Our approach to baby swimming is well known for being gentle, child-led, progressive and fun. Using the Birthlight method of teaching, we encourage free movement in the water at a time when a baby is both physically and emotionally ready. The focus of our sessions is to learn how to swim with your baby, rather than just teaching your baby to swim. This subtle difference is what makes our classes so popular and so very effective.
We offer a safe, nurturing, water-based environment where babies can explore their innate ability to move freely in water. We do this by:
- Reading cues and ‘listening’ to the baby: Every baby displays a set of facial expressions and body movements to communicate feelings. Learning about and listening to this unique language ensures babies remain relaxed and happy in the water.
- Adopting a gentle approach: Remaining focused on the parent child relationship and working to enhance bonding and attachment.
- Working at the child’s pace: Promoting freedom in the water at the right time enables confidence to flourish.
- Repetition: Repetition of activities enables learning; every week the sessions repeat previously learned skills and also add new ones.
- Giving attention to each of the four main milestones of development: Rolling, sitting, standing and walking. Each developmental stage offers a unique window of opportunity in the water-based environment and is characterised by certain reflexes. Working with these reflexes enhances development.
- Focusing on safety: To ensure every child understands the importance of safe behaviour around water.
- Having fun!!
Because our teaching method is sensitive to the abilities of each baby and child, we do not follow a program of training the child to meet a certain level of ability. Instead, our approach centres on bonding, having fun, and swimming with your baby in an environment free from expectations and pressure to meet criteria based on performance. Our flexible lesson plans ensure that progression is made in swimming ability at the child’s pace.
Babies’ reflexes and swimming:
Babies are born with natural reflexes that enable them to be underwater safely for short periods of time. This practice is commonly known as submersion and can, when practised correctly, offer a sense of freedom and enjoyment for the baby and child. Although we do teach this technique our classes do not focus heavily on submersion. We believe that a baby or child should only be submerged when they are fully engaged and accepting of the practice. Submersion should be encouraged and not forced. By offering babies and children expansive movement in the water their reflexes will naturally integrate and become conscious actions in their own time.
Benefits of baby swimming:
- Enhances bonding and relaxation
- Improves eating and sleeping patterns
- Awareness of safety around water and the pool environment
- Exercise for parent and child whilst having fun!
- Research shows that babies who attend classes regularly are far better developed socially, mentally and physically
With thanks to Birthlight for expert training, support and information. For more information on Birthlight please go to www.birthlight.com