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!
“Kickers” (15-30 months) is the class that T is currently in, although is just waiting for space in the next class up; “Little Dippers” (30 months plus). In “Kickers” they encourage them to follow instructions from the teacher, water safety; such as turning in the water, and swimming a lot more independently! This has been my favourite class so far as not only have I seen the biggest change in T’s confidence, but the lessons are really REALLY fun (parents are even invited to swim with their child in these classes).
Despite there being slight repetition throughout the classes to enforce and strengthen their knowledge, we are constantly learning new things. This goes the same outside of the pool, and over the past two years I’ve seen massive change in the way I swim with a toddler in comparison to the way I used to swim with a baby, and I can honestly say that I much prefer swimming with a toddler – although swimming with a baby was rather cute.
A toddler is MUCH more engaging than a baby when it comes to swimming. They will blow (intentional) bubbles at you or squirt you (intentionally) with water using their mouths (which makes a nice change from another liquid from elsewhere on their bodies), or throw the duck ready to swim after it. A baby, however, will be quite happy just laying on its back having a nice float around the pool whilst you do all the hard work!
Although with that in mind, a baby is a lot more adaptable. If a toddler doesn’t want to be submerged it really won’t. A baby, however, won’t know it’s going under until it’s coming back up again! For me, there’s definitely a lot more protest with a toddler.
Toddler – 1
Baby – 1
Like mentioned above, a toddler will engage with you a lot more than a baby whilst swimming. Whether it’s jumping in from a float or using a woggle (or you) as a horse there are definitely more oppourtunities for play time with a toddler.
A toddler, however, is a lot heavier than a baby so when we’re playing games that involve throwing T out of the water or whooshing him around, my arms certainly feel it after!
TODDLER – 1
BABY – 0
Probably the biggest change since we started swimming: Changing. Where as before when T used to cry a bit when getting changed – it was after all a lot warmer in the pool – T is now well used to the change in temperature and helps me change him a lot quicker. Plus, the sooner we get changed the sooner he gets his snack!
Changing a baby is a lot more stressful. Whether it’s limbs that are harder to bend thanks to their wet skin or having to suddenly feed them mid change because they just can’t wait for you to get changed – resulting in a lot of nakedness. Plus, you run the risk of having poonami’s with a baby – no amount of nappy covers and covers for those covers will give you enough confidence that you won’t spring a leak!
TODDLER – 1
BABY – 0
Although swimming with a toddler is a lot easier, there is still one thing I miss whilst swimming with a baby.
Guaranteed naps on the way home!
TODDLER – 0
BABY – 5
At one time, I even went shopping and met the wife for coffee after swimming. If that’s not a reason to swim with Puddle Ducks I don’t know what is.
Do any of these sound familiar? Do you prefer swimming with a baby or toddler?
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We have been compensated by Puddle Ducks for sharing our most recent experiences whilst swimming with Puddle Ducks.