Wednesday, May 13, 2015

What to Wear and Where

Today's parents are given many choices when it comes to all things parenting. Swimwear is no exception. We see wetsuits, swim shirts, thermal caps, baggy trunks, swim dresses and even itsy bitsy teeny weeny polka dot bikinis at La Petite Baleen. While most of these options serve a purpose in different environments, many of them are not conducive to learning how to swim at an indoor swim school.

So, what do we recommend you wear to swim lessons? We're SO glad you asked!
  • Babies/Toddlers under age 3: Reusable swim diapers
  • Girls: Crossback, one piece swim suits 
  • Boys: Jammer or Speedo style swim suits
  • All suits should be snug fitting
Because of our indoor, UV-Ray free, warm water environment, swim shirts, wetsuits and bikinis are not recommended, here's why:

  • Wetsuits: Our pool water is 90 degrees. This is the optimal temperature for learning to swim. In addition, neoprene (wetsuit material) floats, and therefore provides swimmers with buoyancy. This gives students a false sense of buoyancy which may lead to safety issues when they swim without a wetsuit on. If your child seems to be chilled during his/her lesson, encourage them to sit lower in the water while waiting their turn, or hold your child lower in the water during parent and me classes.
  • Swim Shirts: While these can be beneficial for outside swim environments, there are very few harmful UV-Rays at our indoor swimming pools. These shirts are often baggy and can weigh down swimmers, causing drag in the water. In addition, these shirts can make students even more cold as it keeps a layer of wet fabric on their skin. Couple this with any kind of draft or "wind chill" and students will be shivering in no time...something to keep in mind in outdoor environments this summer!
  • Baggy Trunks/Swim Dresses: While fashion is always important, so is performance. Just like swim shirts, baggy swim shorts and dresses create drag in the water, making it more difficult (and sometimes unsafe) for students to swim. Want to know why Olympians wear tight fitting jammers and speedos? Because it's easier to swim in snug fitting swimwear. We recommend reusable speedo style swim diapers for children under age 3 and speedo or jammer style swimsuits for boys over age 3. If your child is enrolled in Pre-Comp, Splashball or Water Ballet this is a uniform swim trunks allowed on swim team!
  • Itsy-Bitsy Bikinis: Again, fashion is fun, but practicality is queen at swim lessons. We see little girls with bikini tops riding up, shoulder straps falling down (moms too!) and bottoms slipping off everyday in swim class. This is a distraction for both students and spectators in swim class. One piece, cross-back suits are recommended for a fitted, stay-put swim experience at LPB. 
No baggy trunks or swim shirts at LPB! And please...don't forget to tie the drawstring!

Moms and Girls...please think twice about this at swim class!

 A word on swim diapers: LPB's policy is that all students under the age of 3 (or over 3 and not fully potty trained) must wear a snug-fitting, non-disposable (REUSABLE) swim diaper. We realize that your 2 year old might already be fully potty trained and that you're very proud of her (we are too!). But our warm water can make students relax, and with that comes unexpected surprises in the pool.

Double check for snug fitting at waist/thighs...

"If all the pools in the County were as clean as La Petite Baleen's, I'd be out of a job!"--San Mateo County Health Inspector

In order to keep our pools the cleanest and safest in the Bay Area, we ask that you cooperate with our policy. If you would like to "double diaper", you may wear a disposable "swim" diaper underneath the reusable swim diaper, but be sure the disposable is tucked inside the reusable. No regular diapers please!

You can purchase appropriate "swim lesson" swimwear at our Swimformation desk, including girls cross-back suits, reusable swim diapers and boys jammers (coming soon!). We also like buying suits from

Happy Splashing!

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