Baby swimming lessons


I have a 4 month old baby and I would like her to start having swimming lessons. I am based just South of Manchester.

I contacted Water Babies for information, but think their classes are extortionate at £150. I have also read some bad reviews of the company online.

Does anyone know of any classes that are more reasonably priced? Or any companies you would like to recommend please?

Thanks in advance.


  • ViolaLass
    ViolaLass Posts: 5,764 Forumite
    How confident a swimmer are you? I just took my daughter to the pool every week and watch Youtube videos for ideas.
  • voixdeville
    Wow really? I am a very confident swimmer. What kind of videos did you watch?

    I think i would be a bit nervous putting the baby underwater on my own though!

  • PasturesNew
    PasturesNew Posts: 70,698 Forumite
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    At four months she doesn't need "lessons".

    Just take her in the water and get her floating, with your two hands/arms under her....

    Swimming is simply "floating .... then moving arms/legs to move in a chosen direction" - at 4 months she won't be making choices about directions and probably isn't in control of her arms/legs THAT much.

    Just enjoy the water - and floating .... you can sort out the arms/legs later once she's happy floating about. No rush.

    (I have taught swimming in the dim and distant past + been a competitive swimmer for many years).
  • voixdeville
    Great, thanks for the information! The reason I was looking at swimming lessons, (and particularly lessons with the company 'Water Babies'), is because they teach you how to put your baby underwater without it being in danger (as it still has the automatic reflex to hold its breath at that age).

    This was the element that attracted me; and I am not sure I would want to do this in the swimming pool alone.

    That is why I was enquiring specifically about lessons tbh.

  • waterbaby
    We joined the classes at our local leisure centre, we paid £23 a month for one lesson a week. Lessons were singing songs, pouring water, reaching for floaty toys... generally enjoying the water.

    As a lifelong club and competitive swimmer, could i have done this myself - well yes and no. I could definitely have done the stuff I mentioned above - but the teacher, who out of choice only taught babies to 3 year olds as she was so passionate about that age group, really brought it to life with her knowledge and experience, and she explained about baby swimming things that I - despite having also trained as a teacher but not to teach babies - was unaware of. Plus we did loads of things I would never have thought of. I met her with my first daughter, and since joined her classes for two more babies, I've even changed my work hours around to accommodate her lessons!

    It would have only cost me £1.50 less to go once a week to the public session, so I thought an extra £1.50 for that lesson was a bargain.

    Also having the regular commitment was a positive as it got us out of the house and chatting with the same group of mums in the changing room was a bonus.

    None of this means that you can't go alone to enjoy the water of course. We do both!

    Waterbabies are quite focused on spending a lot of time going underwater so that'll be why you've picked up on them if you want to get your baby underwater. But underwater is not exclusive to them; ours did it once or twice a lesson (or not at all, depending on the parent's preference). (I certainly wouldn't be paying £15 a lesson.)

    Have you enquired at your local pool? Maybe they would let you have a taster session while signing up? Or is it possible to go and watch and talk to the teacher?

    Good luck, I hope the swimming goes well whichever route you take!

    Edit: check my username :)
  • DigForVictory
    DigForVictory Posts: 11,912 Forumite
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    We were told to get the baby completely wet, stay warm & have fun as a first "lesson". He had a whale of a time & my sis & I nearly got pneumonia making sure he went from warm & wet, to warm & dry & dressed, in jig time whist freezing in our swimwear.

    They can all flail across a small pool & none seem to really enjoy swimming, so maybe classes would have kept us sticking to it longer, younger. Organised by the pool at council rates, rather than expensive ones!
  • kingfisherblue
    Council lessons are usually fine and an awful lot cheaper. If you are confident in the water yourself, then take baby in for fun between lessons (if you choose to have them) as well. I'm scared of water and can only just panic my way across the width of the shallow end. Fortunately my ex is a confident swimmer, which has lead my daughter to being confident enough to take her little one into the pool from an early age.

    Council swimming lessons are popular in our area, and some children reach a very high standard.
  • LilElvis
    LilElvis Posts: 5,835 Forumite
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    edited 15 November 2016 at 12:09AM
    I took our daughter to Waterbabies from age 3 months and it was worth every penny. Yes, it is expensive but they are taught safety techniques from day 1 as this is more important than the actual swimming. It's not a quick process though - it's a 40 week a year commitment for about 3 years at a total cost of nearing £2000. Stop after a year and you might as well not bother as they lose everything they've learned (from Mums I know who did stop). Our daughter is now 6 and happily swims in a 1.8 metre deep pool with her Dad every week for an hour - can dive to the bottom, swim crawl, backstroke, breaststroke. All of this was because of the Waterbabies tuition as she hasn't needed another lesson since.

    And if you take a baby in the pool you need a swim nappy with neoprene swim pants over them as a swim nappy by itself is useless if the baby poops in the pool. You won't be popular if the pool has to be closed to be cleaned!

    It was a huge commitment, and at times had me in tears, but she really loved it and swimming continues to be her favourite activity. Watching her whoosh down the slide, off the back of a boat, and into the sea whilst whooping with delight was one of the highlights of our summer holiday. Find a swim school you're happy with and you really will have an amazing time with your baby.
  • Savvy_Sue
    Savvy_Sue Posts: 46,112 Forumite
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    AS well as classes in the local council pool, you may find other companies running private classes in health clubs and gyms and hotel pools. I think we have puddle ducks and turtle tots in ours. No idea what they're like.

    I think the water in the (hotel) pool I use is slightly warmer than at the council pool. changing room is still freezing. I recommend a towelling dressing gown instead of a large towel: pop that on you while you sort baby out, and you'll be nearly dry and not half-frozen.
    Signature removed for peace of mind
  • Spendless
    Spendless Posts: 24,175 Forumite
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    Savvy_Sue wrote: »
    AS well as classes in the local council pool, you may find other companies running private classes in health clubs and gyms and hotel pools. I think we have puddle ducks and turtle tots in ours. No idea what they're like.
    As well as these, also try schools that have their own pools. The ones in my area hire them out to private companies at the weekend for swimming lessons.
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