Baby Swimming FAQ
Q. What should my baby wear?
To prevent accidents and pool closures, babies should wear both a disposable swim nappy & a reusable neoprene nappy cover or a baby snug made by Splashabout. Both of these items are available directly from us, or from larger supermarkets and the internet. Some people also use baby wetsuits, these are great for ensuring extra warmth.
Q. Is the pool warm?
Most classes are held in hydrotherapy pools, as it essential not to allow young babies to swim in temperatures below 32 ̊ Celsius. Young babies do not shiver and therefore it can be hard to tell if they are cold, warmer pools ensure their core body temperature stays constant.
Q. What do I do when I get to the pool?
Please ensure you arrive at the pool with enough time to locate the changing rooms and get changed. There is usually specific parking instructions which will be written on your enrolment form. If you are unsure of anything please do not hesitate to ask the teacher or pool watcher.
Q. How large are the classes?
Class sizes vary based on the size of the pool and the age of the babies. The class size will always be small, to ensure that every baby gets as much hand on teacher attention as needed.
Q. How Long does a class last?
Each class is 30 minutes long. However the youngest babies may wish to leave the pool early, as the 20-25 minutes is usually the optimum time before they become too tired.
Q. Can Both Parents attend the classes?
Some classes are suitable for two parents to come into the pool with their child, this information can be found on the find a class page for each location. We have specific classes for two parents and two children to swim together, please contact us for details of these classes. At most other classes other parents and relatives are welcome to watch, unless otherwise stated. However for safety reasons you must all arrive together.
Q. Do I Need floats or armbands?
No, while armbands & floats are good for holiday safety, they are not necessary for our lessons, as they hold your baby in the incorrect alignment for swimming and therefore interfere with your babies natural buoyancy and swimming progression.
Q. Will my baby swim?
In our classes we show you how to submerge your baby safely if you wish to do so. Babies retain the dive reflex for up to six months old. This is a great time to take your baby swimming as the more your child is exposed to the water at an earlier age, the more they become comfortable with moving, and eventually moving independently in the pool environment. As we teach swimming for babies, children & adults, we know the skills that will aid your babies development. Our teaching is based on the Alexander Technique, which means that what we teach your child and you, will ensure good lifelong swimming habits. Practising the wrong techniques can create bad habits, which are difficult to unlearn later in life.
Q. What is the Alexander Technique?
The simple answer is ‘thinking in movement’, it is method which works exceptionally well to enhance swimming. For a much more detailed version see this page.
Q. How soon can my baby start?
You can never start too soon; in the past it has been recommended that you start at 3 months after their immunisation program. It has been found that it makes no difference see here for more information.
We are all born with a natural dive or swallow reflex its what prevents us from drowning when we eat and drink fluids. As babies have a memory of floating from being in the womb and completely submerged in fluid for 9 months. At around 5 to 6 months after birth they start to lose this memory of floating in the womb and so in order to submerge it has already become less natural to them, and so need to learn how to do it. If you start your baby before 6 months they have retained their memory of floating and submersion is simple and easier for them. We recommend to start around 6-8 weeks old if baby and mother are both well enough.