Tuesday 30 May 2017

All about Baby Lessons

Your first trip to baby classes  -  For most parents the first trip to swimming lessons can be fraught with uncertainty so it’s a good idea to take your baby to the pool on several occasions prior to enrolling them for lessons. This will familiarise them with the new, possibly noisy and definitely splashy environment and will also give you a chance to chat to the Learn to Swim Coordinator and have a quick peek at any baby lessons that might be on the go.

What do I need to bring to the class?
• Two towels – one for yourself and one for baby. 
• Waterproof nappies – waterproof nappies come in various sizes and can be purchased at the Pool Kiosk
• Appropriate dry clothing for after the lesson. Warm clothes in winter!
• Food - swimming makes babies hungry so be prepared for a feed immediately after the lesson.
• Nappy bag, friend, partner or relative with an attitude of fun!

What can I expect during baby classes?
When you join you will find that classes follow a clear and progressive structure and will also involve some underwater work as and when your baby is ready. Underwater work allows your baby the experience of swimming completely independently, however, in all classes the overall emphasis is on parents and their babies having fun and no baby is ever forced to do anything against his or her clear wishes.
Swimming lessons are often a baby’s first social experience out of the home that involves their peers. During class time they learn to relate and interact with each other and look forward to seeing their class mates each week. Lessons are fun, socially stimulating and an excellent way to bond with your child. An added bonus is that regular swimming often improves eating and sleeping patterns!
Not only can early swimming be life enhancing, it can also be lifesaving. The younger your child is when they begin their swimming adventure the sooner they will be able to build a foundation for the eventual ability to perform age appropriate safety skills. From an early age, babies are taught how to turn around if they fall into the water and reach for and hold onto the side until help arrives. These basic water safety skills are practiced and reinforced in every baby swim class.

What do I do if my baby cries in the lesson? - A baby usually only cries within the lesson if they are unsure of what they need to do, are tired, hungry or are not enjoying themselves. The best thing to do is remove the child from the vicinity of the class BUT remain in the water. Stay calm and try to reassure your baby that everything is alright, play with some toys and when they have settled, re-join the class. Sometimes you may only do a portion of the lesson but over time your child will be happy to participate more and more. Remember, let them progress at their own pace.  

Is it necessary to come to lessons every week?
YES! There is one 30 minute lesson per week and consistent attendance to the classes allows your child to develop a routine and improve their confidence and independence around aquatic environments. Children learn through their senses, role modelling, repetition, consistency, through play and most importantly with encouragement from you. So keep their lessons going and you will see them benefit from your consistency.  

What do I do if my child is sick and can't do the lesson? 
If your child is sick, the best thing to do is not attend the swimming lesson. Please call the centre, preferably 24 hours prior to the lesson commencing, to cancel your class for that day. If you have paid for the entire Learn To Swim term you are entitled to 2 make up lessons which are to be completed within the current term. If more than 2 make-up lessons are needed a Medical certificate is required.