Taking your little one to the pool for the first time can be a daunting experience. Even the most confident swimming parents are never quite sure how their children are going to react to being in the water.
Helping overcome this initial concern is an important step in helping your little one begins their journey of being more confident, and ultimately safer, in the water.
Here are our top 5 tips for getting you and your baby in the water and starting your swim! baby journey:
1. Familiarise yourself with the pool before you go
It’s totally normal to feel apprehensive about the new environment and what the changing facilities will be like. Our swim! venues have full baby changing facilities, a pram area and viewing lounges. The pools are also lovely and warm, over 31 degrees- perfect for temperature-sensitive babies.
To help you feel more comfortable with your first lesson you can choose to take a free online tour of one of the centres in your own time before you secure your lesson space. Or alternatively, you can come along to our swim! centre for a free intro session and look around for yourself. Whichever you choose, getting started and feeling comfortable with your choice is essential. Take the first step here
2. Get prepared ahead of time
It is always advisable to make sure you have everything ready to go. No one wants accidents in the water so make sure you have waterproof nappies and then a swim costume/neoprene nappy on top of the swim nappy.
Even though the water is lovely and warm, it’s always a good idea to take a towel onto the poolside for after the lesson to pop around your baby as you walk to the changing rooms.
Essentials to remember to pack are:
Adult towel and a towel for the little one (take one poolside)
Swim waterproof nappy
Swim costume/happy nappy/neoprene nappy over the waterproof nappy
Padlock for the locker
Snacks/food for afterwards (for both of you!)
3. Lessons are key
The most confident swimmers don’t always make the best teachers. When learning to swim and become confident in the water, it is important to consistently be a part of a proven programme and be taught by friendly, professional teachers. The more you experience being in the water with your baby, the more comfortable and confident you will both be.
You don’t need to be an amazing swimmer to make the most of our swim! baby lessons either, any parent/guardian who lacks water confidence themselves will have our expertly trained teachers there to support them every step of the way. We encourage learning to take place at a pace that suits both the adult and the child.
4. Safety first
It’s essential for you to always keep your eyes on your child when near water. For toddlers, it is important to make sure they don’t run or jump into the water without you being ready. In all our lessons, the teacher will always be in the water to support, help and encourage. They are also NRASTC (National Rescue Award for Swimming Teachers and Coaches) trained for extra peace of mind when it comes to safety.
If you’re particularly nervous about being on the poolside with your little one, ask any teachers for their support and they’ll be happy to share any of their tips for keeping safe and point out any key safety information around the poolside.
5. Have fun
Try to relax and enjoy yourself as those positive vibes will most likely rub off on your child. It’s such a special, magical time to be able to bond with your little one, away from all distractions. Some serious quality time for you and your baby to connect and bond.
This time can also be the perfect opportunity to meet other parents who are in the same situation as you. Many of our parents form amazing friendships through meeting at their swim! baby sessions and their weekly sessions are a fantastic opportunity to meet up and enjoy the experience together.
Swim! baby is about more than just learning to be water confident and safe. Being in the pool with your baby is a fantastic bonding experience, loads of fun and can be the highlight of your week together.
Sensory toys and equipment are brilliant for your child’s development, seeing other children is amazing for developing social skills and it is also a wonderful chance to meet and chat with other supportive, friendly parents.
Expertly trained baby swimming teachers with a passion for developing your baby’s/toddler’s skills in the water and helping you and your little one make the most of your time within the water, becoming more confident, independent, and safe in the water.
Our clean, modern, and warm changing rooms are specially designed for babies, toddlers, and their swim! buddies, with a relaxing viewing lounge and social space with comfy seating and refreshments for after lessons to mix and chat with friends or spend a little extra time with your happy little one.
Take an online tour of one of our centres and reserve your space or book your free taster here.