Frequently Asked Questions
When can we get started?
The earlier the better! Our classes start from around 2 months when mums and babies are both comfortably ready. There is plenty to get up to in the bath beforehand! According to the NHS, you can take your baby swimming at any age, both before and after they have been vaccinated. It does not matter if they have not yet completed their course of vaccinations.
Visit Can my baby go swimming before or after vaccinations? - NHS (www.nhs.uk) for advice on inoculations.
Babies are born with certain swimming reflexes that can be stimulated and strengthened during Bubble Babies classes so that they gradually become conscious movements of legs and arms, the basic components of swimming.
In their first few months, babies adjust readily to a water environment and by swimming with you, imitating you and bonding with you, they become eager to exercise their developing abilities in a positive and self-motivated way.
A baby’s brain grows more rapidly in their first year of life than at any other time and regular exercise is instrumental in strengthening the brain for future learning. Swimming is the ultimate exercise for a baby as they can move freely without gravity spoiling their fun!
Bubble Babies classes are in warm water and our carefully structured programme ensures that confidence grows as happy moments are shared. These first lessons have become firmly imprinted in many or our parents’ minds as some of their most precious and enduring memories of baby’s early days.
How should we prepare?
Get in the bath with baby and try floating him and gently splashing water over his face and body. Then come along and watch one of our classes! It’s good to be familiar with the pool and changing rooms and to have an idea of what Bubble Babies classes have in store for you!
What should baby wear?
Your baby must wear a ‘double nappy’ system consisting of a snug fitting disposable swimming nappy (that forms a good seal around the legs and waist) with a non-disposable cloth swimming nappy over the top. You should make sure that you bring some spare disposable nappies as a soiled one will have to be removed immediately. Please put all used nappies in a nappy sack and then into the appropriate bin - never dispose of them in an open bin. If there is no nappy bin, please take your nappy home for disposal there.
How about feeding?
Try to leave at least one hour between baby’s last feed and his swimming class. He may be particularly hungry afterwards after such a healthy workout!
What about illness?
Never bring your baby swimming if they have any form of sickness, ear, eye, nose, throat or chest infection, diarrhoea, chicken pox or measles. Wait until symptoms have completely cleared for at least 48 hours, or the doctor has given the all clear, before returning.
Swimming after vaccinations?
Babies sometimes experience side effects after a vaccination. These are generally quite mild and should not stop you taking your baby swimming. However, babies who are feverish or irritable in the days or weeks after a vaccination may not feel up to swimming for a few days, so you may prefer to wait.
Can my partner come along?
Due to the high demand for places, only one parent is able to accompany baby in the pool. If you both want to swim, however, you may take it in turns with perhaps mum one week and dad the next! Family members are always welcome to come and watch you during your Bubble Babies classes if Covid restrictions permit.
Do I need to be able to swim?
The swimming pool at Great Cransley is 1.10 metres deep with a small deep end area of 1.50m. You do not have to go into the deep end as there is plenty of room in the shallow area .
Kingsley Pool is 1.05 metres deep with no deep end.
If you are not overly confident in the water, remember that in coming to a lesson, you are making the positive step of giving baby the wonderful gift of a lifetime love of the water. Bubble Babies classes have instilled many previously water phobic parents with a newfound confidence and both parent and baby have gone on to become enthusiastic swimming partners!
Do you have awards?
Yes. After each term your child receives a certificate and woven badge as a colourful record of their achievements. We follow the Swimming Teachers’ Association Starfish, Stanley and Rockhopper Awards.
How big are the classes?
At Great Cransley, the classes are typically for four to five parent/baby pairs.
At Kingsley School, there are a maximum of nine parent/baby pairs per lesson.
Parents soon get to know one another and have great fun as they enjoy the dynamic activities. Bubble Babies has seen the making of many social friendships and you are certain of a warm welcome when you come along to meet us!
How long is the programme?
There are 3 terms a year beginning in January, April and September and each one runs for 11 weeks. Babies start at around 2 to 3 months and progress through increasingly challenging classes with each term. Bubble Babies caters for children up to and including school age, depending on how much experience they have had.
Can we have an Underwater Photo taken?
Yes! We have regular Photo Shoots for the whole family twice a year around April and December with an expert photographer using specialist equipment so you can celebrate your achievements at Bubble Babies with a fantastic and unique portrait of your baby swimming underwater and of course, above the water! The Photo Shoots are open to everybody as long as baby is happy and used to going underwater.
When will my baby swim?
Bubble Babies classes concentrate on baby acquiring a whole range of aquatic skills in a fun, loving and gentle approach to swimming that ensures they are confident and content in the water.
With careful supervision and happy encouragement, baby may propel themselves a short way underwater from a very early age. Imagine how exhilarating and empowering this can be for them! Their self-confidence and belief soars!
With the ongoing development of baby’s strength and co-ordination, they may then go on to swim a few strokes any time after the age of 2 years. Bubble Babies is definitely about teaching you how to teach your child to swim as they reach this exciting stage.
Remember, the most important aspect of Baby and Parent Swimming Lessons is to have fun and relax. Always respect your baby’s unique individual pace and take time to give plenty of love, praise and trust.