advice for parents

what to expect

  • Expect a caring and nurturing atmosphere.
  • Expect to make friends; it is helpful for mothers/carers to have support and share experiences.
  • Expect occasional crying - this is one of the ways in which a baby communicates, expresses needs, exercises vocal cords and improves lung capacity.
  • Be realistic in your expectation of progress as this corresponds with development and growth.
  • All babies are unique. Only when your baby is ready will lessons include submersions, the use of floatation devices and other exercises to motivate movement and autonomy in the water.
  • Expect continuity - missing lessons will delay progress.
  • Expect progress as well as plateaux - this is all part of the learning.

how to prepare

  • We usually advise baby swimming lessons to begin around the age of 3 months when the immune system is slightly more advanced. However starting baby swimming lessons should be left to the discretion of the parents. For advice, please consult your GP or view the NHS guidelines.
  • Should your baby fall asleep en-route, allow enough time for him/her to wake up slowly.
  • A small feed half an hour prior to the lesson may be necessary if the lesson coincides with feeding time.
  • Avoid rushing at all cost; we want you and your baby’s swimming experiences to be calm and pleasant.
  • Switch off mobile phones so that you can be fully present. This is quality time and an opportunity to bond with your baby.
  • Always practice a positive attitude in words and deeds. Negativity is easily transmitted. Babies have bad days too - just like us, so it’s essential to be positive and encouraging at all times.
  • Most exercises performed in class can be followed in part at home in the bathtub. Try to keep the bath water only slightly warmer than the pool temperature.
  • Swimming is a natural ability. Enjoy the process – have fun!

what to bring

  • Appropriate swimwear for yourself and a swimsuit/swim shorts and swim nappy for your baby. All babies must wear two fitted layers when swimming to help avoid accidents.
  • Towels for yourself and your baby.
  • Light cream or lotion for your baby for after the lesson. Avoid applying baby cream before the lesson as this can make your baby slippery in the water and difficult to handle.
  • A bottle or light snack for after the lesson.
  • A warm hat in the winter months for after their swim to keep warm and cover babies ears.

what we expect

  • For all adults to shower before entering the water.
  • For you to be on time, latecomers disrupt lessons.
  • For only one parent to accompany their baby in the water - at any time.
  • Take heed of the teacher's instructions and don't wander off alone.
  • Follow the pool rules of your chosen club. They have been created with your safety in mind.
  • For you to praise and encourage your baby and other classmates. With your support, we can ensure happy little swimmers.
  • If you or your child is showing persistent symptoms or occurrences of diarrhoea and vomiting, we strongly request that you do not attend class.
  • Under no circumstances must anyone suffering from symptoms or occurrences of diarrhoea and vomiting attend swimming until they been fully clear of these symptoms for at least 48 hours prior to the lesson, and after receiving confirmation to swim again from your doctor.
  • Laura Sevenus was a South African national competitive swimmer in the 60’s. She was one of five South Africans chosen to tour with the American Water Follies as a synchronized swimmer, thus changing her amateur status.

    In 1964, her professional career began when she assisted the South African team coach training beginners, and later established her first private swim school. Her understanding of parent and children’s needs led to the creation of a purpose-designed facility for teaching swimming in Cape Town, this is where she developed what is now the Sevenus Swimming Method®.

    She has contributed her evolving insight and expertise to various working groups in South Africa, Sweden, Germany and the UK and has been instrumental in defining swim teaching standards in South Africa. She is also a certified aquarobics instructor and Watsu® practitioner.

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