How to take a baby to the pool in just 21 steps


We took David to the pool for the first time this past weekend. The ratio of time spent in the water to time spend prepping for the pool was . . . well . . . large.

If you want to bring your baby to the pool, just follow these steps.

1. pack 3 bags of necessary supplies when going over to someone’s house (in this case, an apartment). This includes but is not limited to:

pack n’ play, 2 blankets, 6 diapers, wipes, 2 bottles, formula, purified water, tylenol, 8 burp cloths, 6 bibs, spare change of clothes, 5 toys, random pair of socks from newborn days, snack for yourself, swim diaper, swim diaper cover, swim suit, extra swim diaper, extra swim suit in case of spit up, sun block, bath, bath towel, washcloths, shampoo and body wash, lotion, sleeper, sound machine, etc.

2. Arrive prior to nap time so child can take nap at destination, then immediately head to the pool after he wakes up from his nap (and by immediately I mean 45 minutes after he wakes because that’s how long it takes to gather everything up despite the 30 minutes you spent prepping prior to him waking).

3. Wake from nap, feed, then change into swim gear all while trying to avoid spit up.

4. Contemplate if it’s all worth it.

5. Decide it’s worth it.

6. Remember at the last second to put your own bathing suit on.

7. Begin your walk to the pool.

8. Realize the sun is gone and it’s drizzling slightly.

9. Begin to cry. Stay strong, swallow that lump in your throat, and walk through the rain to the pool.

10. Celebrate when the rain stops as you arrive to the pool.

11. Give youngins’ a glare for blasting rap music and disrupting this otherwise picture perfect moment you are sharing with your son whom you love and adore.

12. Find a chair, deposit all the bags and towels you carried.

13. Walk over to shallow end of the water and place your toe in to check the temperature.

14. Discover it’s rather cold.

15. Swallow lump in throat.

16. Reconsider whether all this work is worth it.

17. Decide it wasn’t worth it after all.

18. Hold baby who doesn’t have a clue what is going on and crouch down to let his feet touch the water because you didn’t go through steps 1-17 for nothing.


19. Make happy noises and celebrate even though baby isn’t dumb and doesn’t enjoy the sensation of cold water on his feet.

20. After 0.111567 seconds in the water, stand up with baby to remove him from the area.

21. Return to home, put that baby in a sleeper, and go get frozen yogurt. You deserve it.

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Comments (87)

  1. Posted May 14, 2014

    David looks so precious in his little swim gear!

  2. Arijana says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    I love you, Kate! Your post made me laugh but when my babies were David’s age I sure didn’t think it was funny!

  3. Angela says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    This is hilarious, and oh so true! I hate to break it to you, but this does not get any easier even when they get a little older. You definitely get more used to the amount of stuff you now have to bring when heading to a pool or beach though. The things we do for our wee ones.

    Sweet picture. Wish you and David many more “sunny” pool/beach days.


  4. Mylene says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    I wanted to laugh and cry when reading this post! It is so true!!! I have a 3 year old and an 11 month old and even after 3 years, I still haven’t managed to leave myself enough time to get everyone ready when we have to leave for an appointment or an outing. My bags are ready and I just think ‘Oh, when the baby wakes up, I’ll just grab both kids and be out the door in a minute’…yeah, it NEVER happens like this.

    I’m so glad you wrote this, you gave me a good laugh this morning! David looks so adorable in his swim gear.

    • Lexi says
      Posted May 16, 2014

      Oh sad but his fluffy leg rolls are adorable!

  5. Christin says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    Loved it! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Carolyn L says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    Uh oh… I’ve been looking forward to my almost 16-week old’s first trip to the beach next weekend… on a sunny, warm day, in his tiny whale swim shorts… and his navy hat. And in my dream, the Atlantic water temp is about 83. 🙂

  7. Lindsay says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    Two words: snow clothes. There’s nothing quite so frustrating as the 47th time you’ve said to your toddler “push your foot in the boot.”

    • Kate says
      Posted May 14, 2014

      Oh I haven’t event thought about that!!

    • Lindsey says
      Posted May 14, 2014

      YES, snow clothes!!! And when you finally do get their foot in the boots and all their fingers in the gloves correctly, they tell you they have to go to the bathroom! It doesn’t matter if they just went before dressing because it took FOREVER to try and get all their snow garb on! HAHAHA!

  8. Aleassa says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    Heeheehee. I always tell myself that as long as I get a good picture then it’s all worth it!

  9. Posted May 14, 2014

    Yup, that sounds about right. 🙂

  10. Marissa says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    Thanks for the good laugh this morning 🙂 it’s so true! The frozen yogurt part was definitely a good call. And, David’s chunky legs are ADORABLE!

  11. Nicole says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    That shark swim cap – ahhhh! For all the time spent, totally worth the picture with his adorable swim gear…and the fact that they highlight his chunky thighs is bonus. That David is precious!

  12. ash says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    Ain’t that the truth!!

  13. Posted May 14, 2014

    Oh – just wait until your first beach trip! That’s a fun one…..or…something like that. My oldest son was 4 months when we took him the first time. Most exhausting trip of my life. It’s all part of the fun though! You just look back and laugh – especially when you’re on child number three!!!

  14. Jamie says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    Bahahahah…this brought back so many memories! I love you truth and you sarcasm both!

  15. Divya says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    Your boy is so cute!

  16. Kacia says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    hahahahah YES. those ROLLS!!!

  17. Catherine R. says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    First, those thighs! I am in love! Second, where did you get your swim suit? The neckline and color are gorgeous!

  18. Nicole says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    Is your swimsuit from Jcrew? It’s cute!

  19. Connie says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    Love this… I was probably this cautious as a first time mom too. Now it’s take the bare minimum (diaper and swimsuit) and jump on in the pool. My girls LOVE the water.

  20. Ashley says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    As a mom to 2 young children this is hilarious and oh so true! I can definitely relate 🙂

  21. Angela R says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    So true! Love your suit by the way. Where is it from?

  22. Cheryl says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    And so it goes for many more activities….often times it is when things don’t go quite as planned they become the most memorable.

  23. Julie spady says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    I remember those days!! He is adorable! Since you changed your blog I have a really hard time reading it cuz of the font and background colors. Maybe it’s my old eyes. I wonder if anyone else has the same problem? I still read and love your blog !!!

  24. Heidi says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    I laughed SO hard at this post! It is SO SO very true!!!! I am celebrating this year as it will be the first in 5 years we do not need to think of swim diapers. Yay!!!!

  25. Posted May 14, 2014

    haha I love these! I don’t have kids yet but I nanny for two kids so I can totally appreciate this. 🙂 Hope you had fun – he looks adorable in his swim gear.

  26. Gamze says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    Hang in there, it gets slightly easier:) I love those chubby baby thighs:)

  27. Jamie says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    This may be my favorite post to date. HuffPost Parents needs to circulate this one! 🙂

  28. Carrie says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    This is my favorite post ever! So true!

  29. Natalie says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    I promise this is easier and more fun when they get older. The pool wasn’t really fun for us until recently at about 18m old. We just stuck to kiddie pools in the back yard rather than dealing with the ‘adventure’ of a hit or miss outing.

  30. Posted May 14, 2014

    Crying with laughter reading this. I was me every time I look my daughter to the pool. My husband has now taken over the responsibility and I get to spend some mummy time in the nearby coffee shop having some me time x

  31. Erin says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    Hahaha! This is so true!! It gets easier. I remember being at our neighborhood pool with my 5 month old thinking, “forget this, I’m getting a baby pool for the backyard!”

  32. Kym says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    So true, all of it. But what I really wanted to say was THAT HAT!!!! adorable!!!

  33. Kerilyn Michaels says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    Luv the rolls on Davids legs!

  34. Nancy says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    He is adorable! Oh how I remember those days, 13 years ago. Taking my beautiful baby to the pool was exhausting, but a great way to get out of the house. Enjoy your summer with him!

  35. Tessa says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    Hilarious, and true. David is stinkin cute.

  36. liz says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    Wednesday baby posts are my favorite from you!! I’m sure there will be a better experience in the future. 🙂

  37. Crystal says
    Posted May 14, 2014


  38. Traci says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    Hahahaha yes, this is about right!

  39. Runt says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    Hahaha this is so funny! Every year for Memorial Day Weekend my husband’s side of the family goes to his grandparents house to celebrate their anniversary. It’s nice because all of the cousins get together again. They live on Smith Mountain Lake, literally. Their backyard is Smith Mountain Lake. We are so excited to go because a lot of the family will be meeting our little guy (four months old) for the first time. I was all excited to let him in the water and splash around and then someone had to mention bacteria in lakes and baby’s putting their hands in their mouths, and now I don’t know if I should let Peanut in the water! Gr!

  40. Corir says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    It gets easier!! He is adorable and you look beautiful as always!

  41. Marisa says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    Have you looked into a GoCrib? I got one for my nephew and it’s awesome and so easy to ‘tote’ around. it was a lifesaver for our trip to Hawaii and my sister still uses it on other trips. Also this DOES get easier after a few attempts! I used to nanny for a 5 month old and a 5 year old and we made many pool trips without tears – from anyone!

  42. Carrie says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    Oh you brought back those memories so well….and at least now I can look back and laugh. You did get that perfect adorable photo out of the deal so that’s something, right?

  43. Allison says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    I am in love with his chunky thighs!!!

  44. Janet Smith says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    A very Happy Belated Mother’s Day to you! What a blessing!

  45. Lisa Wild says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    This is funny, I found this very true, when they are little the smallest task or outing can be very difficult 🙂

  46. Ashley says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    Haha! At least he was incredibly adorable in his shark swim cap!

  47. Jessica Fisher Wetzel says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    That was hilarious. And true.

  48. Rebecca says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    Okay, so I’m not a mom, but as I’m reading the part about the bags I thought to myself “wow, I’d be so under-prepared. I’d just put our swim suits on, grab a bottle, and head out to the pool!” Then I thought, “No, you’d be the person with at least 6 bags, taking the entire house just in case you needed something…get real.” If I ever do have children I think I’ll need a wagon, or a u-haul, to carry everything for the “what if” situations. Yikes.

  49. Jenny Silva says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    Yup. Sounds about right. My son is 1 and it’s still the same thing.

  50. Ashley says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    Yes!!!! And all the while your husband stands by asking why you need all that stuff….at least my husband. LOL

  51. Carli Heringer says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    There are not enough words for how much I love this post. You speak the truth my friend. I’m pretty sure it goes about like this any time you try to go do something “fun” with an infant/small children!

  52. Katy posey says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    Love this post! Speaking if going to the pool, I’m a c-section momma myself! Any suggestions on bathing suit shopping and where to find “appropriate” ones?

  53. Patty says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    Hysterical and SOOOOO true!!!!

  54. Erica says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    I love posts that bring a smile to my face. My husband and I are approaching the journey of parenthood and I love to read about the adventures you have had with your little guy! Way to persevere and try any way… I probably would have given up when the rain started 🙂 Thanks for the chuckle!

  55. Meg says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    Oh my gosh! Thank you so much for this post, I literally choked on my soda I was drinking after reading the first lines I was laughing so hard! Been there done that. Thanks for sharing!

  56. Posted May 14, 2014

    I cannot physically handle the chub rolls on his legs. They are beyond words phenomenal.

  57. Sara says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    Yep, that’s about right. I love this post! As a Mom myself I’ve been there done that. I was laughing out loud while reading!

  58. Bonnie says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    This is really how it is to go anywhere with a little one.

    I have twins so it’s all the above times 2!

  59. Diana says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    This was so great and so true!

  60. Amanda says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    Lol, but it was totally worth it for that swim cap, right? So cute.

  61. Rachel says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    I don’t have kids but THIS made me chuckle! Well done.

  62. Maria says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    Your trip was not all for nothing. He looks adorable and he got to experience the pool for the first time!

    I’m a first time mommy too, and I go through the same thought process you do when I do something new with my little girl. More often than not, they end up to be as similar to your experience. I swallow plenty of lumps in my throat and keep at it.

    You’re doing a great job Mama, keep it up 🙂

  63. Liz says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    Oh I love your humor Kate. I had tears of laughter rolling down my cheeks. I had to share this post with my husband because we can totally relate. He says he’s getting a headache just reading this, haha. A+ for your storytelling abilities 😉
    The unimpressed look on David’s face is just the icing on the cake!

  64. Liz says
    Posted May 14, 2014

    Also, I really appreciate your honesty about the experience. You know some other mom bloggers would have totally played it up and glorified it with pictures of their “perfect” pool experience.

  65. Sarah says
    Posted May 15, 2014

    oh my gosh, I really thought it was just ME! I have a 7 month old daughter and cannot figure out how to leave the house in a timely manner. I laughed/cried reading this! And I’m so relieved to read others have the same issues!

  66. Sami says
    Posted May 15, 2014

    True story!!!!!

  67. Boo says
    Posted May 15, 2014

    What color nail polish are you wearing in this photo?

  68. Posted May 15, 2014

    OMG. I completely understand what you mean. I remember when I was about to do my first trip out of the house alone with my baby girl to the mall and how stressed I felt. It felt exactly like the timeline you just posted, and every step of the way I was constantly wondering “is this worth it?”.. HAHA. Thankfully it was since the next time I was far less stressed!

    Plus, I’m thinking about taking my baby girl to the pool since it’s summer down here in Texas with the high 80s! It looks like I’m going to have the same timeline as you since I’m so lost on all the stuff I need! Sunscreen, hat, swim diaper, floaties, and the list just goes on and on… Ohhhh the joys of motherhood! =)

    Btw, I’m loving your bathing suit and his chunky thighs!!


  69. Tracey says
    Posted May 15, 2014

    Ha! We’re expecting our first in December and I love reading your stories about the baby. I can’t wait for our own similar experiences, even though they might make me crazy at times!

    PS – You know this, but David is seriously the cutest.

  70. cait says
    Posted May 15, 2014

    Oh my! I had to laugh at all your steps. It gets easier! You’ll get to the point where you’ll just pop his swim suit on and head to the pool, trust me!

  71. Posted May 15, 2014

    Great list! haha! As others have mentioned – so accurate! I would just add one more – Take a picture of you and baby to commemorate the whole event!

  72. Posted May 16, 2014

    This is hilarious! 🙂

  73. Kyllie says
    Posted May 16, 2014

    Jajajaja, la primera vez es complicado, luego les encanta y ya no quieren salir 🙂

    Kyllie | Make Up Fragrances

  74. Posted May 16, 2014

    My LO was born on Dec 12th, and I have to say I have LOVED following your blog because I pretty much have been going through everything you have been. 🙂 She was pretty colicky/high need but is sooo much better now. 5 months, and a completely different baby. We have yet to go the pool yet 🙂

  75. Ashley says
    Posted May 17, 2014

    OH. MY. GOD. Look at those legs!!!! Rolls upon rolls! Love it.

  76. Lisette says
    Posted May 17, 2014

    Thanks in favor of sharing such a fastidious opinion, paragraph is nice, thats why i have read it completely

  77. Jen says
    Posted May 19, 2014

    I was just at the beach with my brother and his 8 month old for a week and this is exactly true. I am 5 months pregnant, so know this will be me next year as well. I both laughed and got anxious reading this post just thinking about it. THANK YOU for being so candid – you are just the cutest and best mom, and David is perfect!

  78. Mary says
    Posted May 22, 2014

    His thighs are the best!!

  79. Miranda says
    Posted May 29, 2014

    This is exactly how our weekend went with our 10 month old… Like, I visualized my experience as I was reading the steps! This is perfectly true to the core! Hilarious!

  80. Haley says
    Posted June 3, 2017

    I stumbled across this today while googling “how to take a 3 month old to the pool”. We’re considering going this weekend, and I realize it’s going to be quite a lot of work. Your post is hilarious and so true, I laughed till I cried! It’s funny you wrote this three years ago and it made my day here in 2017!

  81. Kathy says
    Posted July 9, 2018

    Thanks for posting about your recommendations on taking your children to the pool. All of my kids seem to have grown up with fins and we love to go to the pool. Item 21 is my favorite, never go wrong with a little yoghurt or ice cream.