Me and S have always been water lovers. We love swimming, we love our showers. We swim in pools and sometimes in the sea (if we can be bothered to walk over the cobbles of Brighton Beach). So naturally, we wanted to get T used to swimming early on in his life so that by the time we go on our holidays, he’ll have no issues jumping into a pool or having fun in the sea.
Apart from going to the local pool and just having a splash around, we didn’t know the first thing about introducing babies to swimming. We certainly didn’t want to do anything wrong so that he’s then traumatised later, so we decided that we’d do it properly and get T into some classes early on.
Of course these classes are more for the parents, so they can learn how to be confident in the water with their babies,but it got T into the water as well – so we were happy.
We decided to go with a company called Puddle Ducks as we met the guys at a baby show we recently attended and they were lovely. Other companies also seemed to have larger classes, where as Puddle Ducks had smaller, more personal classes. Finally, to be quite honest, other companies were way more expensive, some a lot more expensive. Puddle ducks seemed more reasonable and value for money.
I arrived at the Brighton Hilton Metropole early on Wednesday. Before arriving, I was excited at the thought of having the class in the hotel pool – it was going to be quiet with, hopefully, lots of space to change but that got quickly thrown out the water when I realised the hotel car park was £4 an hour!! So I had to park at an alternative car park last minute – thankfully I was ahead of time.
Arriving in the leisure club’s lobby I was greeted by the owner of Puddle Ducks. He ran through the procedures and where everything was and then showed me to the changing rooms. It was really well organised, even more so when I found out there was a buggy room assigned to puddle ducks.
In regards to the hotel facilities, I wasn’t overly impressed with the changing rooms. Not only was there limited baby changing facilities, but there were only about 20 lockers within the changing room, unless you didn’t mind leaving the changing rooms in your costume to find the other lockers in the hotel corridor. By the time I got us both changed my back was in agony. With this in mind, every effort has clearly been made to make the time in the changing rooms comfy. There were several changing mats, a travel cot for older babies; so adults can change, and a nappy bin provided by the guys at Puddle Ducks.
I think the thought of having these classes in a hotel is lovely, but it’s certainly not practical. I wouldn’t be impressed if I was a guest at the hotel, hoping to have a leisurely swim, and found a dozen crying babies in the changing rooms taking up all the locker and bench space, stinking the place out with nappies. Maybe they’re warned beforehand, but the fiesty Italian lady next to me certainly wasn’t impressed (maybe it’s because I accidentally put T’s nappy in her open locker rather than mine).
Puddle Ducks are clearly a very popular company. When I arrived, there was already a class in the water and another class waiting on the side. Despite all this, they’re very organised; which is reassuring. From the military operation of getting changed to getting in the water, everything is meticulously planned so that is all goes smoothly and safely.
When it was our turn, we went through some health and safety bits and then got going. The instructor had a lovely system set up when it came to getting in and out. You placed baby down on a soft wet mat, she then took them into the pool and then handed them to you after you got in. This was great as I had this awful fear of having to step in one handed down the ladder, or slipping on a sloped entrance.
The class itself was great. It was really relaxed and went at a nice, steady pace. Crying babies were welcome and the classes were adapted for babies with reflux. We learnt different holds and techniques to water enjoyment, as well as how to make us more confident in the water with our baby so that they’re relaxed. Of course there was singing – but that didn’t sound too bad thanks to the echoey pool! Considering it was only 30 minutes, we managed to fit a ton of positions in. T absolutely loved it and only cried when we got out! I also felt more confident in regards to handling him in the pool.
I can’t wait for next week as well as future swimming sessions locally. Next week we learn how to dunk!
We weren’t given anything for the purpose of this post.