I thought it was about time I wrote about one of our favourite classes of the week. Maybe that should that be year, or maybe ever! We’ve been doing baby swimming classes with Waterbabies since Toddler H was 10 weeks old. At first, although she loved the water, and loved being under the water, she wasn’t so keen once she came back out. I quickly realised it was my fault, I was anticipating her reaction every time, waiting with baited break. It was my anxious look every time that was throwing her off. I’d have the goggles on, and duck under the water to watch her kick to the surface. She looked happy. She looked happy enough until she properly saw my face waiting for her reaction. My anxious face. So, after our fabulous instructor broke the news that it was mummy’s fault, I turned on my happy face and smiled and laughed like a crazy person. Then, after a few weeks she was fine.
I chose Waterbabies as they have been going sooooo long their instructors have many years of experience and a very high standard of training. They know exactly what their doing and how to fix any issues. Our instructor is so helpful and the little ones love her. She also warns us of any potential issues, like teething, or the feet on the ground realisation some little ones go through when they’ve figured out walking. As we as parents are prepared for these water wobbles, we can address them and know what’s going on. It’s just a wobble and a week or two later they’ll be fine.
H is now 22 months old and we’ve been swimming every single week since. We love her Waterbabies class as it’s so structured, but incredibly fun. Seeing how she’s developed and how amazing her kicking is is so rewarding. I loved seeing her swim today, she used the woggle float (and I take my hands away only holding the woggle), she was doing it all on her own and had the biggest grin on her face. I find it incredible, here she is, 22 months old, using the woggle as a float and giggling away. To be honest she’s been doing that for months, since before 18 month. Since then she (and her swimmates) have been so confident climbing in and out of the water, swimming herself between her teacher and me, as well as that all important life skill, swimming to the wall to hold on and climb out. She squealed throughout our lesson today, so excited. It was infectious, and I don’t think I’ve stopped smiling since. She just loves swimming and every week when I tell her, we’re going swimming today, she smiles. she always has. If you been reading for a while, you might remember this old post, and how I used to get her excited with the Poo Song before swimming as I was paranoid.
There is another thing that makes swimming fun. Fabulous friends. This morning started off brilliantly, when she got out of the car she spotted her little friend and she started yelling “hello, hello, hello, hello” I’m pretty sure there was a “yay” as well! It’s funny what she picks up from me. I’m a person who hates swearing and am so glad she’ll come out with happy words like “yay” and “smile” (or mostly “cheese” for the camera). I’m so happy she’s happy.
We definitely have bad days, or weeks, or the occasional phases, with swimming. Sometimes just a pesky tooth can throw her off, but we still go and have some fun, and like us, once she’s there with her friends she perks right up.
Now we’re getting through the lessons they have progressed quite far and the biggest squeals and excitement comes from jumping in (well, the instructor throws them in to us). The splash is huge. Actually today, H was in top form and her splashes drenched both of us and those around us. I think she squeals even more when mummy drenched! Most of the pool water went up my nose, and surely her’s too, but she laughed away and started climbing out for more. They all love it, and get absolutely soaked as they go under when they splash in. I’m so glad we persevered through some of the iffy phases. It’s just such an amazing life skill to learn so young. I know H can kick, I know she can climb out. She can swim to the side and move along it holding on.
But amongst those amazing skills, crucially, I know she can swim to the surface, to the side and hold on or climb our.
Yes, lessons are expensive, but I know she enjoys it so much and it’s a skill I don’t want her to loose.
Here’s a video of H at 11 months swimming underwater to the surface… Look at those legs kicking away propelling her along.
We do other classes, from baby massage and yoga to boogie beats and we love them all, they each have their advantages. We always have fun and H learns a life or toddler skill too. I love practising these skills at home: from 1,2,3, Stop, to 1,2,3, Jump! And of course just dancing like an idiot. Copying mummy dancing like a crazy person is a life skill, isn’t it? As H doesn’t go to nursery, I think it’s great for her to have some structure in among all the free play and toddler cheeky monster moments. For a girl obsessed with doors, she’s now decided that climbing in the window to her Little Tikes car is the best option. Seriously, she’s got in down to a tee!
Have you a favourite class? Have you tried baby swimming classes?
PS Although I mention Waterbabies, we pay for our classes and have not been compensated for writing this. We really think teaching little ones to swim is important and thoroughly enjoy and recommend the Waterbabies classes we do. I did a lot of research before choosing Waterbabies and felt they had the most experience and taught the best life saving skills.