Henry's been a little water baby since he was tiny - he is the biggest fan ever of bath time (read my essentials bathtime post, and our bedtime routine here.) and loves nothing more than splashing about.
I'm also a huge water fan. I love the sea, being by the river, and being in the pool. I find it relaxing and calming, and think it is the best kind of exercise you can get.
Personally I only actually learnt to swim at the age of 11 just before our first holiday (Haven for the win) but it isn't the introduction to swimming that I wanted for Henry. I'm a firm believer that water confidence and the ability to swim is really important for children, so I enrolled us into swim classes at our local pool when Henry was 7 months old.
I'm not going to lie, I really wish I'd gotten the courage up sooner, but groups like this make me really nervous, and a little bit anxious. When we decided to start the swim classes at Hamble Sports Complex, I was still nervous as the timeslot is smack bang in the middle of his morning nap, so I wasn't sure how he'd cope. But it's definitely been the best decision I've made in ages to go ahead with the classes.
Basically the final push to take him swimming was when I booked us a couple of little staycations for June and October which both included pools, which I really wanted to take Henry to, so I bit the bullet.
^^Is there actually anything cuter than baby rolls? I don't think so!^^
So I picked him up some bits for his classes, which I really think helped him, and made the classes easier which I'm going to share with you.
Of course we got swim nappies. I picked these Huggies Lil Swimmers from Boots (they were on offer 2 for £6 and currently on deal at half price £2.75) to go under his Swim bottoms (they're also called Swim Happy Nappies but for the sake of this post I'll call them bottoms). I also picked up the matching Baby Wrap Wetsuit as after a little twitter conversation, it seemed this was the best bet in case the pool was particularly cold. Plus he looks super cute in them! AND orange trim - an absolute must!! FYI the Swim Happy Nappy is a little tricky to pull on to a wriggling child, but is totally worth it, and the Wetsuit is literally the easiest thing on the planet to put on. It velcro's up and lays out completely flat to put your child inside it. Plus it lasts a good length of time too (we're in 6-18months). It's really thick and perfect for in the sun too as it has UV protection. It practically ticks all the boxes for mums.
So onto the swim class. It's basically singing and playing but in the pool and getting them to learn water confidence and not being afraid of being splashed or dunked. Our swim teacher teaches about all the different baby reflexes, and helps to build not only your babies confidence in water, but mum's (or dad's) in being in the water with your little one too!
Honestly the class is the highlight of my week and something we look forward to. Henry literally started bouncing in my arms with excitement when he sees the pool and starts splashing the minute we're in the water (yes I'm the mum that's covered in as much water as the babies are due to being splashed so much!) Plus the class absolutely knackers him out. He falls asleep in the pushchair on the walk home (we live about 15 minutes walk away from the sports centre) and sleeps for at least an hour, sometimes two, which means I can get on with some blog work/chores!!
I cannot recommend swim classes enough!
Do you do swim classes with your little ones? What age did you start?