My Third Water Babie!
Posted in Half Term on Thu Mar 07 2019
SUCH a big week for a Micro WIKI this week as she took her very first dip in the baby pool. Not only her first time in a pool but also her first lesson at Water Babies. As a mum on her third series of Water Babies classes, I was super excited about starting but of course a little bit nervous as you never quite know how your child is going to react. With the previous two there had been mixed reactions to the very first class, Little Wiki, my first has always been a massive Water Baby and took to it with aplomb. Mini Wiki, number two, in her nature a bit "sloth like', fell asleep during her first lesson - and the second and the third - so I wasn’t sure what would happen with no 3.
As always there was no need to be nervous because the Water Babies team are such, smiley, warm people. We were greeted and briefed on our arrival by Tamsin who runs our local area. She provided a full introduction to the course and the pool. Then once on poolside, we met Theresa. Immediately LOVELY, she at once makes you feel comfortable. She is wet-suited, swimming-hatted and there with you in the pool, holding your hand and guiding you through each step of the class. She's a mum herself, and she gets it!
The pool itself, although obviously a little bit cold at first, was perfectly temperate for the babies and as I understand they ensure the temperature is consistently at 30° for the swimming lessons, which is slightly above the normal baby pool temperature.
Of all the babies in the class, naturally mine is the the only one crying before we'd even got wet - mainly due to it being nap time and the fact that I’d hurriedly squeezed her chunky thighs into a happy nappy just moments before. She also screamed as we entered the pool and for the first few exercises - still the only one doing it - but I was in good company. As we all know, it will be another child next week. And there is no judgement.
As a mum on my third round I’m not really fased by the crying but I remember being mortified in the past when it seemed to be only mine not enjoying it. As with everything, it does get better. And this week, she was all smiles... for the most of it anyway. I did wonder if it might may have been wise to have taken her for a little dip before her first class, to ease her in a bit, but we didn't have a chance. Anyway, in the end she really enjoyed the class and was full on grins at me. These sessions are such an amazing bonding experience for her and I. You're back to skin to skin, no distractions of phones and other people, just you and you baby doing something together.
As part of the half an hour class you are taught a number of exercises and holding positions so that you can safely move around the pool with your baby. Of course the first lesson is not about how to do a good backstroke, it’s mainly about building your confidence when taking baby into the pool and showing them how fun it can be. That said, baby does also have a few firsts. We learnt to help them deal with spashing by lighting wetting their faces, with a clear controlled process...Lily. Ready. Go (light splash).
But the biggest event of the lesson is when baby has her first underwater swim! This may surprise you but you are given every opportunity to opt out. But all the babies were totally fine, enjoyed it in fact (other than mine naturally who let out a rip roaring scream afterwards). Again I’m totally convinced this was down to tiredness as she started to look really sleepy as the lesson continued and I think it was just the shock of going under water for the first time. But even if they do have a little reaction, they are completely fine again within moments as long as you give them a nice big cuddle, a big beaming smile and reassure them that everything is well.
As you well know most babies can cope underwater really well so this is just the first stage of a lovely swimming journey that your little one is about to take. Your teacher will take baby and do the first dip for you so you don’t have to be worry that you don’t know how to do it or for how long. The first underwater swim is very quickly followed with bouncing in a circle and a lot of singsong and finally the lesson is closed with a rendition of twinkle twinkle little star, a crowd pleaser.
As first lessons go I’d say that ours went well! For 80% of the time she was full of massive grins and the time we spent together is priceless. For anyone else that also experiences a little bit of upset in their first lesson I can reassure you that it will be somebody else next week and your decision to start lessons at this stage is an amazingly positive one for your baby. You are building their confidence at a very early age and it will create amazing little Water Babies like my other two. They are completely fearless and already demonstrating great swimming skills because we haven’t had to overcome any barriers or fear of water as they’ve grown up.
I won't avoid the conversation of cost because Water Babies is not the cheapest option for swimming lessons, and this can be prohibitive for some. However it is not just a company riding on it's brand name. I have had the great pleasure of having three excellent teachers with my three children and our lessons have been consistently brilliant across the board. The standards are exceptionally high and the smaller group sizes mean there's enough space to move about and very little waiting for your turn. I really do believe you get what you pay for and you will not be disappointed after you have chosen to take your first dip with Water Babies.