During my most recent trip to Austin, my very dear Baby Bunching friend Karla expressed some concerns about how to make it to the pool with her 6-month old and 2-year old. I brought along my very capable (and somewhat swimming) 7- and 5-year olds for a trial run to help her out.
Here are a few bits of advice we came up for what to expect for the pool trip:
Go when the time is right. If one of your kids still takes a morning nap, then head to the pool the minute Little Baby wakes from morning nap. Have lunch. Exhaust them both. Keep them awake for the ride home and toss them both in for a nap in the afternoon. The only trick is to know when to leave so you don't have overtired kids. Otherwise, opt for after the afternoon nap. Bring dinner and even PJs. Shower people at the pool if you want, have them fed and toss them into bed at home. Otherwise, skip the bath and call it a night.
Don't be afraid of the carrier. That's right the baby carriers. If you have a babe who's still little and a toddler who's still in the baby pool or shallow end don't worry about the swim diapers for the wee one. Put him in the Bjorn/Ergo and enter the pool. Surprise! These can actually get wet and how much swimming are you doing with a 2-year old anyway? Baby can be diapered and all (depending on your pool) and you can just wade in knee to waist deep and enjoy the cool water while toddler splashes about.
Bring a friend. We know you can't always coordinate with other Bunchers, but if you can have at least one other mom to spot you during your excursion, we promise your life will be so much easier.
Don't be afraid to pack up. During my trip to the pool with my friend of 1 hour, I saw at least 3 moms with kids come and then go. You may think you have to stay to make the trip worth it, but you don't. It's OK to bail 30 minutes in and go home if kids aren't happy. We promise.