PARENT & TODDLER CLASSES
"When is the right age to start swimming?" is a commonly asked question. The answer is simple. You have already started to teach them water skills if you are bathing your child daily. So if you have access to a pool. Start. A good age to start lessons is around 6 months .
Our lessons incorporate sing-along and use of toys, with lots of repetition. Most babies and toddlers are happy to try something new, as long as a positive and confident parent is with them. Also, a regular routine is essential to assist your baby or toddler to settle into the class. Whether you choose one or two lessons a week, be regular with attendance and you will see the benefits. Those who attend sporadically will quickly see that their child is taking longer to settle and that they are more reluctant to take part in the lesson.
The aim of these parent and baby/toddler classes is to encourage water confidence, with a focus on teaching water safety. We do not teach by force, but we do need to be loving and firm to ensure that those who are more hesitant do take part in lessons. Your instructor will give you hands on tips and demonstrate each task. It is normal for some tears or nervousness, but this will very quickly be forgotten with positive praise and/or distraction. That squeal of delight when they see your excitement or smile of approval is a precious reward!
Our children feed off our reactions, often mimicking them. So if you are nervous to attempt a new task, get your Instructor to demonstrate with your little one and no matter how apprehensive you feel, once the task is complete. Smile and praise your little one. See their own uncertainty fade, quickly replaced with an imitation of your delight. These are some of the most precious moments to experience.
"What do I need for lessons?" Simple but important.
Either a washable, lined swimming costume or swimmer nappy. Bear in mind that the aim of a swimmer nappy is the keep the poop inside the nappy. So the seam around the base of the nappy needs to be elasticated so that it prevents leakage of poop. Normal nappies are not suitable.
A towel and something to dress them in after, with a small snack or refreshment. In winter, please ensure your babies go home with a beanie or a hoodie on as this helps maintain their body temperature. Please try not to feed them at least 45 minute before they swim, especially if they have a strong gag reflex. No one likes to swim in vomit.
Basic changing facilities are available.
Important to remember
If your child has a temperature, a green snotty nose, is vomiting or has gastro they should not attend lessons for 24 hours.
If they poop in the water, YOU get to scoop it up and you also get the account to treat the water. So please remember your swimmer nappy.
Our children will develop at varying rates and grasp different tasks at their own individual pace. Don't compare. Enjoy the specialness of being able to bond with your little one in this environment, while you watch them explore and interact. Sometimes its ok to just PLAY. Not every task needs to be a well-rehearsed performance of skill. And one day when you least expect it, that "light switch moment" will occur and they will be willingly floating or going under the water to retrieve a treasure from the step or they will jump in, turn around and safely return to the side of the pool and climb out. All in the twinkle of the eye....