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What Should Babies Wear for Swimming Lessons

6 min read | 19 September 2022

Learning to swim helps babies build water confidence, gain safety skills and enjoy lifelong fun by the water.

Like every new adventure, planning ahead means you can make the most of every class and focus on creating memories with your little one.

Wondering what to wear to baby swimming lessons? Here is our guide to getting prepared, including what to wear and what to pack.

When can babies start swimming lessons?

Most learn-to-swim schools offer baby swim classes from six months of age. In the early years, parents and carers are required to get wet and join in as babies build confidence and awareness through interactive play. While every water baby develops at their own pace, parent-free swimming lessons begin around age three and progress to freestyle swimming around age five.

How to dress your baby for swimming lessons

Swim styles and hat layed out on coloured paper

You'll need a comfortable suit for you and quality swimwear for your little explorer. With so many designs and styles on offer, it can be hard to figure out what will work best for your family. 

Our top tips:
  • Choose durable, chlorine-resistant swimsuits and accessories offering

    50+ sun protection

    for indoor and outdoor play. 

  • Babies can be sensitive to water temperature, so dressing them in well-fitting swimwear goes a long way to helping them feel comfortable in the pool.

  • Most Australian indoor pools are heated to 29c, a comfortable temperature for short-sleeve swimsuits and long-sleeved swimsuits.

  • One-piece swimsuits are popular for added warmth in the pool and quick undressing after swimming lessons. They also offer a slip-free grip for parents, carers and instructors, compared to other styles of swimsuits.

  • When it comes to rashies, look for zips and snap openings. Why? Because squeezing a small head through a smaller neck hole can end in tears.

  • Boardies are a comfortable option for water play but should be well-fitted for swimming lessons to reduce drag.

In any case, opt for swimwear with soft, reinforced seams for extra comfort and longevity. 

Swim nappies or nappy pants

A must-have for baby swim lessons, offering mess-free protection against unavoidable leaks.

Double the efficiency of disposable swim nappies by layering with stylish, lightweight nappy pants, or shop for 100% reusable swim nappies with a waterproof cover and mesh lining.

Whether you choose swim nappies or swim pants, a reliable design with snug-fitting leg bands is the key.

Protective sun hat

Choose a broad brim sun hat or legionnaires hat with maximum UV rating for outdoor swimming lessons and play. Look for lightweight, breathable fabrics to keep your baby comfortable, plus a toggle to hold the hat in place. 

Children in swimwear and hats at beach
Skin protection

Does your baby have sensitive skin? Consider applying a natural moisturising lotion or barrier cream 15 mins before swimming lessons to avoid drying from chlorinated water.

What to pack for swimming lessons:

What to take to baby swimming lessons is just as important as what to wear. Purebaby recommends:

Waterproof swim bag

A reuseable, waterproof swim bag is best for carrying wet swimwear and towels.

Hooded towel

Soft, hooded tools are a crowd favourite for swimming lessons, great for speeding up the drying process and supporting temperature regulation in babies.

Hooded Beach Towels
Spare clothes and nappies

Pack dry clothes and spare nappies to keep everyone snug and happy post-swim. Thongs and rubber sandals offer slip-free protection for showering and walking across the pool deck.

Change mat

Change room benches can be uncomfortable (and sometimes icky) to lay on. Keep your baby comfortable during undressing with a waterproof, padded nappy change mat.


The thrill of splashing around can make your baby extra hungry, so don't forget to pack post-swim snacks if your baby is on solids.

Are baby swimming lessons worth it?

Swimming lessons offer babies, parents and carers the chance to learn water safety in a relaxed and nurturing environment, led by a qualified swim instructor. As a nation of sun-loving Aussies surrounded by coastline, attending swimming lessons in the early years can give your family peace of mind by the ocean, in the pool and at home.

Ready to get started?

Find a Swim Australia School near you and shop our range of natural, sun safe swimwear for babies and toddlers.

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