What Should You Pack When You Go Swimming With Children?

The children have had swimming lessons every week for as long as I can remember. I spend so long in the pool every Sunday my best friend nicknames me ‘the mermaid’ when she struggles to get hold of me during weekends.

What Should You Pack When You Go Swimming With Children - Swimming lessons whilst heavily pregnant

Beanie and I, when I was weeks away from giving birth to Jumpy.

Swimming lessons have not always been a walk in the park. Far from that. Every single one of my children has had months of regression at one point not another, sometimes nearly a year of whining every single time we were heading for the swimming pool. I am not keen on any form of exercise myself, but I kept going despite the moaning, the lack of progress, the cold pool and financial costs involved. Swimming is not just a way to keep active; it is a life skill.

Their being at ease in water and knowing that they can all take themselves safely to the side of the pool is reassuring. I am not scared when they jump in the pool. I have been watching them ‘paddle,’ then do the crawl and eventually swim with much better technique than I will ever master. That alone is worth all the cold afternoons in chlorinated water, poo explosions and screaming sessions (theirs, not mine, just in case you were wondering).

What Should You Pack When You Go Swimming With Children - Back Crawl - Crevette

The regularity of these lessons means I keep pretty organised when it comes to what we take with us every week and I have recently made a video about essentials we keep in the bag. I wash everything as soon as we come back from the lessons and pack the bag again, systematically refilling everything that needs to be, so the bag is always ready for our next session.

What Should You Pack When You Go Swimming With Children - Swimmer of the week

One thing we always remember to pop in our swim bag is a pack of HUGGIES® Little Swimmers®. They are an essential in any change bag, are expertly designed so they won’t leak or expand in the water. The easy open sides makes my little one’s change time hassle free so I have more time to have spontaneous fun. Visit www.littleswimmers.co.uk for more information, top tips and advice.

What Should You Pack When You Go Swimming With Children - Little Swimmers

Without further ado, here is our swimming bag as well as a few tips and tricks:

Here is just a quick summary of what we have in our swimming bag:

  • Swimming costumes
  • Towels
  • HUGGIES® Little Swimmers®  nappies
  • Wetsuits
  • Goggles (+ a spare pair – they sometimes snap)
  • A bottle of water
  • Bag full of energy-boosting snacks
  • Flip flops / Crocs
  • Toys to grab under water
  • 2-in-1 shampoo shower gel, conditioner
  • Barrier cream (to protect eczema-prone skin before going in water)
  • Moisturiser (we all use Aveeno for body/face when we come out)
  • Sunscreen (if going to an outdoor swimming pool)
  • Hair bands
  • hairbrush
  • A spare change of clothes for little ones, clean underwear, socks for all
  • Nappies, wipes
  • Large waterproof shopping bag for all wet gear, towels etc.

Is there anything else you pack in your swimming bag?

I am a finalist in the ‘Best Food Blog’ category for the MAD awards (eek!). If you enjoy reading my ramblings, I would love your vote! It takes 30 seconds!

If you pick up a pack of Huggies® Little Swimmers® from Ocado, you could be in with a chance of winning tickets to see Finding Dory on the big screen.


We are working with HUGGIES® Little Swimmers® this year and I have received payment for this post, but all opinions and photos are my own. You can get HUGGIES® Little Swimmers® from the baby aisle and click here for more information, tips and advice.   

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  1. Lots of great tips here! I can’t wait until my little one is born and we can go swimming together.

  2. Rhian Westbury says:

    It must be so tricky packing to go swimming with children, I know how hard it is just to pack for myself x

  3. Ana De Jesus says:

    I have always loved swimming and think that this is important that we learn swimming from a young age.

  4. Fuss Free Helen says:

    My goddaughter is desperate for me to take her swimming, so this is just the list I need!

  5. Laura (Mummy Lala) says:

    Our little boy is 22 months old and has been swimming since he was 5 months and he loves it. It really does help form a close bond. I think you’ve covered everything in what to pack to go swimming.

    Laura x

  6. Anosa says:

    I have kind of being scarred from swimming, I drowned as a kid so I kinda don’t ever wanna go back lol

    • Oh dear I’m so sorry. The reason I take them swimming every week is to make sure they don’t lose control under water. It must have been such an awful experience…

  7. fashionandstylepolice says:

    Lovely post. My kids use Huggies Little Swimmers too. We love it x

  8. Mother Under Measure says:

    Great tips! I really need to get mine swimming, we’ve not been for so long x

  9. Liz Mays says:

    You definitely have all of the essentials. You have to love those Little Swimmers. They make pool trips so much easier.

  10. thingssarahloves says:

    Great post. One of the things I really appreciated as I got older was that my mum took me swimming and got me lessons from a very young age.

  11. Zoe Forde says:

    Great idea to bring along the aveeno. I must say, moisturiser is one thing I always forget to take with me! x

    • With their eczema, my little ones’ skin gets really dry and sore after staying so long in chlorinated water and Aveeno is a must! I love it because we can all use it to moisturise our faces and bodies, and the kids can do it themselves.

  12. Charli Bruce says:

    I used to absolutely love swimming, I went really far and got loads of awards for it when I was younger but then an accident happened when I went swimming with my cousin which made me so afraid of the water that I wont go because I just fear drowning so much even though I know I am such a confident swimmer. My daughter however loves to swim and has been going to lessons since she was quite young, she now goes swimming most weekends with her friends.

    • It’s awful when something happens and makes you scared of something you were doing so well at. My little brother had a similar experience with skiing and he could never go back on the slopes after his head injury.

  13. Melanie Edjourian says:

    I think it’s really important to ecourage children to swim at a young age. We did a few weeks lessons last summer and plan to do some more this summer too.

  14. Rachel says:

    I wouldnt have even known where to start with what to take, I am sure it is like a military precision operation at times x

  15. Life as Mum says:

    These are great tips for swimming! I’ve always used little swimmers from huggies for my girls for swimming.

  16. Sarahjane Wood says:

    I remember my swimming lessons, my grandparents taught me at our local pool! Always looked forward to it

  17. Sarah Bailey says:

    These sound like some great tips – nothing like swimming! x

  18. hannahhowell912 says:

    Lots of great tips here, I always forget something when I go swimming!

    • I forgot snacks once. Have you tried going swimming with children and forgetting the snacks? I would not recommend it. The drive home was memorable on so many levels!

  19. My Little Babog says:

    Oh man your so prepared I’m normally running around like a headless chicken trying to pack swim bags lol. Popped you a vote to, good luck!

    • If the bag wasn’t ready in advance, I’d probably forget the nappies or my swimming suit. Now that would be fun, ha ha! Thanks so much for the vote; it really means a lot to know anyone other than my mum is voting for my lil blog!

  20. Kira C says:

    I used to love my swimming lessons when I was a kid but there was a time when I hating going because I was afraid to go underwater. When I eventually got over it and could finally jump in the pool without being worried, I loved it all over again!

    • After watching a film with my mum where someone had put a crocodile in a pool (as you do!), I was scared of swimming pools for years and could never swim with my eyes closed!

  21. sabrina says:

    I am actually quite bad at taking my son swimming. He does love it, but he always wants me to take him down the slide which I hate! I should take him more often, Huggies swimpants were definitely an essential when I used to take him as a baby/toddler xx

  22. Leanne says:

    That’s a lot of stuff to pack! Although not being a mother I wouldn’t be aware of the sort of stuff you need to pack for a child!

    • I might pack a bit more than the absolute minimum, but with 4 little ones, I want to make sure I’ve got it all covered so that we’re not missing anything. If I went swimming on my own, I’d only have a small bag with the bare minimum.

  23. Elaine Livingstone says:

    I agree swimming is a great family pastime and one we indulged in regularly.
    Granddaughter ( 13) is part of our local council swim team and dozy brains managed to forget her towel the other week, a basic of any bag I would say

  24. Awww Mel!!! I love that first pic of you!! N x

  25. That’s a really useful list. So glad that all your children are confident in the water – it’s something that I’d love to do with my girls although we rarely get to go swimming – a combination of me not being able to take them both on my own with hubby away so much plus Jessica getting cold too easily.

    • Some pools are warmer than others. One of my friends used to take her little one to a pool that was always at 32 degrees. Would that be OK for Jessica or still too cool? I think they call them baby friendly swimming pools. x

  26. Hello Beautiful Bear says:

    We are currently going through a period of regression with Lily when it comes to swimming so I’m glad to see that it’s so common. We’re pushing through it and she’s started to become much happier again. Like you said, it’s so important and the water safety skills our children learn though classes are vital.
    X X

    • We’ve had regression with the four of them, and it sometimes happens when you expect it the least… “It’s just a phase” is my mantra!

  27. Laura Hartley (@WhatsHotBlog) says:

    These are some great tips. It’s one of those things where you always forget something and then there’s nowhere to pick up extra supplies which is really irritating! I always used to forget hair ties for my lessons!

  28. BeautyAndThePrince (@Lisasbeauties) says:

    having 8 little ones meant we werent able to take ours swimming due to the regulations of one per child in the pool but theyve all grown over the age of 5 now so this year we have plenty swimming to do and look forward to going on holiday

  29. Sally Akins (@SallyAkins) says:

    I was going to suggest snacks until I saw you’d included them! I always found that the boys (and I!) were starving after a swim, and couldn’t wait til they had got dried to have a snack

  30. WhatLauraLoves says:

    Such a helpful post for parents- I didnt imagine you would have to pack THAT much! xxx

  31. Jessica Ayun says:

    Quite a lot to pack! Haha. But mummies have their way to make it for their babies. 🙂

    • I know, it really sounds like a crazy amount of stuff to pack, but it’s so reassuring when you’ve got it all covered!

  32. Top tips Mel. All my kids have had and the youngest still has swimming lessons. Absolutely agree it is an important life skill. Hubby takes the kids swimming most weekends and they all love it. We always used Huggies Little Swimmers when the kids were babies, one if the most essential items.

  33. rachphillips says:

    such great tips, i used to LOVE going swimming when i was a kid, and i still do as an adult <3

  34. Emily Underworld says:

    This blog post has made me want to go swimming now, I haven’t been in ages! I love your photos.
    – Emily

  35. Pat the Mum says:

    Great list of water baby essentials. We’ve not taken our new addition to the pool yet, but with summer (gradually) arriving, it can’t be long now…

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