Frequently Asked Questions

When can I start baby swimming?

The simple answer is when your baby is 8 weeks old and weighs more than 7lbs. Babies do not need any injections to go swimming so the only thing you need to consider is whether the pool you are using is warm enough, clean enough and sensitive to the needs of babies.

I can’t swim, can I still come to baby swimming classes?

Yes. Many parents come to classes because they cannot swim or they are nervous in water and want their child to grow up with no fear (and a healthy respect) for water. Our pool is .5m in shallow and 1.25m in the deep end so you will always be able to touch the bottom. All our teachers are trained in helping nervous parents settle and relax in the water. You will never be asked to do something you are not comfortable with, and even when your baby is swimming happily underwater you will not be expected to join them unless you are happy to do so.

Does my baby need injections before swimming?

No, your baby does not need to be immunised before swimming. “The Department of Health recommends that you can take your baby swimming from a very young age. There is no need to wait until they have been vaccinated” from the NHS website.

What does my baby need to wear in the pool?

Children must wear a double layer system in our pool. The first layer is a swim nappy – Huggies Little Swimmers or equivalent. The second or top layer is called a Happy Nappy. The Happy Nappy is made by Splashabout and can be bought from them directly at www.splashabout.com or purchased from us at the Centre.

Happy Nappies are designed to prevent leakage and must be properly fitted; the teacher will be on hand to make sure your baby’s nappy fits snuggly around baby’s legs and tummy.

Handy hint: The swim nappy (first layer) dries out perfectly well and can be used several times!

Can I feed my baby/child before a swimming class?

Babies can have a small milk feed both before and during the session. Many parents sit on the steps during a baby swimming class to give their baby a small feed.

Children should not swim on a full stomach, not because of cramp (there is no connection) but because they may swallow water and be sick in the pool! Please do not feed your child any solids an hour and a half before swimming.

What happens if I miss a class?

We understand that life with children means sometimes things don’t go to plan! Through holidays, family days and sickness, we know that – from time to time – classes may be missed. At Calmababy, we want you to have all of the classes you book in a term, and because of this, we are flexible in our approach to replacing missed sessions.

Due to the volume of families that swim with us every week, administering replacement sessions is a huge task. To help the process run as smoothly as possible, and to ensure we have the maximum amount of spaces available, we have a few simple guidelines. Please see our Booking Terms & Conditions for details.

Can I bring another person in the pool with me and my baby?

Yes, but this all depends on maximum bather loads. Our pool has a maximum capacity of 20 people. If the class is fully booked, i.e. eight parent and baby pairs (16 people plus the teacher) then we have three spare spaces in each session, called ‘Plus 1’s’, that can be used by one other adult or child per family.

There are occasions when it is necessary to bring siblings along to swimming classes and we are happy to accommodate extra children in lessons from time to time. However, to maintain safety and avoid disruption to the lesson it is essential we have guidelines on the use of plus one spaces for siblings and additional children.

Parents with extra children in the lesson must observe the following safety rules at all times:
1. Parents are responsible for the behaviour of the additional child or sibling
2. Teachers are responsible for the overall safety of the pool and the pool hall, including all bathers, for the duration of the lesson
3. The extra child must be able to swim 10 metres or they must wear a suitable flotation device. Flotation devices must be provided by the parent
4. Babies in a flotation seats can accompany parents around the pool during the lesson. Floating baby seats must be provided by the parent
5. Older siblings and children must remain in the shallow end for the duration of the class unless otherwise stated and at the discretion of the teacher
6. For their own safety and that of other swimmers, extra children must not get out of the pool during the class or help themselves to equipment from the racking or poolside cupboard
7. Should a child using a plus one space cause disruption to the lesson, we reserve the right to ask that the child leaves the pool and sits on the bench for the remainder of the class

Spaces can be booked up to seven days in advance of the class and demand can be high, especially on weekends. We do not charge for these spaces, they are discretionary and subject to availability.

Is there parking at the Centre?

Yes, there is ample free parking at the Centre. Our car park is not lined. Please park with consideration for others. Leaving two meters space between you and the next car means not everyone can fit in and makes people late for their lesson!

If your pool has no chlorine in it, what do you use?

Pool hygiene is very important to us and so is the health of everyone who uses it.

For this reason, we use a UV system and also Bromine to sanitise the water. Bromine is a member of the Halogen family, it is found in naturally occurring sea salt compounds and brine. It comes from ocean waters and coastal areas around the world and is used to keep the pool water clear and safe.

As Bromine is salt based and softer on the skin, eyes and lungs it was an easy choice for us to make when we were building the pool!

Why must I shower before swimming?

The simple answer is: To keep the pool water clean for your baby and everyone else.

Every cosmetic or product you are wearing when you enter the pool can wash off and mix with the water. The bromine in the water considers these products as contaminants and a chemical reaction occurs to keep the water clean. This chemical reaction lets off a gas; whilst the gas is not dangerous it can be uncomfortable to the eyes and throat, especially for babies who are at water level.

The products that are worst for the pool water clarity are:

  • Perfume and aftershave
  • Fake tan
  • Make-up
  • Body creams
  • Hairspray

So, for your baby’s comfort please remove your make-up and shower properly before your class. If possible,  do not apply cosmetics, fake tan or perfume on the day you are coming swimming.

Should I bring my baby swimming if he/she is ill?

It is not advisable to bring your baby swimming if they have a bad cold, an infection of any kind, a temperature or a childhood illness such as chicken pox, measles or mumps.

People suffering from diarrhoea must not swim, EVER – or for 48 hours after the last bout. This is crucial and will never be compromised on in our pool. The effects on the pool from a leak or contamination can be devastating and we wish to avoid this at all times. Those who have been diagnosed with cryptosporidiosis must not swim for 14 days after diarrhoea has stopped, as infective spores can still be released in that period.

If you are not sure about any medical condition in relation to swimming, please always speak to a health professional.

Special thanks to Keri Duckett, Adam Jay, Mae Burke, Jo Rodgers and Nicola Gwyther for their wonderful talent and spectacular photographs. Keri Duckett: www.keriduckett.com | Nicola Gwyther: www.underwater-art.co.uk | Mae Burke: maeburkephotography.com | Jo Rodgers: Willow Photography
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