Make a splash! Preparing your baby for their first swim lesson

MAY 01 2024

Mother and baby swimming in a pool at Kingswim

Taking your baby swimming for the first time is really exciting, but as with any new adventure, it’s completely normal to feel a little nervous or unsure about what to expect. Luckily, a bit of preparation can banish any uneasy feelings – and we’re here to help!

In this article, we provide heaps of handy information to help you prepare for baby and infant swimming lessons. We also explain what happens during the lessons and how you can support your baby. That way, you can head to the pool feeling confident that both you and your little one will have a wonderful time in the water. 

Building anticipation: Setting the stage for fun

Before you take your baby swimming, it’s important to help them form positive associations with water. There are a few different ways you can do this.

  • Help your baby feel comfortable in water – During bath time, try gently pouring a small amount of water onto your baby’s head to get them used to the feeling of having water on them. You could also try taking them in the shower with you.
  • Make bath time fun – Introduce toys to the bath tub to encourage your child to splash and play. You can even play music and sing songs with them. This will help your baby associate water with happy emotions. Remember to always actively supervise your baby while they’re in the bath.
  • Talk to your baby about the pool – Encourage them to feel excited about swimming by talking about how fun it is and the all the things they’ll be doing in the pool. If they can see that you’re excited, then they will be too!
  • Show them pictures of babies swimming – This is a great way to introduce your baby to the idea of swimming lessons. You can even read children’s books about swimming lessons to them. 

Essentials for a smooth swim: Packing for your baby’s lesson

Wondering what to take to baby swimming lessons or what your baby should wear? We recommend not overpacking and just taking the essentials, as this will make things a whole lot easier! You’ll also be going in the pool with your baby, so you’ll need to take a few things for yourself too.

Here’s a handy checklist of the essential items.

Items for your baby

  • Swimsuit
  • Swim nappy (put this on your baby when you arrive at the pool rather than at home to avoid any premature accidents)
  • Nappy bag with your baby’s usual essentials (including a spare nappy to change into afterwards)
  • Baby towel (hooded towels are great for keeping your baby toasty and warm after a lesson)

Items for you

  • Swimsuit (put this on under your clothes before you head out to make things easier in the changing rooms)
  • Change of clothes (don’t forget underwear!)
  • Towel
  • Shower items (this is optional – you might find it easier to quickly rinse off in the shower then bathe your baby properly back home)
  • Wet bag for wet swimsuits and towels
  • Water bottle and snack

Remember not to worry if you forget something. It happens to all of us and most swim schools will have items such as swim nappies available in centre. At Kingswim, we have lots of spare baby essentials which you’re welcome to use if you need to.

Feeding and timing: A happy tummy makes a happy swimmer!

Making sure your baby is well-fed but not overly full can help them feel more comfortable during the swimming lesson. It can also improve their focus.

A good rule of thumb is having a small feed around an hour before class and avoid feeding your baby within the 30 minutes before class. This can reduce the chance of your baby spitting up during lessons while also making sure they’re not hungry in the pool.

Infant and newborn swimming lessons can work up an appetite, so bring along a snack for your baby to enjoy afterwards. A happy tummy makes a happy swimmer!

Relax and observe: Your role during the lesson

One of the best things about baby swimming lessons is that you get to be in the water with your little one. It’s a very special bonding experience which many new parents look forward to.

The focus of the swimming lessons will be to get you both comfortable in the water. At Kingswim, our expert swim instructors will be there to guide you and your baby to help you both get the most out of the session. We’re a friendly bunch and we’ll make sure the lesson is relaxed and fun.

When it comes to your role during the lesson, all you have to do is support your baby and enjoy the experience. Try to remain calm and positive throughout the lesson. Praise your baby during the activities and keep smiling!

Rest assured that if anything goes a little haywire, we’re there to help you out and it’s completely fine if you need to jump out the pool early.

Learn more about what you can expect in baby swimming lessons.

Is your little one ready to make a splash?

Although it can be daunting to take your baby swimming for the first time, it’s best to think of it as the start of an amazing adventure – especially now you’re more clued up about how to support your baby, what to pack, and what to do during lessons.

At Kingswim, we’re here to support you and your baby on the start of their swimming journey.

To learn more about our baby and infant swim program and schedule your first class, contact us today!

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