For the past few weeks, Thursday has been swimming day for us.
We go to a swimming lesson for 0-3, and there has been a good mix of ages.
Daisy is nearly 6 months old now. There is about a 50/50 split between babies and toddlers. It’s mostly Mums that go, with the occasional Dad. So some are carried by mum, others have arm bands and are ‘swimming’ on their own, but are still supported by Mum. The class is for 0-3 years old. So even at 2-3 years, they do the same as the babies.
The session is half an hour long, where we lift the babies/toddlers in and out of the water to nursery rhymes, walking round the pool straddling a noodle, singing ‘Horsey horsey don’t you stop’, dunking them under the water to ‘Jack be Nimble’ and other similar things.
The first couple of lessons were fun. It was good to learn what to do with Daisy in the water, but after a while I got a bit bored of it. It was the same stuff over and over, which I agree, repetition builds familiarity, but it would have been good to maybe introduce something new each week. We went for a total of 10 lessons, which were the Grand total of £44. This didn’t seem too bad at first, but then thinking of it as £4.40 for half an hour’s swim, where they didn’t really learn to swim, it seemed a bit much. I was also told it would give us unlimited free swim, which was great, just what I wanted while on Maternity leave, but then someone clarified, and it was Daisy that got the free swim, not me.
That’s no bonus at all being as kids are free until they are four anyway!
We started out at Rebecca Adlington Swimming Centre, which I was told was warmer and they had just done it all out, so it was great. We actually found the pool cold, Daisy was always shivering by the end, and there were never enough changing rooms after a baby swimming lesson with baby changing tables in. Quite often we would be stood there waiting for a room, with a cold baby, and someone would come out of a baby change room without a child, so there obviously weren’t enough cubicles.
For our last two lessons, we swapped to Water Meadows, thinking if we were going, we may as well get a bit of a fun swim after the lesson. This may well have worked well if we had fitted in to a later lesson, but they don’t open the main pool until 12, and our lesson was 10-10:30. The lesson itself was better though. The instructor was actually in the pool with us, and there were more games geared around actually swimming.
Daisy is starting to try to swim now. She kicks her little legs trying to move through the water, so I want more for her than to be lifted in and out of the pool.
They were good for those that need more confidence in the water, those that want to just play, but for us, I think we are going to look for something more. I have heard Water Babies are good, although a lot more expensive (£100-£180 for 10 lessons I am told), but you do get what you pay for with everything. I have seen photos of a baby the same age as Daisy (born the same day!) swimming under water with no-one else in shot. As in swimming on his own. These lessons also teach them self preservation, to hold on to the side of the pool etc. So it looks like these are our next step. 🙂
We have a monthly membership for me now, so we can go whenever we want to. So far we have been going to the Parent and Toddler sessions at Water Meadows on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings, but not always all 3 each week, but making sure we go at least twice a week. Have to get out moneys worth out of our monthly membership! It is fun. Daisy loves swimming, and you can really see her becoming more aware of where she is, and what she is doing. The first few lessons she was indifferent about it. She was relaxed, but it was just as if she was at home being held. Now she is actively kicking her legs, and starting to splash. She watches everyone else a lot, she loves to people watch, so I think she is picking up new ideas. Or plotting world domination. One or the other!