Happy Baby and Guardian Swimming

Coming to a pool near you this autumn!

 

 

National Baby Swimming Week will run from 16th October to 22nd October 2017, and will celebrate the joys of baby swimming for babies and parents alike!

If you haven’t tried it before, why not take the plunge today? Just pop your postcode into the search box to find out about Water Babies classes in your area and find out for yourself what’s so splash-tastic about baby swimming.

Whether your priority is water safety or you simply want additional bonding time with your baby or to get them active from a young age, baby swimming has it all!

Swimming should be fun, whilst also teaching your little ones vital skills in a safe environment. There are some key things to look out for when choosing a baby swim school that will help you to make the most of your time in the pool.

This year’s National Baby Swimming Week takes place on the 16th October, so watch this space to find out how we’re going to be celebrating.

And if you’re a company or organisation that’s interested in raising the profile of baby swimming, just get in touch today to find out about sponsorship opportunities – we’d love to hear from you!

Your stories…

I now feel safe in the knowledge that he would always know what to do if ever faced with an emergency in the water.

Kate & baby Theo, 6 months

As I’m a teacher, I’m only too aware of how many children who simply can’t swim. So when I found out I was pregnant, the most important thing I wanted my baby to do was to go straight into the water and start learning. That way he would always be safe and confident, and it would feel completely natural to him.

Baby swimming lessons are a fantastic way to get some special time with your child, and the bonus is that we’ve met lots of similar-minded parents and their children. Theo’s been enjoying swimming since he was four weeks old and, as a result, he’s now much stronger.

Theo’s always happy and appears quite fearless. Unlike some children of his age, he loves his bath time. We practice the prompts learnt in the lessons, so washing him and his hair becomes a fun game. In fact, whenever I tell him to ’hold on‘ as I do in his classes, he obediently holds onto everything, even the washing line! It’s very useful when we go shopping and I need him to hold onto the handle of the supermarket trolley!

I’m so happy that Theo and I do baby swimming lessons together. I now feel safe in the knowledge that he would always know what to do if ever faced with an emergency in the water.

I feel so much more at ease thinking that Rhys is well on the road to having a valuable life-saving skill as he grows up.

Debbie & baby Rhys, 8 months

I take Rhys swimming because I feel it’s a vital life skill - one that I wanted him to start learning as soon as possible. Rhys loves his Water Babies teacher and is improving every week that he attends classes. The lessons are tailored to my little one’s ability. These skills are reinforced outside classes, as we go swimming every week practicing what we learnt in our lesson.

It’s great to see how far he’s come in such a short time, compared to other babies who don’t attend swimming lessons.

I can’t stop smiling every time Rhys goes underwater, and it just amazes me how he automatically swims to the top. Maybe one day he’ll do it without poking his tongue out!

I feel so much more at ease thinking that Rhys is well on the road to having a valuable life-saving skill as he grows up. Think of all the other water-based sports he’ll also be able to enjoy as a confident swimmer – something that many children can’t do. It’s comforting to know he doesn’t have to miss out on all that fun, to be able to join in safely and maybe make lots of new friends along the way too.

I usually let Daddy go most weeks as it’s great father-and-son bonding time.

Sarah, Graeme & baby Isaac, 7 months

Isaac’s daddy and I regularly fight over who gets to go in the pool with him, but I usually let Daddy go in most weeks as it’s great father-and-son bonding time. With both of our busy schedules, it’s great that one of us has that special one-to-one time with our son doing something we all enjoy.

We love watching Isaac learn new skills and become more and more relaxed and familiar with the water. We take him into the public pools outside of Water Babies as well. The classes give you loads of confidence in putting into practice everything that you’ve learnt. A lifeguard recently said how comfortable Isaac is in the water.

We want to introduce Isaac to a lifetime of swimming, not only for himself but for the health and enjoyment of our whole family. I recently enrolled on a Reactivate swimming programme for myself so I’m now confident with front crawl and breaststroke, and I go swimming once a week. Isaac’s dad also now swims two kilometres twice a week. Water Babies has been the start of us swimming as an entire family - an enjoyable and healthy pastime where we all take part.

We’re more than aware of the developmental benefits that learning to swim brings

Amy, Paul & children Ava & Grace, 4 & 6 years

My husband and I both met at our swimming club when we were fifteen years old. Today, twenty-two years later, we’re happily married with two girls, Grace and Ava. We both grew up in the swimming pool; we swam competitively, and we’re keen open water swimmers. We’re more than aware of the developmental benefits that learning to swim brings you – not just around health but also on a personal level.

We wanted our girls to be confident in the water from an early age and, thanks to Water Babies, we are now a ’family of fishes‘!

We took Grace and Ava swimming from when they were both eight months old. They’re now really confident swimmers and they love diving in the pool on holiday – especially coming down the water slides! We know how much swimming has helped them in their physical and mental development. Through responding to commands in the pool, they’ve also learned important listening skills which have now carried over into the classroom.

Swimming lessons have strengthened Barney physically but also me on an emotional level.

Melene & baby Barney, 18 months

Barney was born missing his right foot, and his fingers were fused together. We wanted him to grow up feeling confident in who he is, not embarrassed or ashamed of looking a little different. Despite Barney having three surgeries this year we got him swimming as soon as possible. The songs from the lessons have been a brilliant distraction during times of surgery when he hasn’t been able to be anywhere near water. He’s kicked his legs, sat on Humpty Dumpty walls and practiced ’hold on, hold on‘ throughout this summer– all great physiotherapy. We can’t wait to start the new term because now he’ll be able to hold on in the pool with his right hand.

The best thing is seeing how much Barney enjoys the lessons - his smile and laughter brings us such joy. He’s so excited when we pull into the carpark at the pool- he can’t wait to get in!

Swimming lessons have strengthened Barney physically but also me on an emotional level, giving me the confidence about who my baby boy really is. When we’re in water, Barney is at no disadvantage to any other - nothing seems impossible. Secretly I hope he will compete in the Paralympics one day!

After Yli was born I said to myself I am not going to let my son be like his Dad who can’t swim!

Pamela, Froylan & children Yago & Yli, 2 & 3 years

My Dad was never able to take us swimming as a family so, as a result, I was always a bit scared being around water and sadly never learned to swim. When I first met Pamela she used to tease me about this, so after Yli was born I said to myself I am not going to let my son be like his Dad who can’t swim!

Today both our boys go to Water Babies classes and even their Dad gets in the pool! They are amazing to watch and can now swim really well, plus they enjoy it so much!

We swim outside classes too and once went to Finchley Lido. My eldest boy Yli suddenly slipped and fell in and I really panicked! When I got to Yli he was relaxed in the water, happily practising his “Tiger Arms” that his teacher had taught him, kicking his legs as if nothing had happened!

The classes have also really helped them bring on their physical strength too and we’ve met some great friends there – they’ve definitely developed their social skills. At first I was really nervous, especially seeing my boys swim underwater for the first time. Now I am gaining more and more confidence in the pool and I am even considering enrolling in some adult classes - if not, then my two boys will just have to teach their own Dad how to swim!

The kids love all the friends they’ve made in their classes, and we also get to chat to like- minded parents for a bit too.

Sarah, Kevin & children Emilia & Zachary, 15 months & 3 years

Sometimes, before heading off to swimming classes, we’ve just wanted to stay in bed - it’s just too cold and rainy.

However, once we get there, it’s all worthwhile - just to see the sheer joy on both our kids’ faces as they splash around in the water. It’s priceless - not to mention the fact that they’re learning one of the greatest skills you can ever have in life!

We go on holiday every year, and there are always pools wherever we go. Our kids dive straight in - confident, happy and, most importantly, they know how to play in the water safely. Other kids are flapping around in armbands and don’t seem to be enjoying the experience as much as ours. This is also true when we’re visiting the local swimming pool - we joke that their names are already on the casual list for lifeguarding!

The best bit of all is the social side of swimming lessons. The kids love all the friends they’ve made in their classes, and we also get to chat to like- minded parents for a bit too. We even meet up outside classes and feel that we’ve made some great friends for life – all because of swimming classes.