Baby Swim Classes

What is the starting age?

We generally accept babies from 4-6 months old. Some of our schools may accept babies at 3 months old if they have been through the Home Development Program.

What is the Home Development Program?

We are all born with the two basic skills needed to learn to swim – balance and breath control – because we spend the first 40 weeks of our lives in a liquid environment. A baby will quickly lose these skills unless parents and carers work with baby to maintain and develop these skills. We have created a Home Development Program that educates parents on how to prepare baby for swimming lessons.

How does Shaplands introduce babies to the water?

In the mid 1990's after I have been teaching swimming for some 30 years I noticed an interesting phenomenon with babies. Which was if a baby accidently put their face under the water and they thought they caused it then the baby was not unduly upset and the next time this; for the want of a better word; happy accident occurred the baby would normally be fine. From that day on I started to incorporate this skill development process into my lessons. So I have developed what I call the natural method of introducing babies to water. So babies up to the age they can walk are introduced to the water using this method, with amazing non traumatic results.

Once the baby can walk and have mastered gravity then the approach is different. In this approach we still use the natural method but need to make sure the child/baby is able to control the effect being in an environment where the forces of gravity are removed or partially removed, before we allow them to go under the water.

How are the lessons conducted?

All the lesson are conducted in a specially designed and constructed heated teaching pool.

The lessons are conducted in small semi private classed of 3.

The teachers are all qualified by the industry standard but receive extra training from me in relation to the natural method.

Describe a successful baby swimming lesson?

Let me prefix this by making this statement. If you want to learn to drive a car the more time you spend driving the car the better and faster you learn. Sitting next to someone and watching them will not help you learn the skills of driving a car.

It is a similar principal when you are learning to swim in that the more time you can spend under the water the faster you will learn to swim because if you are going to swim successfully you need to be able to go under the water and hold your breath.

Sitting on the side of the pool and singing songs and then splashing into the water every now and then, may be great fun but the amount of time the baby spends under the water feeling the water holding them up and learning to control their breathing the faster the baby will learn to control that environment.

It will take some time before your baby is comfortable going under the water so be patient as your instructor helps in this process as all babies behave differently to a water environment.

So a successful baby lesson to me is where a baby can eventually go under the water for periods of up to 5 seconds and love every minute of being weightless. To them I am sure it almost feels like they are back in their mothers womb.

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