Pre-Lesson Advice for Parents
Going to swimming lessons for the first time will be a more enjoyable experience for you and your child if you come well prepared.
Here are some suggestions to think about before you go to the pool:
Children who are not potty trained need to wear special swim nappies. The swim nappies can be disposable or reusable, they come in a variety of colours, sizes and designs. Some have velcro or tie fastenings while others are like pull on pants. Most swim nappies can be worn under swimming costumes, however as a Mum of 3 (2 boys and a girl) I recommend that babies wear a neoprene nappy, like a Happy Nappy or Nappicova. There are also Baby Snug's and Baby Wrap's, these also help babies to keep their body temperature whilst in the pool.
- Swim Nappy/ Swim Suit
- Spare swim nappy
- Nappy for after swimming
- Tissues for wiping noses
- Nappy sacks
- Shampoo/ Shower Gel
- Spare socks/ Pants you can guarantee these will be dropped!
- Plastic bag for wet swim suits
- Drink/ Snack for afterwards to nourish and distract after the lesson
- Toy/ Book to amuse your child while you are dressing.
You can take your baby swimming at any age, both before and after they have been vaccinated. It doesn't matter if they haven't completed their course of vaccinations. Personally I would wait till your child has had its first set of vaccines which I believe is approximately 8 weeks of age.
The management of some leisure facilities may suggest that babies shouldn't go swimming until they have had all their jabs. However, this advice probably dates back to when Polio was common and people were concerned it could spread in busy places like public swimming pools. There hasn't been a case of polio reported in the UK for over 10 years.
Benefits of Baby Swimming
Taking your baby swimming is a rewarding experience. As well as helping build their confidence there are many other benefits, these include:
- Helping develop your baby's fitness, strengthen muscles, ligaments, heart and lungs.
- Developing motor control, agility, coordination and balance.
- Equipping your baby with vital lifesaving skills and helps develop an awareness of danger & respect for the water
- Lots of skin to skin contact, helping with the bonding especially for dads.
- Improving appetite, sleep and will help your baby to relax.
- Being recreational, fun and enjoyable. It helps teach a baby to share toys and take turns.
- Meeting new people being in a social environment and expanding your social network.
- Developing a baby's social stimulation with other children and adults.
- Helping a parent gain in confidence with their baby in a water environment and teaches them new skills.