This is the first of several posts I’m going to be writing in collaboration with Waterbabies Tees. Back when Edie and Mabel were just a bump, I had a feeling that they were going to love water. I could feel them turn when I took a shower or they used to go crazy if I took a bath and I did aquanatal classes throughout my entire pregnancy, where I’d always have the most peaceful night’s sleep after. Overall I guess I just had a feeling that they’d love it. Once they arrived, they loved having a bath no matter whether that was a plastic tub in the livingroom, the kitchen sink or the big bath in our bathroom.
So I jumped at the chance to get them into lessons when Waterbabies got in touch and I’m so glad I did. We started our Chapter One lessons back in November and both girls, from the moment they got in the water loved it.
For those of you who haven’t heard about Waterbabies before, they’re the UK’s number one baby swimming school and children can attend from newborn till they’re four years old. In fact their youngest ever swimmer was just one day old! Props to that Mama because all I wanted to do with my day old babies was have a sleep!
On our very first lesson Edie and Mabel both took part in an under water swim… I also nearly did as I’m sure I nearly fainted in shock. They meanwhile loved the experience and I guess when you really think about it, it’s no surprise that they have an affinity with the water – they did spend nine months in it afterall.
Prior to starting Chapter One, I guess I hadn’t really thought about what baby swimming would consist of too much and I just assumed it would be splashing about in a pool, getting babies used to water. But Waterbabies is so much more than that! There is a huge focus on poolside safety and from our very first lesson, we were learning the skills needed if a baby should fall into the water.
I was talking to my health visitor about this and shockingly she told me that a baby dies from a swimming pool incident every year, not just in the region but in the tiny rural area we are based in which she covers. Sadly I’ve since discovered that that shocking fact isn’t just our small area and that drowning is the second highest cause of accidental deaths of children under five years of age in England. So learning about swimming pool safety as young as possible is incredibly important.
From the moment Edie and Mabel got into the pool, both of them instinctively kicked away trying to tread water, whilst they weren’t smiling, they were wide eyed and mouthed, looking round and taking everything in. I could tell they enjoyed it when we were singing (there’s lot of this) and I was so proud of them both.
We swim at a lovely warm hydropool in Stockton which works out perfectly because it’s half way from Jason’s office to home. So I feed them before we go, the girls have a nap in the car on route and we meet J there. They’re still currently feeding every three hours, so I take a bottle for straight after and repeat the process on the way home.
We’re midway through our Waterbabies Chapter One journey and it has been wonderful so far. The girls always sleep really well the night after swimming (you know that baby sleep style when their arms are above their heads) and I personally really enjoy going – the other mum’s we swim with are lovely and it’s nice having a natter in the changing room after. In the few lessons we’ve had, I’m feeling a lot more confident about taking Edie and Mabel in the pool on holiday and I’m planning on taking them to my healthclub with me swimming as well as our lesson next week.
If you’re interested in taking your baby swimming or learning more about poolside safety then I cannot recommend Waterbabies enough. Find out more about Waterbabies Tees Valley and North Yorkshire Moors who we swim with here or to find your local office, take a look here.