As a person who had always enjoyed swimming, but as an adult now isn’t overly confident, I always wanted my children to learn how to swim and be confident in the water.
Regrettably I couldn’t do any baby swimming classes with my eldest as I was back at work so soon. At the time they only seemed to run classes during the week so we ended up taking him on weekends until he was old enough for lessons after school.
This time I wanted to make sure I had time to take George. The local leisure centre runs classes and being the disorganised mother I often am, I omitted to think about the fact they may have a waiting list. This was something I was soon made very aware of when I rang up excitedly to book in and was told there would be 34 babies in front of George in the queue and I’d be looking a quite a few months wait! GUTTED! It would appear you need to put your name down when you find out you’re pregnant in order for you to have a space once they’re born! Whoops, my bad!
Anyway I looked into other options and found two ideas; The Local Sure Start Centre (a Council run group) had a swim class that you could put your name down for or Private swimming lessons.
Sure Start Centre Swim
I contacted the organisers of the Council run group and put Georges name down, I was told there was quite a few in front of us so didn’t hold much hope of a place anytime soon!
Private Swimming Lessons
Turns out there is a pool IN MY VILLAGE, literally less than 2 mins round the corner!!!!! (Who knew people have small training pools in their back garden and have qualified instructors teach children to swim in them? I certainly didn’t!) I enrolled George straight away and was excited for our first session.
So whilst waiting for the lessons to commence after the School holidays I had a surprise phone call from the Sure Start Centre and ended up with a place there too! So now George and I are swimming twice a week and absolutely loving it!
My TOP 8 TIPS for swimming with baby:
- Get your name down early! – Check out your options and get your name down ASAP
- Double nappy– Most Pools require you to double nappy. That means a swim nappy (disposable usually) and then on top of that we use a Happy Nappy. Be prepared and have a couple of swim nappies just in case little one decides to have an inappropriately timed poop! The Happy Nappy gives you that extra security knowing that no leaks shall pass! Also they are great bright colourful designs and fit lovely. We also use an all in one long suit to keep George warm in the public pool that can sometimes be a little chilly.
- Be prepared to sing in public – One I didn’t think of, singing in baby classes be in wet or on dry land almost always involves singing so suck it up buttercup and get those vocal cords ready for a workout!
- Take two towels for baby – One big bath sheet and one hooded towel. I wrap George in his hooded towel, then put the big bath sheet around him whilst I dry off a bit so I can dry and dress him without dripping all over him!
• Put baby in easy to dress clothes – Nothing worse than struggling to dress a post swim baby in an unfamiliar environment. I chose a baby grow and vest, nice and simple. No stupid socks to wrestle on and saved my stress levels immensely!
• Be prepared to feed – You know yourself if you swim it makes you STARVING! Babies are no different; make sure you have a bottle, Boob, or food ready for when you’re finished in the pool.
• Take your time – All babies are different, in the classes we go to there are confident babies and less confident babies. Take your time and watch your baby for signs they are enjoying it or when it’s time to back it up a bit. George has been confident in the water from day dot but he’s not so keen on going under! We’re taking our time slowly and that’s fine, each baby will be different.
• Your body made that baby be proud and don’t compare – This is my biggest faux pas! I have always been self-conscious in a cozy. I’ve suffered badly with spots all my life due to a Pituitary condition and my face and body are not my friends because of them! However I am proud that I have born two children and my body shows the evidence of that. My saggy belly and stretch marks are not something I’m ashamed of and although I still feel self-conscious I am trying really hard not to compare myself to the other mums who seem to have bounced back to being the beautifully slender and toned beings a lot of them are. My time at the pool is for me and George to bond and for him to gain confidence. It’s not about me and my body, I’m not on holiday showing off my tanned and toned body, I’m teaching my baby to swim. Simple as that!
So enjoy your swimming and make some memories!