Baby/Toddler and Pre-School Swimmers
There are so many activities to choose from when you have a baby but very few offer the bonding and stimulating experience of swimming and have health benefits for both you and your baby.
What to expect
When can I bring my baby swimming?
You can bring your baby swimming from birth as long as his/her cord is healed, mothers coming into the water must have finished post birth bleeding before they can come in. As soon as you feel comfortable and ready come and enjoy the lovely warm water of the Hydro Pool. You no longer have to wait until they have had their immunisations, however any concerns should be discussed with your Health practicioner.
For babies aged 0-12 months lessons are held in the Hydro Pool, the pool is set at a temperature between 32-34 degrees which both parents and babies will find relaxing and therapeutic. At this age swimming with your baby is a wonderful bonding experience. Some parents particularly first time parents might feel a little nervous about taking their baby swimming for the first time, we will talk you through what to do including different holds, floating with your baby and even gentle dips under the water when you feel ready. We can also help you to understand certain natural reflexes your baby has and how these will evolve as they grow.
At this age they’re ready get moving a little more so we hold these sessions in the main pool of the centre. The lessons are very much about putting FUN into swimming with lots of games such as swimming through a rainbow tunnel, driving a car whilst balancing on their parents hand and playing jelly on a plate on the play raft. But we also start to incorporate life saving skills such as horizontal and vertical rotation, climbing out on the side independently, holding on to the side and hopefully even first steps to swimming independently by propelling themselves using their arms and legs.
By continuing to use games and songs to build their water confidence we will also start to use swimming aids such as Swim Fins and floats to build on their arm and leg movements. We will also continue to progress their independent swimming technique, breath control, body position through push and glides and floating on their backs possibly without support.
Helpful hints on what to bring when swimming with your baby/toddler/child
- Change mat (fold away ones are great)
- A normal towel for yourself and a baby towel with a hood
- Happy Nappy (or similar)! Can’t swim without one
- A disposable swim nappy (please don’t use a normal nappy they get very big and heavy)
- Plastic bag for wet clothes
- Toys to keep your little one amused while you get changed
- A car seat for baby to sit in while you get changed
- A hat if it’s cold
- Snacks (hopefully they will build up an appetite)
- Baby warmer or snug if needed
- If swimming with your baby/toddler for the first time practise putting their Happy Nappy on as they can be fiddly
- Remove all valuables and jewellery which could scratch your child
- Arrive in plenty of time about 15 minutes before the start is usually ok
- Put your change mat at the top of your bag ready so you aren’t struggling to find it while holding your baby
- Take a towel on the pool side for you and your baby
- Flip flops if using the Hydro Pool as there is a short walk from the changing rooms
- Perhaps put your own swim suite on under your clothes this will make changing easier
- Baby grows are a good idea to put your baby in after swimming as they are easy to put on and take off
- When finished swimming wrap your baby nice and warm in a towel and then dry yourself off so you don’t drip water over your baby
- Stay relaxed and calm, babies can feel if you are tense