All About the Babies!
Play-based teaching and a chance to bond with your baby
I incorporate songs, games and repetition into our classes, and give you and your baby opportunities to play and enjoy the water and each other during your time in the pool. Your half hour with your little one is an important time to be spent one to one, and a wonderful chance for plenty of face to face connection and skin to skin bonding, with the benefit of a qualified and experienced instructor on hand to offer advice if you need it.
End goals in mind - let's focus on technique
Play and water confidence are crucial to your baby's swimming, but technique will also be important as they start to progress to swimming on their own. Through years of teaching older children, I know how to begin to guide your little one to develop the technique they'll need in the long run in order to be fantastic swimmers.
I want you to feel confident with your baby around the water.
A baby's introduction to swimming should be all about enjoyment. A baby can sense how confident the adult they are with is feeling, and if the adult is anxious about any part of the lesson the baby will quickly worry that there's something to fear. I can teach you how to teach them and help you to develop your confidence around water.
"Readiness is when they do it!"*
As every parent knows, a child will develop at his or her own pace, both in the water and on land! Countless studies have shown the benefits of letting a baby progress in their own time - this is how they learn coordination and ease of movement. I emphasise the importance of respecting what your baby is ready for and not forcing them through a set lesson plan, which can lead to apprehension and a fear of the water or swimming environment - we will help you encourage your little one and know when they are ready for the next steps.
Why is it SO important that babies swim under the water?
My answer to that is it really isn't important at all! A huge industry has built up around baby swimming, and as parents we have been made to feel that it's expected that little ones should go under the water. Some swim schools introduce under water swims from lesson one, promoting the philosophy that children will grow up water confident if they have early experiences of submersion and encouraging the idea that submersions are essential for teaching water safety.
I take a different approach. We don't learn to swim beneath the water - we learn to swim on top of it! Everyone is different, and if you want to learn how to put your baby under, I'll certainly show you the safest methods for doing so. But it's not something I expect every baby to do, so it doesn't form the basis of my lesson plan. I focus on splashy games, gentle face dips, little swims and plenty of floating work to help babies and toddlers feel at home and confident in the water, and to strengthen that bond in the water between parent and child. I make time for play, and time for you to explore the new holds and moves and the swimming pool environment with your child. In my eyes, a happy child in the water is soaking wet and smiling - but that doesn't mean dunks below the surface.
Why Teach Babies to Swim?
Swimming is a great way for children and adults to keep healthy. When you feel comfortable and confident with your baby in the water, you will be more likely to take trips to the pool as a family, which creates positive foundations to promote future participation in swimming and other water sports.
Freedom of Movement
Your baby will be able to experience a full range of independent movement in the water before they do on land. This can lead to improved motor skills in childhood, and the freedom they feel in the water can be a way for them to relax.
For the Love of Swimming!
The water is a natural environment for your baby following their time in the womb, and the water is a soothing and relaxing environment for toddlers too. There's something really special about moving around in the water with your child.
Water safety is an integral part of every swimming lesson. I'll show you the safest way to carry out each new skill, and your confidence will improve with your baby's, helping to develop your little one's respect for the water.
A Bonding Experience
There are no distractions in the water - it's a really special chance for you to bond with your baby or toddler without the outside world bothering you. Swimming lessons have been found to increase language awareness in children too!
When you come swimming with your baby, you are learning a new skill together, as well as building confidence in a new environment. This is a wonderful way to bond and enjoy time together.