It would be fair to say that the favourite part of our weekly routine is our Tuesday morning swim class.
I first wrote about our swim classes back in the early days, when Henry was around seven months old.
Now we’ve been attending class for six months,I wanted to give you a little update on our progress, why it’s so important, and our must-have products and tips to make classes easier.
A caution – this post contains lots of super cuteness involving this gorgeous lion poncho* – which I will be talking about a lot towards the end of this post!
We always knew we wanted to do swimming classes from an early age as I think it is so very important for children to be comfortable and capable in water, especially as we live near the sea (not that I’d advise swimming in the Solent) and I love being in water myself.
I myself had swimming lessons, but much later in life at around the age of 10/11. It never crossed my mind to do lessons that late, and I’m so glad I started when I did.
Aside from actually teaching water confidence – such as being close to other people in a pool and having water in their face – we are also taught the early principles of actual swimming, including working on their core to help their balance, and teaching them to reach forward and move their arms. Henry is also learning how to kick a little too which is so great to see.
The classes also help development for outside of class, including better balance and at an earlier age from faster development of the inner ear, better co-ordination, increased core strength, and an increased lung capacity in comparison to non-swimmers, which certainly explains Henry’s ability to shout!
We’re also taught pool safety, including different ways to hold them, awareness of where their face is in comparison to the water, and holding on to the side, as well as climbing out and falling into the pool (we play humpty dumpty a lot!). We’ve even been shown how best to get in and out a pool which doesn’t have a staircase, but rather a ladder, which is very helpful for pools outside of our swim class. I think a lot of these skills are completely invaluable. They’re incredibly good to know, especially how to keep your little one as safe as possible whilst you’re in the pool.
Honestly I don’t think our little water baby would be happier anywhere else than in water. And our swim lessons have really boosted his confidence and bring us so much joy.
He is admittedly the class clown and a definitely little trouble maker. He has a little swim buddy who he has taught to splash and it is hilarious when they both get going, though us mums get very wet in the process.
I think we’ve made some real progress with Henry’s and my confidence in the water. He has zero problems with being splashed or having water on his face. He also does not care about being dunked under, although I’m still working on relaxing my arms as he has a habit of opening his mouth and grinning right when he’s about to go under!! For me, I know he’s happy and isn’t going to freak out in the pool. Plus we know he can hold onto the side of the pool really well.
One of his absolute favourites is bubble blowing into the water. He watches me do it, and has started to copy after laughing a lot. Yes we end up with LOTS of water being drunk through out the session, but he’s not afraid to put his mouth/face in the water and that is such a good thing.
Aside from that he is still the biggest fan of the okie cokie and laughs so hard when close to all the other babies in the group. It’s also the highlight of the class for me, as seeing everyone laugh with him is such a great feeling. He really does brighten up everywhere he goes.
So our must-haves and tips for swimming classes.
Aside from the actual class, there is quite a lot to get organised before and after.
Getting ready to go in the pool is actually really simple. I’d advise always having two swim nappies with you, just in case!
We’ve recently upgraded our swim gear to this rash vest and shorts (by the way Tesco is doing amazing kids clothes at the moment – you’re welcome) to replace our previous bodysuit. This set is perfect for cooler pools, and for outdoor pools as well as splash pads as it is UPF 50 protected too.
We’ve enlisted the help of this toddler poncho* which is so handy for swim class. Just throw over the head and cuddle up. So much easier than a towel and Henry loves it. Plus when he’s walking this will be way better than a towel for keeping him warm and dry whilst I start to get him ready. It’s fast become one of our favourite toddler items. We use it at home as well as for swimming class. Plus it folds up nicely on itself, so I now wrap our wet swim stuff inside it, safe in the knowledge that it won’t unravel and get everything in our bag soaked.
Alongside these three necessities for swimming (as well as obviously my swim stuff) we carry snacks ready for post-swimming. These are great to had over whilst I finish getting dressed and stops him wandering off on the wet floors. Plus he usually has a huge nap after swimming which takes us up to lunchtime, so this helps tide him over til then.
What are your swimming lesson must-haves?
*PR sample, sent for review. All opinions are my own.