kids.
Wow such a cute swim vest for the kids. It will keep them safe and can even enjoy more while in the pool!Nice tips dear.
Hey Fatima! Thanks!
These are GREAT! So much better than the old blow-up arm floats we had as kids -you couldn’t learn to swim with those because your arms were inhibited, but these allow for movement which is key when learning to swim!
Hey Missy! I totally agree!
Swimway swim vests sound so great for young kids.I also have 3 kids and when they were younger it was really hard because my husband worked long hours and I was alone with them most of the time.
Hey Glenda! Thanks for stopping by. It’s only me and the kiddos during the day, so I know what that’s like. I hate to have them bored when we have a perefectly good community pool to have fun in (and get exercise from). The vests make it safer with all three at once. Thanks for sharing.
I don’t have children but I don’t know if I’d be able to handle keeping watch of more than one kid in a pool at the same time!
Hey Krystal! You definitely need to keep on your toes to do it, but I’m happy to say that this summer it is finally possible for us. I’m comfortable taking all three between our swim vests and rules. 🙂
Keeping kids safe at the pool is so important! I love the idea of these Swimway products.
Pamela, I think this is too risky to go swimming with multiple kids, but as you say you are using these products that could be helpful. But still be safe with your kids.
Hi Phil! Thanks for stopping by. Yes- these products make visiting the pool MUCH safer for me. Keep in mind that my eldest is doing fine in the pool on her own, so that is one less child for me to have to worry about too much (But I still have hawk-eyes on all three, regardless). 🙂
I love your ideas -it’s always scary to not have a extra pair of eyes with you.
Thank you, Vickie! Yes, it’s very scary, but as the older two are swimming better, it is getting easier.
Such good advice. I had five kiddos, and teaching them to swim and be safe in the pool was always a high priority. (BONUS: Two of them ended up being lifeguards in high school, which beats a fast food job hands down.)
That’s definitely a way better summer job!! Thanks for sharing, Renee!
My little lady just turned one last month and we are getting ready to put her in swim lessons and introduce her to the pool. I’m nervous enough with two adults and one kid…I can’t imagine one adult and multiple kids! You’ve got some great pointers though to help out in that scenario!
Hey Trisha! Once your little one becomes more accustomed to the water and proficient at swimming, you won’t be as nervous. 🙂
Swimming safety has always been a top summer priority for me. I lost an old student to drowning last year and it was devastating.
Hi Maria- I am so sorry to hear that. My deepest sympathies to you.
Such an important read! Child Safety is so important the the risk of drowning, seriously it doesn’t take much for our little ones!
Hi Katriza! I completely agree. You can be safe, and still have fun!!
Safety is so important! I remember almost being swept at sea before and I haven’t swam as much since.
Hey Yasmin- I’ve had a similar experience when I was younger and get so nervous when my husband takes the kids into the ocean. I limit it to the pool.