In the bath
- Whilst washing baby’s hair, drip some clean water onto their face.
- Use a toy watering can to dribble water directly onto baby’s head or take a shower together and let the water run freely over baby’s face.
- Older ones could try watering themselves with a toy watering can.
- Practise holding baby whilst they are wet they can be very slippery.
- Breastfeeding in the bath is a lovely way to bond and a reassuring way to get baby used to a larger bathing arena.
- Use the adult bath rather than a baby bath to prepare baby for a larger unrestricted environment.
- Smaller babies could spend a few minutes every day on their tummies to help build up their core and help with their strengthening exercises.
In a pool
- Have fun in the water, smile and reassure baby all the time.
- Try chasing a toy or ball around the pool, if old enough encourage baby to reach for the toy.
- Practise holding on to the side, use your hands to cover theirs, put your knee under their bottom to stop them hanging
- Blow bubbles in the water, children love to mimic you and it’s a great breathing exercise.
- Try new swimming kit on out of the pool so baby isn’t overwhelmed by their new outfit and you know how to put it on!
- Check you have the right size nappies (under and over) before the lesson. We recommend TotsBots and sell them in our online shop (one TotsBots under-nappy costs the same as a pack of disposables and lasts longer!)
- Know where you are going, how long it’ll take and where to park if you are driving.
- Allow plenty of time so that you don’t arrive to your taster stressed.
- Pack up your kit the day before so there are no last minute panics, remember a towel for both you and your baby and a changing mat (roll-up mats are the perfect solution)
- Research our beginner Duckling courses and costs online before the session, it’s a shame to try something and love it to then realise there is no day or time in the schedule to suit you.
- Try submerging your baby without advice and preparation.
- Overwhelm your child by trying everything at once.
- Look worried or anxious – baby can sense your mood!
- Leave your Taster Session if baby is unsettled, we bring plenty of toys so take yourself off to the side to watch and let baby play.
We hope you find these tips helpful for preparing for your baby’s first swimming lesson, thanks for reading.
One of the most important policies Aquatots Swimming has is ‘double bagging’ your child! This simply means that every infant that swims with us that is not 100% toilet trained is expected to wear a swim nappy (either washable or disposable) underneath a neoprene over-nappy.
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.
At Aquatots we pride ourselves in not only teaching babies and children how to swim but also giving them the skills to save their own lives (and during our higher levels the skills to save others!). Having these skills does reduce the risk of serious water related incidents BUT accidents happen especially to young children and we ask that you NEVER become complacent about the dangers, teach your children to respect water and always supervise them when they are around water.
Not every baby has it but if your child has gone through a swimming ‘Wobble’ stage then it will be etched in your memory, it is a period of time that required the three P’s – Patience, Perseverance and Practise!
Showering before jumping into water sounds a bit of a contradiction doesn’t it yet here at Aquatots we request you do it before every lesson.
Do any of these sound familiar?
- My tummy just isn’t the same since giving birth.
- I have cellulite
- I just need to go to the gym for a few months first
- I don’t want to get my hair wet
Throughout my life as a Mother and Swimming Instructor I’ve heard these reasons and many more countless times, they are the excuses used to not to get into a swimming pool. I’ve heard Mum’s say them with real pained expressions on their faces, they really, really don’t want to strip off down to a swimming costume and walk through the pool area half naked!
We think it is, actually maybe it is easier when you have a smaller committed team.
What is eczema?
Eczema (also known as dermatitis) is highly individual in its nature and affects 1 in 5 children in the UK. It varies from person to person, comes in many different forms and is not contagious.
Skin provides a strong, effective barrier that protects the body from infection or irritation – it is made up of a thin outer layer, a fairly elastic one in the middle, and a fatty layer at the deepest level. Each layer contains skin cells, water and fats, all of which help maintain and protect the condition of the skin. Healthy skin cells are plumped up with water, forming a protective barrier against damage and infection, fats and oils help to keep the water in.