Swimming lessons have become as much part of our weekly routine, as they have our blog posts but how easy is it really to turn a water baby into a confident swimming toddler?
You know already that we love our Water Babies lessons and the Water Babies toddler programme can take you and your baby right through until they are 4 years old. This term we are working to help the little ones develop a flat, streamlined body position, coordinated legs and arms and aquatic breathing. (easy right?).
Aquatic breathing is something that even the tween struggles with at times but somehow it seems easier for the toddler, although I suspect this has more to do with her love of blowing raspberries in the water ..... which is a step up from trying to drink it at least. Blowing bubbles into the water is fun as far as she is concerned but at this stage, she is not conscious that she is learning the skill, merely enjoying doing something she is not normally allowed to do.
The woggle and float play a big part in our swimming lessons now due to the little ones are learning to swim in a flat position as the instinct is still to almost "run" through the water. Interestingly, Water Babies tell us that children lack the strength and co-ordination to swim properly until they’re 3 or 4 as their little bodies just aren’t proportioned for swimming on the surface, so its unreasonable to expect that she will be getting her 25 metre badges any time soon.
I have been reading a lot about baby and toddler swimming this week and the opinions seem really divided about it. There are lots of forums ( I shan't mention them by name) where mums end up debating the merits (and alleged pitfalls) of baby swimming classes. There are those that adore Water Babies and swimming with their little ones and those that harp on about the cost. I loved one particular womans story who stated that her partner had been put on reduced hours but she was saving money elsewhere to ensure that they could continue with their classes. I think that speaks volumes.
Cost undoubtedly plays a part in the choices we make for our children, the classes they take, the schools they attend, the clothes they wear but for the safety of my children, I am not sure I can put a price on it. The little one has confidence in the water, she can get in and out of the pool safely herself, she can jump in and come back up to the surface unaided and whether she masters the art of a flat streamlined body now she is 3 or when she is 4, I know I can't put a price on that.
So how do you turn a water baby into a swimming toddler?
You just keep swimming!
Have you had experience of baby swimming? What are your thoughts?