H-Bear started swimming lessons with Water Babies at the end of September. It’s been something that I’ve been eager for him to begin for months now, but just haven’t had the time to sit down and find out where our local lessons are.
Then the lovely folk at Water Babies got in touch and asked us whether we’d be interested in trying out a semester of lessons at one of the two pools local to us. We opted for the lessons at Winifred Holtby School in Hull, as they run on a Sunday – and as I don’t drive this was the most convenient option. However, they run more lessons (on a Thursday and Friday) at Total Fitness in Willerby – just outside of Cottingham.
We had a bit of a rocky start with the lessons; a couple of sessions were cancelled and we were away for a week, so the beginning of the course wasn’t very consistent. However, now H-Bear has been going solidly for 4-5 weeks, he’s really starting to enjoy the lessons.
Initially, I was the one swimming with him, but I wasn’t feeling well one of the weeks, so Nick went in instead… Both boys had a great time, so we decided that Nick would swim going forward. Their bond has improved noticeably since the change over, and it means that Nick and H-Bear get some one-on-one time together, which is so rare with two children.
This week (week commencing 31st October 2016) is National Baby Swimming Week. Teaching your baby to swim is such an important life skill, and Water Babies have put together a list of reasons and benefits as to why you should consider swimming lessons:
1. Probably the most important benefit of the lessons is that they teach water safety. Drowning is the third-biggest cause of accidental death among children under 5 in the UK. Learning to get to the side, hold on, get out and/or swim could save your child’s life one day.
2. The lessons are fantastic for physical and mental health. Swimming is such a fun activity and a great way to get your child interested in exercise and sport from a young age.
3. The lessons promote bonding through skin-to-skin. Nick and H-Bear are definitely closer since they’ve been participating in the lessons together.
4. The lessons help your child feel confident in the water!
5. Swimming develops coordination. Learning to swim with toys will help your little one’s co-ordination and motor skills.
6. Swimming helps build strength: buoyancy and water-resistance mean that babies exercise more muscles, more effectively, in water than on land.
7. The lessons help develop learning skills – responding to repetitive voice commands can sharpen your baby’s mental skills and increase their levels of understanding.
8. Being in the warm water in the pool enhances your baby’s well-being by relaxing them.
9. The lessons provide structure to your week – adding to your routine.
10. Finally, did you know that you can start swimming lessons from birth? You no longer have to wait for vaccinations! I wish we’d started earlier with H-Bear!
Find out more about National Baby Swimming Week and the benefits of baby swimming on the National Baby Swimming Week website.
Pop over to the Water Babies website to find your nearest class.