Getting Ready for Baby Swimming Lessons

Swimming pools in the UK have been closed since lockdown began back in March, so its little wonder that many parents are wondering how on earth the return to the pool is going to affect their little ones. Maybe you were in the middle of those vital first lessons, or maybe you were yet to dip your toe into the world of lessons and all that they entail. Maybe your little one isn't quite old enough yet, but you'd like to start preparing them for the pool now. Whatever your situation, learning to swim is an essential life skill, and taking steps to get your baby ready for swimming lessons is always going to be a sensible idea.

We teamed up with STA, the Swimming Teadcher's Association, to bring you this fantastic little guide on how to use bathtime to help your baby prepare. Please  save and share so we can get lots of families back in the pool with confidence when the time is right!

Make bathtime fun

One of our key beliefs is that bathtime can- and should- be fun! Making each and every splash in the tub stress-free and entertaining is an excellent way to prepare your baby for swimming lessons, and its probably something that you're already doing yourself right now. Some great tips to try:

  • gently pour water over your baby's head to get them used to the sensation.
  • splash water gently around your baby and encourage them to copy.
  • sing lots of songs and rhymes as you play- 'this is the way we splash our toes, splash our toes, splash our toes...'
  • bring toys into the tub, such as the Cuddleduck, or a ball- push it down under the water and let it pop up again. 
  • bring containers such as small bottles or sieves into the bath to pour and sprinkle water down into the tub.
  • use a mirror to allow your baby to explore their own reflection and to play peekaboo.
  • gently put bubbles onto your baby's head and body for them to touch and explore- use the mirror to show them.
  • place boats (or, again, the Cuddleduck) into the water and help your baby to push them along, or show them how to blow them along in the water- this helps to encourage them to get their faces closer to the water.
  • make some waves by encouraging your baby to kick the boats or duck along in the water.
  • introduce sinking toys for your baby to retrieve under the water.
  • bring building blocks into the tub to knock down and splash into the water.
  • when your baby is older, practise blowing bubbles in the water- under close supervision.