Arlo has had two swimming lessons with Water Babies under his belt now, so I wanted to write about our first impressions.
Before our course started we were sent an info pack that detailed absolutely everything we needed to know, from where to go (with detailed instructions) and even tips on getting everyone changed successfully! Hint: wrap baby in a towel, get dressed yourself then baby is magically dry and easier to change! Anyway, I read through the details and then turned to the Water Babies Story, a book that will accompany each baby through their journey of learning to swim. It has a section for each course, called chapters and a place to put a photo of the first swim, and under water photo too. There are also stickers to accompany specific parts, like first under water swim!
There are five babies in the course we’re on, so everyone gets lots of attention from the teacher. Each lesson starts with the same two ‘warm up’ activities, and then a re cap of what happened last week. The you move on to a new activity for that week, and the lessons end with a tune! Oh yes, we sing and swim!
In the first lesson we were taught how to hold our babies in the swim position, so that they felt secure and eye contact was maintained. Arlo was a bit of a grump in lesson one, and I got out of the pool to give him a quick feed nobody batted an eyelid, and because the pool is a smaller private one I could still hear what was going on so didn’t miss out! The teacher made sure we all know how the lessons would progress, asked us about our babies, and also made sure she was aware of the parents swimming skills. The pool we are in is a hydro pool in a private college, so is nice and warm and only gently sloping. People are welcome to watch the lessons too, like the baby’s other parent, although sadly we’ve gone solo so far as Sam has either been looking after Athena or at work, so my mum had her! Thankfully one of the other parents took some photos and videos for me!
Luckily for our second lesson he was much happier and even smiled a few times! We had learnt the cues to teach the babies when they were about to go under water in lesson one, and they had had their first underwater swim with the teacher, so in lesson two it was time for us to give it a try! It’s a little daunting dunking your precious baby underwater but as we’d been teaching them the cues to help them to hold their breath it actually wasn’t horrible, and he looked pretty happy, definitely no crying!
After that we moved on to entering the water from a sitting position (baby, not us!) which is to help them know what to do if they fall in once they’re bigger!
As I said earlier the class ends with a rhyme or song and along with the teacher and parents singing, the teacher also goes round the circle showing a large laminated card with a cartoon picture on it, to help the babies associate the songs. In lesson two we did Humpty Dumpty as we helped them ‘fall’ into the water! Also in lesson two a mirror was introduced when we were floating the babies on their backs so they could watch themselves.
We’re definitely having a lot of fun, and I’m excited for the underwater photo shoot in a few weeks time too! If you want to find out where your local lessons take place then visit this page.
Did you take your babies swimming at an early age?
We received a course of lessons from Water Babies in exchange for my honest opinion of the experience.