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A Swimming Update and My Top 5 Tips For Taking Your Baby or Toddler Swimming



When I started taking Ethan swimming weekly he was around one and half years old. The first time I took him to a class didn't go so well. The class clashed with his nap (really bad move!) and he screamed the entire time, he screamed so much in fact, that despite some persistence and encouragement, we got out of the pool and left early. Things have changed dramatically since then. You see, I could have left it there, cancelled the lessons and told myself that he didn't like it. But I wanted to encourage him, I wanted him to see that there was nothing to be afraid of. I wanted him to, unlike me, grow to feel confident in the water.

So I took him back and we've been going every single week. His swim teacher, Shelley, is fantastic and really knows how to get the kids involved. I've watched Ethan grow week by week, growing in confidence each time. I am astounded by how well he is doing and how comfortable he feels in the water and by the fact that he is now one of the best in his class which he has just moved up to. I'm sure that his confidence with his swimming also has an affect on his confidence in every day life, he's almost fearless and is willing to give anything a try. We've seen such a difference in him from taking him swimming each week. So I thought it might make for a nice blog post for me to share a few of the things that I've picked up along the way..

1. If you can afford to do so join a class
It's great taking them swimming by yourself, or with the family. It's so much fun, in fact we're taking Logan for the first time tomorrow (we're so excited to see what he makes of it!). But I really do recommend joining a class if you can afford to do so. It's a chance for your little one to socialise and it's so nice being able to have a session planned out, advised and instructed by a professional swimming instructor. It's also a nice opportunity to meet other parents with children the same age as yours. You'll see them every week, so it's inevitable that you'll get talking.

2. Take more than a swimming nappy
Most swimming pools will advise doubling up on nappies. We use a re-usable swimming nappy,  swimming body warmer and with Ethan a little outfit too. Just to keep him nice and warm in the pool. He does a lot of getting in and out of the water, which can sometimes be a bit chilly, so we like to keep him as warm as we can.

3. Let them go underwater when the teacher suggests it
Our swimming teacher wanted to put Ethan underwater pretty much straight away. I was honestly a bit shocked, I felt uncomfortable with the thought of letting my baby go underwater. But after a couple of times I realised it was almost natural for him (I guess maybe because they spend so much time in water in our wombs?). Ethan went very quickly from not even wanting me to put water on his face in the bath to letting me shower him and being totally fine having a jug put over his head to wash out the shampoo!

4. Smile
If your baby / toddler ever looks unsure, they'll naturally look around to you. The best thing I've learned and was advised to do is to smile at them, let them know it's okay. If you look worried or concerned or unsure yourself, they will too.

5.  Relax and enjoy it
I think a lot of parents worry about getting their babies/toddlers changed by themselves, but trust me it's not that bad and it gets easier the more you do it and as you get into a bit of a routine. If you're worried about not liking water yourself or not being able to swim, then don't, I'm in that boat too. I'm really not a fan of water and I can't really swim, but it's not about us - it's about the kids and we can all stand up in a baby pool without even getting our hair wet, so trust me it's fine.

I honestly can't tell you how much Ethan's confidence has grown from weekly swimming. Not only that but it's something he looks forward to and loves. It's something he's really good at at and something we're so proud of. I really do recommend baby / toddler swimming! I hope this post was helpful, let me know if you have any questions! 


 


2 comments

  1. We love swimming, I have been swimming with the kids right from the get go, it's wonderful :)

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    Replies
    1. It's so much fun to do with the kids isn't it!? I'm so so glad we started going! x

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