Baby Swimming - The B-Sides of Seoul
The B-Sides of Seoul is a series in the Seoul Stop's blog which focuses on experiences usually not done and locations usually not seen by the typical foreigner.
Swimming is not as accessible in Seoul as it is in many other countries. An extremely small number of people actually have their own private swimming pool. Swimming experiences in Seoul are usually shared with seemingly hundreds of other swimmers at the same time.
This is no environment for a baby to learn how to swim in. a 1st-time swimmer needs peace and calm. It's a good thing someone in Korea came up with a way to provide this experience for babies.
There are swimming rooms filled with hot-tub-looking-pools that are meant for babies to swim in scattered about Korea. One such baby swimming room can be found in Ilsan, a suburb about 30 minutes west of Seoul.
This particular swimming room is part of a toddler playground. The playground, or more appropriately, playroom, is in a mall in Ilsan. What better way to finish a day of shopping with an infant than to take them for a private swim?
It doesn't matter if you come prepared for swimming. Everything is provided. It is a very convenient, stress-free experience.
The first step is to put swimming diapers on your baby. Grab a pair of swimming diapers, then head over to the convenient, comfortable changing rooms.
The second step is to get your baby acclimated to being in water. There is a baby-baby pool which your child can sit in to get wet.
While sitting in a couple inches of water, water is poured over his or her body, and he or she is given a chance to splash around and get comfortable.
After a few minutes of this, the real fun for the baby begins. The baby gets fitted for a floating ring...
Then, it goes around the baby's neck...
At first glance, the ring around the neck looks---wrong? ---inappropriate? ---dangerous? ---uncomfortable? However, it seems to cause no distress whatsoever for the babies.
Along with your baby's floatation ring, he or she is lowered into a tub for a swim. He or she is free to float and kick around and play with an assortment of water toys floating with him or her.
Finally, your baby requires a post-swim shower. Nobody likes a baby covered in chlorine...especially, the baby. After a thorough rinsing, it's time to get dressed.
And there you have it. Baby + Want to Swim + Korea = Baby Swimming