Babies

recommendations for parents

what to expect

  • We encourage a caring and nurturing atmosphere.
  • You may wish to make new friends, as it is helpful for parents and carers to have support and share experiences along the way.
  • Try to be realistic in your expectation of progress as this can only correspond with development and by increasing strength and stamina.
  • We respectfully uphold that all babies are unique and no comparisons should ever be made. We work sensitively and only when your baby is ready will lessons include submersions. You may notice that while your baby may take time to process a particular skill, others may develop more readily. We give babies the support required to develop at their own pace.
  • A short period in every class is allocated for independent activity with floatation devices. As often thought, this is not to make the child reliant on a device, but to assist in strengthening various elements of the skills required to master swimming competency. A child can only achieve ultimate autonomy by experiencing independent movement through water. We work consistently towards this goal.
  • Continuity is essential - missing lessons delays progress.
  • Progression and plateaux are all a natural part of the learning.
  • Occasional crying is to be expected in a baby class which can be upsetting for everyone. Your baby is communicating discomfort which could be caused by all manner of reasons such as hunger, tiredness or teething. It could even be as trivial as a sound that another baby has made. We can offer suggestions to help but you are the expert of your baby and we will go along with whatever you feel will be settling. Sometimes just stepping back from the class to the side for a quiet few moments may be sufficient for your baby to recover enough composure to continue.
  • Missed lessons cannot be made up or refunded unless in the case of serious illness or injury and a doctor's note provided.
  • Re-scheduling of lessons missed for no serious reasons, not only hinders progress, but places pressure on instructors.

how to prepare

  • We normally recommend baby swimming lessons to begin no younger than 3 months when your baby's immune system and CNS is more advanced. However, the start of baby swimming lessons should be left at the discretion of parents. For advice, please consult your GP or view NHS guidelines.
  • Should your baby be inclined to fall asleep en-route to the lesson, please allow enough time for your baby to wake up slowly and be prepared.
  • A small feed half an hour prior to the lesson may be necessary if the lesson coincides with feeding time.
  • Avoid rushing at all costs. We want your and your baby's swimming experience to be calm, pleasant and positive.
  • Mobile phones should be muted for you and your baby to gain full benefit and enjoyment from quality time spent together with extra opportunity to bond.
  • We believe that by a consistent, positive attitude relating to words and deeds results in successful learning. Negativity should be avoided as it is too easily transmitted. Babies have “off” days - just as we do, so it's essential to be positive and encouraging at all times. For example, when you are with your baby in the pool, it is more helpful to tell the teacher that your baby did not sleep well but loves the water so much that all will be well. Babies generally do what their parents tell them - or show them.
  • Most exercises performed in class can be followed in part at home, in the bathtub, providing the bath water is slightly warmer than the pool temperature.
  • Swimming is a natural ability which takes time to master. 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 avoid accidents in the pool.
  • Towels for yourself and your baby.
  • Light cream or lotion for administering after the lesson, if you so wish.
  • Avoid applying baby cream before the lesson as this makes your baby slippery in the water, difficult to handle and therefore unsafe.
  • A bottle or light snack after the lesson if not breast feeding.
  • A warm hat to cover ears in the winter months. Babies lose heat through their heads.

what we expect

  • Without exception all adults must shower before entering the water.
  • Latecomers disrupt lessons. Give yourself enough time to avoid rushing which can upset your baby.
  • One adult only may accompany your baby into the water.
  • Take heed of the teacher's instructions and don't wander from the class unless it is to settle a baby and the teacher is made aware.
  • Follow the pool rules of each club. They are for the protection of you and your child.
  • By supporting with praise and encouragement, we can ensure happy little swimmers.
  • Please do not attend if you or your child shows symptoms of diarrhoea and/or is vomiting.
  • If your child is suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting, do not attend under any circumstances until fully recovered. Only 48 hours after recovery and with your doctor's confirmation, can you resume lessons.
  • 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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