My Mummy's World : Water Babies Swimming Lessons

Friday, 7 September 2012

Water Babies Swimming Lessons

Water Babies Swimming Lessons.

As some of you may know I've decided to take Jack for swimming lessons. This is for many reasons, I want Jack to have the basic life skill of swimming, I also don't want him to be scared of swimming and also Jack's Gran was chosen to be an Olympic Swimmer but never took up the opportunity so swimming is in the family. After looking around at many different swimming clubs and reading many different reviews I opted to sign up to WaterBabies.
'Water Babies is the UK's leading baby swim school, teaching a core skill to hundreds of babies & children every week which can potentially save their life.' Taken from Water Babies website. Paul & Jess Thompson started Water Babies back in 2002 being inspired by their own childrens swimming lessons. Not only does Water Babies teach your baby to swim, it also teaches them how to save themselves from drowning. Another thing which pushed me towards Water Babies is they do an Underwater Shoot at the end of the term, therefore taking a photograph of your child from underwater. I thought this was a lovely idea, and shows what you have learnt from the lessons. The only downside to Water Babies is the cost; it is quite expensive. However, Water Babies understand this and explain why on there website. 'Our lessons are more expensive than lots of other classes. That's because we invest a lot in training our instructors (at least 120 hours over ten days); we pay to hire special warm water pools and each lesson is highly structured, with clearly visible results.'
Water Babies have a strict 'Happy Nappy' system in which you are required to follow before entering your child into the pools. They require you to wear a normal disposable or resuable swim nappy and then a 'Happy Nappy' over the top. This is to stop any leakages getting into the swimming pool. Each Water Babies lesson lasts 30miniutes and is full of activity.
Our lessons have been booked at Cannock Chase Hospital, within the Hydrotherapy Pool. The pool itself is brilliant, it is used for Physio with patients so is a heated pool with easy access. It has a few cubicles to get changed in, but there is a large group of us so not quite enough space. However, this does not effect the lesson. It is a ten week course so I shall update this with what we learn each week.
Week One - 7th September 2012.
So, our first lesson was today, which we both really enjoyed. Firstly we introduced ourselves to the group and why we have chosen to do Water Babies. We then immediately got started on the swimming; it was brilliant no messing around. We started by bouncing around in the pool to get each child used to the enviroment and water, and went around in a circle. We then learnt the swimming position, again going around in a circle, supporting baby as this was learnt. Following this, we began to teach baby how to hold their breath preparing for going underwater. This was done by saying the child's name, Ready, Go then pouring some water over their heads; this is the command to use before dipping them underwater. We then learnt 'Splish Splash,' this is a little activity to do with the babies where you sing a little song and do the actions. 'Splish Splash, Splish Splash, Around in a Circle and Up in the Air.' This was a fun activity and Jack throughly enjoyed it smiling all the way through. Following this we bounced our way from one side of the pool to the other, and then used the swimming technique on the way back. After this we learnt 'Humpty Dumpty' which is where baby is placed on the side of the pool and by singing the nursery rhyme you pretend baby falls into the pool when Humpty does. This encourages the child to not be scared of falling in, again a command is used for this when not singing Humpty Dumpty. You say similar to before child's name, Ready, Splash. Finally, we had a small underwater activity. This included us saying the command learnt at the start of the lesson and then the instructor places them underwater and back out to the parent. In between all activities we went over what was learnt earlier in the lesson. Jack throughly enjoyed his lesson and didn't cry once. We both cannot wait for the next lesson.

Week Two - 14th September 2012.
Today was our second Water Babies lesson, and today Nanny came to watch us swim as it was her day off. We recapped everything in which we learnt last week, and also learnt some floating positions on our backs to go with 'Twinkle Twinkle'. This week we did two underwater swims, one with instructor and one with parents.

Week Three - 21st September 2012.
Today I was dreading this lesson. Jack has been really grumpy with his teeth and has hardly been sleeping; he had not had a morning nap so was going into this from the nights sleep. However, we had no problems and Jack was as happy as ever at swimming. For the previous lessons, we have had a stand in teacher; however today we met our teacher who will be doing the whole of the course, she is very lovely, as was the previous lady. Again, we recapped on everything we had previously learnt adding in some new moves. We learnt 'Zig Zag' which you when you hold baby in swim position and move them side to side in a Zig Zag. Also, we did our first underwater moving swim where the parent's do it, this was exciting. Jack loves doing the underwater swimming so this was great for him. Another thing we learnt today was 'Bubbles.' When toddlers they are taught to breath out when going underwater, which is opposite to now when babies breath in. We are starting to teach them early as it is a hard task to learn. Whilst in the swim position a floating spaceship was placed between baby and parent to keep babies eyes on the parent whilst the parent blew bubbles in the water to look at. This allows the children to see what we are doing and helping them to learn.

Week Four - 5th October 2012.
Last weeks lesson was cancelled so this week should have been week five, but ended up as week four. We recapped everything we have previously learnt as we normally do. We also did more 'Bubbles' which Jack really enjoys and laughs at mummy whilst doing them. Today he grabbed hold of the spaceship which is placed inbetween us and carried it aroudn the pool until we got back to the instructor. We learnt a back swim today and sang a little song as we went around the pool. It is a cross between the back float and swim position. We did a really long underwater swim today which Jack really enjoyed.

Week Five - 19th October 2012
Today we just recapped everything we have learnt in previous lessons. Last week was cancelled as when we arrived at the pool it had been cleaned in the morning but as it is a self dosing pool, it has overdosed. The pH and alkaline levels were too high within the pool for us to get in. Unfortunately this meant us missing another lesson but was for the best. I think due to missing two lessons, the tutor had got confused as to where we were in the plan hence just recapping everything. Therefore nothing new to update you all on. 

Week Six - 26th October 2012
This should be week eight, but due to missing two weeks we are behind schedule. This week upon recapping all previous things we have learnt we also let go of our children underwater for the first time. This was a little bit scary for the parent obviously. Jack was the little model for this one; Jack is known as happy Jack and went under the water with a big grin on his face so ended up swallowing most of the water. This made him a bit scared when he got up but was perfectly fine, he enjoyed it. I also had to put Jack under twice and let go, both times he just floated back up, apparently this is great!! We also learnt the Hold On command, this is where you get the child to hold onto the side bar and you say 'Hold On' a bit fiercely so if they ever get stuck if you shout it they will hold on like learnt. Jack was great at this and managed to grip on himself. 


  1. I want to start taking Thomas swimming I need to get myself a cosi first though

    1. I brought two tummy control ones, although I only like the Tankini so always wear that. :) Jack loves swimming. x

  2. Are you still taking the lessons?