Water Babies Shropshire, & Black Country
The core points of difference between Water Babies classes and mainstream baby swimming lessons are that the course is highly structured, with clear progression, aims and objectives built into the 40-week programme. They teach babies from birth and teach them without the use of floatation devices in order to prevent children developing a false sense of security and because the water naturally supports their body weight.
Children lack the strength or co-ordination to swim on the surface until at least three years. From birth we enable them to swim below the water as well as on its surface, allowing them to move freely, without restraints of gravity. Being totally happy underwater creates a complete sense of confidence when on the surface.
Babies love being in water – as you’ll see from the excited smiles and gurgles around the pool. And swimming from birth is entirely natural. After all, they’ve just spent nine months in the womb!
“Generally, babies start swimming at around six weeks,” explains Heidi Hunter-Cope who runs classes throughout Shropshire, Black Country & Mid Wales “Though it’s becoming increasingly popular for dads to bring them earlier as this then becomes their special time with baby, right from the start. The warm water amplifies positive emotions within a fun, shared activity. And weekend classes are perfect for dads, who are often still working full-time.”
There’s normally no need for your baby to have had their immunisations beforehand. However, if your baby was premature, or you have any other medical concerns, check with your doctor first.
The multi-award winning Water Babies course teaches using voice commands, and learning to respond to these is fantastic for your baby’s mental development. Despite looking very gentle, each half hour lesson provides a complete physical workout – exercising and strengthening muscles they’d never even find on land.
With obesity rates doubling over the last ten years, it’s vital that children see their parents as active role models. “Getting our babies used to exercising from birth is something of which we’re really proud,” says Heidi.
It’s also a great way for parents to exercise and learn new skills. “One of our core philosophies is that we are teaching you to teach your baby to swim,’ Heidi continues. “So we’ll always explain why we’re doing everything, as well as carefully demonstrate exactly what to do.”
The other obvious benefit is water safety. Sadly, drowning is still the third highest cause of accidental death among children in the UK. However, with carefully structured training, babies can be taught lifesaving skills such as turning onto their backs or, following a sudden submersion, swimming to the nearest solid object.
“And if the confidence of knowing you’re making your child safer in water isn’t enough to drag yourself out of bed at the weekend, I don’t know what is,” suggests Heidi “Especially as you’re almost guaranteed to have a really good time!”
Free taster sessions are available at the stat of each term, subject to availability, at a number of our venues for babies up to a year old. Taster sessions are available for over 1’s on request. For more information, please phone Heidi and her friendly team on 01694 731401, email Wibblewobble@waterbabies.co.uk or visit our website.
To find out more about why water safety is important for your child - watch this little video:
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