At Aquatots Swimming we aim to have our children comfortably and confidently swimming by the time they reach school age, teaching babies from as young as 8 weeks old means we need each child to have a parent or guardian in the water with them. How many children are missing out because their parent(s) have had a bad experience with water at some point in their lives?
At Aquatots we recognise and nurture babies’ natural ability to swim by using specialised techniques that our Managing Director Fiona has adapted and fine-tuned during the past 19 years of running Aquatots. We have a solid core belief backed up by scientific evidence that proves the attributes of starting your baby swimming at a young age[i]. This is why we feel it is so important, in the light of a new method of baby swimming technique ‘drown-proofing’, that we add our experienced voice to the UK’s leading swimming authorities and “debunk” the so called “benefits” of these water survival programmes!
You may have seen images of babies suspended by their necks in water by semi-solid or inflatable rings, the photographs generally display babies looking serene and relaxed, enjoying a so-called ‘Pampering Experience’. For as little as £2.49 you can purchase your baby an inflatable neck ring online and recreate a baby spa in your own bathroom! These products are sold as “Safety Aids” and “Unique Swim Gifts”, it is claimed that they “Exercise your baby’s strength and ability to grasp” and that they “Encourage early mobility, exploration & a love for water play” but in our opinion (and many other professionals) we believe this device is completely overlooking the real benefits of introducing young babies to water.
All Aquatots teachers come to us with an existing ASA (Amateur Swimming Association) or STA (Swimming Teacher Association) level 2 qualification. This means they have all undergone the relevant training in a nationally recognised framework to ensure that before they even begin their hundred hours of Aquatots training they are able to deliver lessons to a high and consistent level. (This qualification has been designed by both the ASA and the STA to train would be swimming Teachers to teach children from the ages of 3 upwards.) This is true of all professional swimming teachers so what happens when your Swim School or teacher are not able to meet your expectations?
‘Freebies’….a word that can make people very suspicious – can you really get Something for Nothing? At Aquatots we have a core belief – ‘If YOU are happy then we are happy’! This is why FOUR times a year we offer completely FREE, no strings attached Baby Swimming Taster Sessions. They are not a gimmick or a stunt to trap you, there is not a sales person hiding in the changing rooms to encourage you to sign up to a full course or a hidden cost of the Taster Session if you decide not to start your baby swimming with Aquatots. They are simply our way of giving you and your baby the opportunity to experience what we can do and more importantly allowing you to decide if you like it.
Your baby starts their journey with Aquatots somewhere between 8 weeks and 18 months old and they begin at our Duckling level. We want you and your child to really enjoy your weekly lesson. We strive to make each session varied, interesting yet informative and most importantly productive! During the first term with us we are going to be teaching you and your baby 28 exercises – this is why our courses are not a “drop in”. We need the structure of the course especially in this important Duckling level, to teach your child the abilities they will need to continue on to learn the skills to save their own life and then later in swimming widths and then lengths of the pool. By the end of the Duckling course your baby will have done at least 5 submersions in one lesson. They will be using their instincts and Mammalian Dive Reflex under the water to build confidence levels and learning new skills above water that will help them with exercises in later levels as well as out of the water i.e ‘holding on’. The Duckling level is such an important starter point and we do encourage the same person to take baby swimming throughout this course as it is as much about the parent/guardian learning as the child!
Lynn is an Aquatots Mum, she has been bringing her 10 month old daughter Libby to lessons for five months and is progressing up the levels as expected but Lynn is no ordinary Mum, she is registered disabled. Lynn has a mixture of orthopaedic conditions, the main conditions are bilateral acetabular and femoral dysplasia which means her hip sockets and femurs didn’t develop properly as she was growing. She also have scoliosis which is a curvature of the spine and some disk degeneration.