Way back when I was using all my powers of manipulation to acquire the baby gear I wanted without actually buying any of it, I convinced a friend (it wasn’t hard!) to buy a set of plastic shells designed to be both a sandpit and a paddle pool for very young children. At the time I thought it would only be useful when Louisette was well and truly walking, and starting to get restless for an outside play area.
More recently, I went to a Kidsafe talk and one of the main things they recommended was swimming lessons – “As soon as possible. Definitely before one year. They won’t learn to swim, but they’ll learn water awareness.” Drowning is the leading cause of death in children under five. . . so not only am I meant to get Louisette playing in the water ASAP, it may save her life.
Louisette has only recently gotten over a screaming hatred of baths, so I was careful to make the experience as gentle and as non-bath-like as possible. All went well, and Louisette didn’t show a single sign of distress at any time:
I’ll be bringing the shell inside regularly for more play time – probably today for starters!