Toddler Swimming vs. Baby Swimming

It seems like a lifetime ago that we first started swimming with T – starting when he was only  a few weeks old. It was definitely one of the best things we invested in and we’ve both thoroughly enjoyed our guilt-free time together every week for the past two years.

Before T started swimming, his only experience of water was my womb and the bath – one definitely warmer than the other, which is probably why he wasn’t too keen on bath times. That, or the god awful seat we decided to buy him early on (we think it was that as he was fine when we changed it). Either way, he wasn’t initially keen on a lot of water, but nevertheless we wanted to do something that was relaxing as well as something potentially life saving, so out went ‘baby massage’ and in came  Puddle Ducks baby and pre-school swimming lessons!

Starting in “Floaties” (0-6 months) we learnt about buoyancy and spent the time bonding in the water. The next class was “Splashers” (6-15 months) and here we were taught how to swim with certain equipment; such a woggles, and start learning about word associations such as; blowing bubbles, splashing, and kicking. As neck support got stronger, we even introduced submersions!

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ScoopLoop: Where Neighbours Become Friends: Review

Over the past two years, I’ve had my fair share of trying to meet new people and get myself established in my own parenting “community”. I liked the idea of having a few friends with children the same age as T that I could ask for help or just have a meltdown in front of – it was a bonus if I could also meet other same sex families. But very quickly I realised that there weren’t many families like us nearby, so although I did feel isolated in that respect, making sure I wasn’t lonely became more important, so off I trundled to lots of baby groups!

Baby groups, especially ones that cover a huge area; are famous for having an array of parents as well as being extremely scary places. There were often established “cliques” that were difficult to get into – making any form of friendship building already difficult – or just getting the feeling that you’re the only one not really “getting” this parenting thing. It’s a very lonely place – even though, ironically, being a parent means that you’re in the biggest community in the world.

Thankfully for me, this period didn’t last long and I managed to gain some wonderful friends, but it’s something I wish I didn’t have to go through. I wished there was something that would have got me connected to neighbours and local groups a lot sooner.

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How Swimming Can Help You Outside of the Pool

T has been with Puddle Ducks baby and pre-school swimming lessons for well over a year now and not only has his confidence grown with water, but he enjoys getting wet and has no qualms about water hitting his face suddenly. The main reason we think he’s done so well is because we started swimming with him early on in his life – at an age where he would still find comfort from water. The good thing about the locations Puddle Ducks choose to swim at is that their pools are always nice and warm!

The other good thing about starting swimming so early is that we got a head start when it came to teaching T certain commands. I appreciate he isn’t a dog, but when you have a toddler you often find yourself saying the same phrases over and over to get them to do something. Going swimming is no different and it is down to the many instructions we’ve learnt over time that has lead to us taking some of those with us to help with the everyday.

 

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