Baby Swim Class

Our little monkey began his swimming lessons this year and he loves it. He took to it like a duck to water. I wish we had started sooner but a whole swathe of excuses kept us from starting any earlier (I will not bore you with the details, just know it involved surgery, holidays and the only provider not answering the damn phone!).

I am a big believer that it is very important to teach your baby to swim or more accurately, be confident in the water. While at this age I don’t think they really grasp the concept of swimming and water safety, the classes do make them feel confident in the water.

So what does baby swim class involve? it is more getting your baby used to the concept of swimming in the water, and introducing basic swimming concepts. They learn to float on their backs, kick with their legs, have water poured over their heads, dive under water (not as extreme as it sounds), how to jump in on command, and how to hold on to  the edge.

This is done through a whole range of fun games that engage the baby. It is also usually reinforced with songs so the baby associates the song with the action.

So what have I learned from his swimming instructions?

  • Don’t expect to have the next Thorpedo straight away. They splash around mostly (if that) and have fun. Don’t have high expectations of the outcome.
  • You will have a few nursery rhymes scratched off your singing list. Our swimming centre uses modified nursery rhymes to teach the babies certain actions, like jumping in the pool is usually accompanied by Humpty Dumpty and when they get to “all fall down” the baby is expected to jump into the water.
  • Babies are natural comedians. It is hilarious to watch the babies in a swim class. I can almost guarantee that in nearly every class one of the babies will do something that will make you laugh out loud.
  • Swimming lessons are packed out, get there early to get a car park.
  • Parents on the sidelines can be really rude and likewise really nice. I have had some lovely conversations with random parents. But there were some I could have happily kicked into the pool.
  • Some of the kids swimming costumes are adorable. There is one little girl who has a mermaid swimmers. It so awesome I will repeat it, she wears a mermaid costume! Complete with a little tail. All kinds of cute.
  • Babies who are teething HATE being made to float on their backs. When I mean hate I mean, scream bloody blue murder till it stops, hate. The instructor said she doesn’t know why but teething babies all hate that exercise.

Most of all have fun because at this stage you are building positive experiences for your baby in the water.

If you would like to get more information about swimming lessons and water safety in Australia try these websites:

Our not so fabulous Australia Day

Organising Tips Today we are introducing the first of our guest bloggers. Tales From The Toy box is proud to welcome Jade from Super Organiser Mum. Her blog has fun and interesting tips on organising your life. She also has fabulous recipes and craft ideas. Make sure you duck over and take a peek at her wonderful blog.

Her post with us though is of a more serious nature on water safety. It is a moving story and a powerful reminder about water safety round the home. Thank you Jade for sharing your story with us – Caspette

*Warning* This post may be confronting or upsetting for some, drowning is mentioned.

It started well but very well nearly ended so badly. We spent a lazy morning around the house together as a family we ate some great Australian food, coloured a flag and played at home.

The boys enjoyed flapping some flags around and having a great time.

Then we went to the neighbours for a BBQ and some great pool fun wth all of the neighbours kids. Great food, homemade meat pies, anzac biscuits, quiche, vegemite scrolls, pavlova the whole lot, yum.

Can you spot Flynn in a sea of little girls : )

Then Flynn nearly drowned.

My first born, my precious son who can swim.

And I cannot even begin to tell you just how quickly it all happened. There were 8 children in the pool and I was watching the kids with one other parent- so not only was I watching my son but everyone else’s children too.

Then in an instant he was through the blow up  ring in a second he was under.

I am not sure how, maybe he was splashed or distracted by another child the seconds leading up this happening are a blur to me, but in an instant he was under. I flew around to the other side of the pool.

Then I came to split decision… was I better off jumping in the pool or could I get him quicker from the side. I had to run through this in about 20 seconds and try and make the best decision I could whilst his whole life literally flashed right through my mind. What was the right thing to do, I heard a parent shout “jump in” from the side. OMG what should I do. By the time I jump in and grab him and lift him would I have enough time, could I reach him instead and quicker from the side. What was he right choice? If there is even one.

My little boy, who could swim he was under and he was drowning.

Grabbing him and pulling him out was such a relief I cannot even begin to tell you. He coughed and spluttered and gasped for breath but he was OK- shocked and upset but alive and ok. I don’t know how I even reached him looking back as he was in the middle of the pool.

I had a lump in my throat about this for days. I ran this moment over and over and over in my mind reliving every single terrifying minute feeling so very blessed that I chose to stay. I was not distracted by Oliver (he had just gone down for a nap). I did not leave my child in the care of another parent who might not have watched just so closely. So many planets aligned for me to be there, watching, close and able to pull him out. For all of this I am eternally grateful.

Why am I sharing this with you?

Well because a child takes just 20 seconds or so to drown and I came so close to loosing something so very precious to me. I go about my days now cherishing him just a little bit more (if that is possible), holding him just a little bit closer and feeling very grateful to have a healthy little boy at the end of our Australia Day. I am acutely aware that our day could have had a very different and tragic ending.

I plead with you all, take your children to swimming lessons (mine start at 6 months) and still stay close, even if you think they are a great and confident swimmer- anything can happen.

Dearest Flynn I love you xx

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