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The Little Lilypad is a lifestyle blog mostly written by a mum to two beautiful, cheeky and entertaining daughters. It is sometimes written by the Man on the Pad or by one of our baby bloggers. Occasionally we accept guest posts too. There is frequently talk of shoes and clothing (we love fashion and savvy shopping), chocolate (who doesn't love chocolate) education and swimming (we love this too). It is hopefully helpful, sometimes funny and always honest.

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When does the transition happen from baby swimming to just swimming?

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We finished our swiming lessons for the summer holidays last week and we were suitably subdued that we would be missing our Water Babies adventures over the summer but even more so that our swimming teacher was moving on to pastures new. There are some of our Water Babies friends that are not continuing their lessons next term due to circumstances, which meant that there were more goodbyes to be said before the end of term.
 
It got me thinking about the transition from Water Babies as some of our group are now obviously gaining exceptional water skills, not purely life saving and enjoyment but the ability to swim freely. So when does the transition happen from baby swimming to "just swimming".
 
I can't imagine putting my youngest into traditional swimming lessons at the present time, in fact I think it would be counter productive to her confidence and development and in talking to Water Babies, they tell me that the transition period is usually around the age of 4 (so we definitely have some time!).
 
There are lots of things to consider and prepare for in the transition to main stream lessons, even at ages 4 and above, such as; 
 
  • Before hand, take your child to the pool and ensure they can get in and out of the pool on their own
  • Explain to them that you will not be in the pool with them but you will be near by
  • Visit the venue before hand and show child where they will be swimming and where you will be sitting – it may mean you cannot see them swim
  • Help them pack their own swim bag (so they also know everything they need to bring home with them too!)
  • Explain to them that they should wait for you at a set point for collection after their lesson and not go with any one they do not know
  • Buy a swim hat – it is likely they will have to wear one so you might as well try it on before hand (my eldest was not a fan of this when she started her lessons but she just snaps it on her own head now).

 

I never forget the tears and trantrums that we had with my eldest when she started traditional swimming lessons, so I know that it is important to make the transition from Water Babies to main stream lessons a smooth one. Thankfully it is not something I need to think about for another 12 months or so ...... or maybe it is me that is not ready to make the transition and accept that my water baby is growing up.
 

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  1. We didn't take ours as babies but waited til they were school age and started them in the same group - sort of like Mari's twins without the shared birthday!

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  2. My daughter's been going to lessons for ages. i'd been getting so frustrated as it seemed she was getting nowhere, but then it just clicked. It was amazing to see her do a whole length of front crawl!

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  3. We never did a baby swimming course, but took Amy occasionally. I am now quite keen though to let her have formal swimming lessons or she'll just spend the next summer in Germany and be thrown into the Baltic Sea every single day - I learned swimming really quickly that way and I'm a very confident swimmer :D

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  4. Such handy advice, you know I've been blessed with twins as they have always had each other whereas singletons need that little more thinking through. Great post!

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  5. This is interesting as we never did baby swimming. I know friends who did and their children can swim so far and so well. I know that there's kids join swimming club having completed all the certificates by the time they are 7 though. My youngest 2 started normal lessons at the 2 years 9 months age when they didn't need me to go in with them.

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  6. Some really handy tips! Do believe in child led and it has worked well for me especially as a single mum. Definitely keeping everything smooth makes it easier for everyone around!! :) x

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  7. Both of my girls need more confidence in the water. Interesting points though, neither go mine have tried the baby swim lessons x

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  8. I think these things are decided by the individual child - like the rest of their independence it and varies enormously - build, strength and confidence. As you say though, keeping the transition smooth is down to us and I'm glad yours has worked so well. Interesting question! :)

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