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Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Swimming with Water Babies #NBSW

Water babies swimming lessons (find your local pool here)

Whether it's because we had a water birth or it's just part of her, Esmé absolutely loves the water. Even at this early stage I wanted to embrace this love of hers and take her swimming so we could both learn some valuable lessons whilst both having fun. Swimming at this age wasn't much of a thought when I had Aiden, we took him to the local swimming pool once or twice but he got cold far to fast and there's only so long you can sit still holding your baby. Until I was contacted by Water babies I had no idea that children so young could be taught swimming techniques, which is incredibly important and could save their life.

At first the thought of getting in a swimsuit not so long after having a baby with people I had never met before was a little daunting, thank god for boy leg swimsuits is all I can say. I think the excitement of getting to put Esmé in a little cute swimsuit and see her swim made up for the embarrassment I felt inside. Instead of paying each week for individual lessons it's done by chapters, this way the important techniques that they need can be taught and they really start remembering what it is they need to do. It's incredible to think that at just a few months old the routine of this has already sunk in and she's getting to know certain steps. 

The class itself has taken place at my local hospitals hydrotherapy pool so the water itself has been lovely and warm and it runs for half an hour. This time might not seem long enough to be able to do anything but for a baby that short time is a full blown workout. So far in this chapter we have learnt how to safely enter the pool (if its not a beached entrance), how to safely hold them in a swimming position on their front and back, the importance of them holding on to the side, getting them used to water on their face (with the name, ready go system) and swimming underwater both held and unaided on their own! The classes are small and Emma our water babies teacher has been incredibly attentive to each baby and parent so both myself and Phil have really felt like we've picked up the skills we need to use to help Esmé learn. 

Aside from it being extremely rewarding to see her happy face in the pool and it being an incredible bonding experience for both mother & father, it also benefits baby in their physical and emotional development. Babies who have started swimming early have been know to typically walk earlier, have better balance, are stronger, more co-ordinated and boosts their confidence. Since starting I have noticed Esmé has grown more of an appetite and certainly has a good sleep routine on the day of swimming. 

The amount of children that aren't able to swim is astonishing considering the danger and I do not want my children being part of that statistic. Especially when you can start them off so young and it be such a fun activity. I'm lucky to have had the opportunity to join up with Water babies and see first hand the simple yet affective techniques that are taught and the benefits it can bring.

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