Nate is a Water Baby (remember his Big Splash?). I’m super proud to say that because for 28 weeks and counting we have worked so hard together to learn how to be champion swimmers. 2032 Olympics, here we come! We adore Water Babies and I highly recommend the classes. Here’s why:
- It’s fun – 30 min full of fun splashy games, songs and safety drills
- It’s nearby – classes are held in tons of pools available in Dublin, we tried out the Harold’s Cross Hospice pool and the new Swan Leisure Centre in Rathmines
- It’s great for building your confidence with your baby and for teaching the baby swimming skills before he learns to be afraid.
- It follows four 10-week terms (Beginning, Intermediate 1, Intermediate 2 and Advanced) so you really feel like you’re accomplishing something!
We started the course in November at 3 months old. I’ll be honest, the first 10 weeks he cried the entire class. He loved the water, but our class fell between nap and lunch time so he’d get cranky. We pushed through it and on the start of Intermediate 1 class, something changed in Nate and he giggled through the entire class and never looked back. Although the class was difficult for us in the beginning, it was really good for me to learn how to respond to Nate when he gets upset in public (smiling and bouncing in the water distracts like a charm), how to move and play with him without fearing I’d break him and of course how to swim with him with confidence.
Nate was under 12lbs when we started and at the time I didn’t know if there was a problem with his low weight or not (there’s not by the way) and it was refreshing to see him excell in something that his peers weren’t. He might be slow to roll over, sit up and crawl but Nate has been swimming underwater by himself since he was 4 months. And he loves it. He could be sick, lethargic and fussy all week but get that boy in the pool and he comes alive!
As the classes progress, they become much more fun and include skills that I would never have learned on my own. The goal of the programme is to teach your child to swim while they have a natural instinct for the water and before they learn to be fearful. Nate will never need floaties because once he has the muscle strength, he’ll be ready to swim unaided. We’re also learning safety skills like how to hold on to the pool wall and how to climb out of a pool. I grew up swimming and believe its an essential skill, especially living here on an island.
Now, I have to set the record straight on something. I hear a lot of people complaining about how Water Babies charge you for the next course without your consent. This is totally NOT true. Water Babies tells you up front that they will keep your credit card on file to automatically register you for the next term so that the rebooking is seamless. There’s a huge waiting list, so logistically it makes sense for the system to work this way. Otherwise, you could loose your spot. They send you several texts and emails weeks in advance letting you know that you’ll be charged for the next term, unless you call to cancel. Everything is very transparent, and for people who wish to follow the four-course series, very easy. I’ve found their customer service amazing.
You also have an opportunity to do an underwater photo shoot. We waited until Nate was comfortable in the water during Intermediate 1. It was pretty expensive, but as you can see, totally worth it. I love our Water Babies days and love the unique and special time we spend together in the pool. I know I’m a much better mommy because of it!