The benefits of baby swimming classes

Learning to swim and having water confidence were always things I considered really important when I became a parent. My parents invested a great deal of time and effort getting me to learn to swim as a child, and I am very grateful for that.

My dad swam with me every Sunday morning, challenging me to go further and further each week, throwing me around in the water, splashing my face and so on. There weren’t baby swimming classes back then but once I was old enough for lessons at the local pool I went there.

Learning to swim meant that I had another life skill, it meant I could take part in all sorts of other activities, enjoy family holidays and friends swimming parties. Most of all it meant that whilst I learnt to understand the dangers of the water, I was never frightened of it.

Baby swimming classes were something that I wanted to do from my early pregnancy with my first child. I picked up leaflets for both Waterbabies and Puddleducks at a baby show when I was pregnant, along with a Splash About swim nappy. These are superb and I’ve since used them with all my children.

I took my daughter to Puddleducks whilst I was on maternity leave but after returning to work we switched to Waterbabies as the times were better suited to us.

It was a similar thing with my second child, Puddleducks initially and then a switch to Waterbabies.

They both continued to around 2.5 years. Whilst lessons continue way beyond that and although both the children loved the water, they resisted the structure of the classes at that age and we opted not to continue.

They had learnt: to love the water; enjoy playing in the water; not to be afraid of being under the surface of the water; to hold their breath under the water; close their eyes on cue; to hold on to the side; to climb out on their own; to kick in the water; and to balance on a float and kick themselves along. It was well worth the cost and the effort.

My third child again began with Puddleducks and we continued with this until he was about 13 months. Again, he loved the water but he was already beginning to resist the structure of the lessons and it did not seem helpful to continue.

By the time we needed to arrange baby swimming classes for our youngest little man, we didn’t have many options available, due to the fact that there are not really any options for containing a toddler whilst you take part in a baby swimming class with a newborn. We came across Turtle Tots which has worked well time wise.

Having tried three different companies for baby swimming lessons I can say that they are much of a muchness. There are subtle differences between them and some cost variations as well but they all focus on water confidence and life-saving techniques, they all create opportunities for babies to go under the water and there are even opportunities for an underwater photo shoot .


Whilst they had a break from formal lessons as toddlers, the children have always enjoyed swimming as a family. This has applied when we are at home or on holiday.

The big kids started lessons at the local pool as they turned 4 and the have progressed at a superb rate. Our eldest now swims in a swimming club and for school.

Investing in baby swimming classes was really worth it. They all love the water, they are confident and they all know what to do if they get into difficulty.

Have you taken your children swimming from an early age?

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28 comments on 'The benefits of baby swimming classes'

  • Totally agree with all your points, the sooner you get your baby use to the Water the better. My son never minds going under now as he’s swam from 12 weeks. #brilliantblogposts

  • I started taking my eldest when I gave up and became a SAHD. She’d have been two at the time and she loved it. It also guaranteed me a three hour afternoon nap if I took her in the morning! We’ve continued andnow we take her little sister swimming while big sisiter does lessons in the neighbouring pool. Both kids love it. Swimming was somehting I wanted the kids to learn from a young age because I didn’t learn until I was eight and can still remember the day I went up in front of the wholeschool to get my 10m swinning badge when my peers were collecting the 25m or 50m! #BrilliantBlogPosts

    • Oh yes, nothing like a swim to ensure a good sleep! It’s so good you wanted to do things differently. I read this morning that apparently 1 in 5 brits can’t swim which is quite staggering really. Thanks for reading :)

  • Hey, this is really interesting. I toyed with taking my daughter to lessons as a baby but it never got off the ground. We do though take her to the local pool and when we are away on holiday (which is quite a lot) and she is really beginning to love it splashing around and jumping into the water. I’m not a huge fan of swimming myself and wish I was a better swimmer so I will definitely take her for lessons when she’s three and can properly learn. X

  • I agree, baby swimming lessons are brilliant! All three of mine have done them since they were about 12 weeks old. For the last four years, our lessons have been at 8.30am on a Sunday morning, firstly with Waterbabies, then with two different local places. It’s a bit challenging with three but luckily my big two can now go in the water without an adult, so I look after them and my husband goes in with the baby. It’s amazing seeing what strong swimmers they are and how much they love the water. We leave the house earlier on a Sunday than we do the rest of the week but it is definitely worth it. #binkylinky

  • Fab post, my eldest wasn’t allowed swimming lessons for ages due to chronic glue ear but he’s really getting his confidence now. Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts

  • I’d love to take my girls to these classes, but because I have twins I can’t as they won’t let me in with two children. Apparently when they turn four they will though so only another year to go! Thanks for linking up with the #BinkyLinky

    • Yes that’s pretty much the issue we had this time with two so close in age.It can be hard can’t it. There are lots of classes I wasn’t able to do because I wasn’t allowed to take another child.

  • I took our LO to lessons from 6 weeks. I view it as a life skill as well as something fun. But similar to you we’ve now stopped the classes for a while (she’s just turned 2) as she was resisting the structure. We try to take her for a family swim as often as possible and she loves it!

    • Yes that’s it – I think they have a shelf life put serve their purpose early on and as long as you keep it up as a family then it stays with them I think.Thanks for reading.

  • I took both of ours to lessons as soon as they were old enough – we didn’t have water babies in Shanghai and I didn’t know enough about it when the Little Man was born but the formal lessons they’ve had, along with nursery rhymes and much splashing, have given them both a lot of confidence in the water. He’s not keen every week and at two and a half he’d rather play than ‘perform’ but that’s fine with me – there’s plenty of time for learning the formal strokes and for now just being content in the water is enough! Thanks for linking up at #sharethejoy this week x

    • I think that seems to be the age doesn’t it, and why should the ‘perform’ at that age when playing is so much fun. As long as they are happy in water the rest will come.x

  • We did infant swimming lessons with all 3 of our kids too. They loved it! Our goal was water safety, but it did seem like for awhile they were actually less safe as they had no fear but hadn’t developed the skills yet. That stage passed quickly though. Now they are 5, 5, and 8 and just finishing up summer swim team. They had a blast, and I think my oldest has found “his” sport.

  • I live by the sea so swimming has always been a big part of my life, we were often down our local park swimming in the sea! With this in mind I wanted my son to learn to swim as early as possible and we enrolled him onto Turtle Tots at 4 months. He’s now almost 3 and is SO confident in the water – his favourite part of the lessons is jumping in from the side and he would spend the whole lesson underwater if he could!! #twinklytuesday

  • I love swimming with my little girl. I’ve taken her since about four months and she really enjoyed it from the beginning. Before we started I was considering swimming lessons, more for my own confidence than anything else but because we’ve had so much fun without I haven’t booked any yet, although I definitely will as she gets older and we want a more structured swimming lesson. #TwinklyTuesday

  • We lived in a neighbourhood with a pool. While my daughters didn’t enter formal swimming lessons until they were 4, they’ve spent time in water since they were a few months old. I was the one most terrified, just at the idea of watching two infants in the water by myself, but we never had any issues. I think it’d our responsibility to teach our kids basi water safety, given the rates of drowning. Thanks for linking with #TwinklyTuesday.

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