Swim Class Checklist

Through the years, and many, many, MANY packed swim bags, I’ve become a bit of an expert at what’s definitely needed, kinda-needed and fine to skip. That’s not to say I haven’t made a boatload of mistakes in the past 10 years of lessons…from forgetting a swimsuit (I mean, WHAT?!) forgetting towels to forgetting goggles, swim camps and even underwear to change into after class…I’ve pretty much forgotten every necessary item at least once. Or twice. (Shh). Luckily, my kids are old enough now that I *mostly* have their help getting the bag packed and getting suits and a change of clothes ready to go. And, since they are now older, I’ve been through allll the different ages (from baby to toddler to little kid and now big kid) and seen how necessities change over time. 

So, here’s a quick guide to help you make sure you have what you need (and skip what you don’t!) for your child’s class. Oh…and if you forget something, the front desk is amazing at helping you adjust on the fly. 😉


  1. Diapers. Swim diapers (doubled up) and regular diapers and wipes. 
  2. Swimsuit (my son loved having a swim shirt, too, to help him stay slightly warmer)
  3. Swim cap/Googles – skip unless you’ve practiced with them at home and your child is able to tolerate them
  4. Hooded Towel for staying warm when they leave the pool
  5. Regular Towel for drying off
  6. Lotion 
  7. Clothes that are easy to slide on slightly sticky/damp skin


  1. Diapers (including swim diapers if not potty trained!) and wipes
  2. Swimsuit (I loved two-piece suits for my daughter in case a potty break was needed during class. It made it MUCH easier to help get the wet suit on/off).
  3. Swim Cap / Goggles (again – practice these at home in the tub if your child is resistant!)
  4. Hooded Towel and/or regular towel
  5. Clothes that are easy to slide on!

Little Kids:

  1. Swimsuit
  2. Goggles
  3. Swim Cap
  4. Towel
  5. Bathrobe (nice, but not essential)
  6. Shower toiletries (shampoo/conditioner/body wash) 
  7. Brush / Comb
  8. Clothes they can easily pull on themselves

Big Kids:

  1. Swimsuit
  2. Goggles
  3. Swim Cap
  4. Towel
  5. Bathrobe (nice, but not essential)
  6. Shower Toiletries
  7. Brush/Comb
  8. Clothes for after swim

While we’re making lists, don’t forget to bring a few things for yourself if you’re planning to hang in the waiting room. Depending on how many kids and which level they are at, you may be in the room for an hour or more. Since my kids swim Sundays, I like to bring my planner and make sure I’m set for the week, including meal planning. It gives me something to do that I *might* put off if I was at home, and gives me an option besides scrolling through my phone. 

If you’re swimming in a parent/tot class, don’t forget to bring yourself a towel and/or bathrobe (you’ll likely be wearing it while you get your little one dried off and dressed!) and an outfit you can throw on easily while your little one is waiting.

Happy swimming!