to think the cost of taking a baby swimming for 10/15 min is a rip off

(105 Posts)
arthurbaby Fri 07-Mar-14 20:44:34

We took our baby DD to the swimming pool for her first time this week and she loved it. But it cost £8.40 for two adults and a baby. We were only in the pool 15 minutes and would love to go every week but simply cannot bare to pay so much. I have researched discount cards/active cards etc. We were the only people in the baby pool. Am I being unreasonable to think if they charged less they would get more customers and in the long run make more money? But also raise a healthier generation of children?

janey68 Fri 07-Mar-14 20:46:58

I don't think that's unreasonable when you think of the costs of maintaining and staffing a pool. But if you're not happy, you could stay in longer to get your money's worth or take it in turns to go swimming with the baby

janey68 Fri 07-Mar-14 20:48:12

Maybe I've misunderstand. If there was a 15 minute time limit on you then yes, that's steep

muddyprints Fri 07-Mar-14 20:49:01

Have you tried local schools or sure start centres?
Ours both do baby classes for £1 for an hour with instructor in water and baby toys and mats travel cots for changing.

arthurbaby Fri 07-Mar-14 20:50:43

There wasn't a 15 minute time limit but she is a very little baby and started to get a bit cold. I just think it is a lot for families to pay. Which is perhaps proven by the fact the pool was empty.

arthurbaby Fri 07-Mar-14 20:51:54

That sounds good muddyprints. I will have a look

So just one of you go with the baby - that will cut the cost in half.

Waltonswatcher1 Fri 07-Mar-14 20:58:46

Swimming is expensive . A few years ago all children got free swimming ( not sure if this was just our area) . We went at least once a week , the pool was full of families and kids . We can't afford to go that often now .
Fifteen mins is plenty for a litle one in my opinion , they do get chilly .

meerschweinchen Fri 07-Mar-14 20:59:00

Surely you don't both need to go though? Would make it cheaper if you maybe took it in turns to take her? Per person it's not really that expensive compared to some activities. And you were really lucky to have the pool to yourselves! Ours is always really busy, with lots of older children larking around in the under 5's sessions confused

arthurbaby Fri 07-Mar-14 20:59:10

We are aware one of us going would cut the cost but we want to spend time together as a family.

dellybobs Fri 07-Mar-14 21:00:00

I agree OP I took my dd and she was blue after ten minutes because the pool was so cold. Cost us a fortune for literally minutes in water. I'm not taking her again until she's much older and can cope with a little longer. When I took her to baby swimming class I got told to leave after 15 minutes, because she was too cold, by the instructor yet I still paid the full price, I was annoyed because she hadnt even started the lesson at this point we were just stood around waiting for her while she chatted to a mum who she must have been friends with for 15minutes .

CharlesRyder Fri 07-Mar-14 21:00:41

When DS was tiny only one of us went in the pool as it was such a short time. We both went, but one watched with a coffee!

We also bought DS a neoprene [[ baby wetsuit]]which meant he could be in for a bit longer.

CharlesRyder Fri 07-Mar-14 21:01:11

oops here

bella411 Fri 07-Mar-14 21:04:50

I agree op Dp and I both go in the pool with our dd started going when she was a few months and its over £8 and we are only in there 20/25 tops.

We both want to go in with her make it a family experience but agree it is expensive for how long you are actually in there.

Not sure how they could make it cheaper for families with infants. Unless you get a free adult with every child under a certain age.

Amissbyanyothername Fri 07-Mar-14 21:05:08

DH here. Surprised that people's primary solution is 'just one of you go', personally I think that's a very weak argument. I looked forward to to this all week and would be going every evening if it was cheaper (is that bad?). Why can't the government subsidise it (surely it would encourage happy families and fitter children)

Lucylouby Fri 07-Mar-14 21:07:27

I afraid it doesn't get cheaper op. we are taking the dc tomorrow and it will cost us £15, at a council run pool, with grubby changing rooms, and no smaller childrens pool. We will be in for about an hour, but I am always amazed by the cost of going. Swimming is an excellent exercise, but it does cost quite a bit.

redskyatnight Fri 07-Mar-14 21:08:13

Well if you're only spending 15 minutes together it's not really a great family activity ?

We used to take it turns to swim and look after the baby, so we'd be there for up to an hour - still expensive but at least you feel you get your money's worth.

Because the government cant pay for everything.

PavlovtheCat Fri 07-Mar-14 21:09:06

Of course two parents don't need to go! but, it's really nice to experience swimming and other activities as a family. And 15 minutes is plenty for a little baby. So, almost £10 is a huge expense. So, they should not do family activities which cost almost £40 per hour?! That's insane.

I think pools should do a couple of hours a week of reduced cost baby swimming for families to encourage participation of both parents. Don't ask me how the logistics would work etc, I don't know, but some-one would be able to work it out.


PavlovtheCat Fri 07-Mar-14 21:09:51

myname that is true. It is unfair to expect the government to pay for this type of thing. What with the extra burden of the MP pay rises and whatnot.

WooWooOwl Fri 07-Mar-14 21:11:37

Two adults and a baby for 8 quid?

I think that's a bargain! It's up to you if you only want to spend 15 minutes there, for all they knew you were going to be there hours. What do you expect them to do, hire enough staff to effectively police how long people stay?

Pools aren't cheap to run, and it has to be paid for somehow.

PavlovtheCat Fri 07-Mar-14 21:12:26

lucy we are quite fortunate that our gym gives us free swimming for our children. So we pay for our membership each month, which in itself pays for itself, and additionally we can take our children between set times (specific family sessions) for no extra cost. And then, in the holidays our local pool has free swimming for all children who get lessons, whatever their age. We still have to pay as adults, but it makes it more bearable if only £8 per swim for four of us. It's not a council run pool, as they were closed ages ago, although it does have council subsidies.

ikeaismylocal Fri 07-Mar-14 21:13:22

Yabu. Family time doesn't have to happen in a swimming pool, if you are struggling to afford it then just have family time at the park or in your own home.

We just had deep baths with ds when he was a tiny baby, I don't think the baby knows any difference, you can make it the right temperature and it's not full of germs and chemicals like public pools.

MrsBennetsEldest Fri 07-Mar-14 21:13:25

You have to accept activities cost money.
Take a towel to the pool and wrap the baby up for a cuddle for 10 mins then have another 10 mins in water and so on.

Pagwatch Fri 07-Mar-14 21:13:25

Take a couple of towels and some toys.
You can dip baby in and out, sit poolside and play.
Or wait a few months until they can manage longer.

bella411 Fri 07-Mar-14 21:14:16

Sorry dont agree redsky, the time is irrelevant for a family activity its more the enjoyment of the child, which in this case makes it a family experience.

Also its a hell of a lot easier 2 of you being in the changing room getting child changed and then entertained whilst the other one gets dry, which at my local pool you can go to the changing rooms if you are swimming.

Amissbyanyothername Fri 07-Mar-14 21:14:31

RE- mynameiskenadams.

Someone has a very general view of life. A small reduction on something which (in our case is council run) is not asking too much. Do you work for the government or swimming baths?

PavlovtheCat Fri 07-Mar-14 21:14:39

(and our gym membership is cheaper than the local leisure centre membership for where the children would access public swimming so the argument about cost doesn't work out so well).

Waltonswatcher1 Fri 07-Mar-14 21:16:13

But the government shell out in the long run for ill health . All this talk of free school meals , and utterly pointless leaflet dropping . Far better to get kids moving .

arthurbaby Fri 07-Mar-14 21:16:46

Woowoo as explained she is too little for more than 15 minutes. I don't think they should police a time instead, for example I think charge £2.50 for one parent and baby. To others I understand it is expensive to run a pool, if you fully read my op I am saying if they charged less more people would go and they may actually make more money in the long run.

BikeRunSki Fri 07-Mar-14 21:17:00

But I assume the price is the same whether you choose to spend 15 mins or a hour? £8.40 for two adults and a baby is cheaper than our pool charges. As your dd gets older she will stay in longer and it'll seem more cost effective. You can get tiny wetsuits to keep babies warm when they are swimming.

Neither amiss I just fail to see why this is such a big problem for you. If you cant afford for both of you to go every week then

(1) only one of you go each week
(2) both go but less frequent

Why should there be a subsidy?

Tobagostreet Fri 07-Mar-14 21:17:21

Have you checked prices for pools at the next council area to yours? It could be cheaper than your area.

I agree that the prices you paid are extortionate. Though I may be spoilt by the fact it's so cheap where I live.

I'm in Glasgow, and all kids from the city under 16 get in free (under 5's always free, 5-16 free with a council issued card).

Adults cost under £3 each.

The pools are always well used, with fairly clean, modern changing rooms.

ikeaismylocal Fri 07-Mar-14 21:17:36

I also think a baby is more likely to poo/vomit in the pool causing a costly evacuation and clean up. Do you suggest that those things are charged as extras if they happen?

Bithurt Fri 07-Mar-14 21:18:03

Do you enjoy the gym or would you go swimming more regularly? I'm a member of my council gym/swimming pool. I'm £25 a month and it gives me free access to both. If you were to go regularly it might be worth looking into.

petalunicorn Fri 07-Mar-14 21:18:17

This is just the start - since ours popped over 3 years old the price of any activity gets eye watering, wait until they get old enough to go the cinema! We sometimes do the theatre with only 1 adult to keep costs down, it's that or not go.

Bithurt Fri 07-Mar-14 21:19:10

Ikeaismylocal, my ds was sick in the pool last time I took him. It was a lot about 3 hours after lunch!

meerschweinchen Fri 07-Mar-14 21:19:23

It's unfair to say it costs £40 an hour! It doesn't. It costs presumably £4.20 per adult, child goes free, and everyone can stay in as long as they like. If you choose to leave after 15 mins, that's your decision ( and obviously with young babies, it's a sensible one as otherwise they do get too cold, even in wetsuits). Babies grow up quickly, and will soon be able to cope with being in the pool for longer periods of time. So the vast majority of the pool's users will stay in for much longer than 15 mins. I can't see that it's particularly unfair or unreasonable.

PavlovtheCat Fri 07-Mar-14 21:19:39

tobo that's the point the OP is making I think - reduce the price, facilities get used more and people benefit including the OP.

I agree actually.

RandomMess Fri 07-Mar-14 21:20:25

As said above get a neoprene wetsuit so your baby can cope for longer in the water.

bella411 Fri 07-Mar-14 21:21:00

Yes, people can go to other places where it is cheaper and we as a family have stopped swimming on a Sunday, have this as a lazy day and do a family activity on a Monday, and go to soft play where it is free for under 1s to go to.

I would prefer to go swimming and this would probably be better for dd than soft play. Surely others do the same, so agree with cheaper prices and get more people in the pool, especially council run ones.

arthurbaby Fri 07-Mar-14 21:23:50

Pavlovthecat that is exactly my point. Thanks for reading properly.

Amissbyanyothername Fri 07-Mar-14 21:27:53

Because mynameisken the government continually push the healthy lifestyle approach, particularly in primary schools, and are due to spend 600 million on providing free school meals for every infant child (good publicity ehh). Yet a large percentage of these children eat rubbish when they leave the school gates. As Nick Grimshaw's (of radio 1 fame smile) trainer (for sport relief) said this morning - eat what you want as long as you exercise (there's the area to invest in)

PavlovtheCat Fri 07-Mar-14 21:28:19

arthur tbf on the other posters, it is the default position to disagree with an OP in AIBU so it's inevitable others don't agree with you. It's just not the MN way. We are meant to be martyrs to the cause of parenting here. £8 is an insignificant expense in the sacrificing stakes.

Tobagostreet Fri 07-Mar-14 21:29:04

I agree too Pavio - that what I was 'trying' to explain, just not very well.

Glasgow City Council shows that the facilities are busy and well used when its cheaper and more accessible to all.

Oh, and you shouldn't need to pay for a baby to swim - stands to reason that you're getting at least one adult paying full price, and they are unlikely to spend more than 30 mins max in the pool with a baby. Just exploitative to charge.

WooWooOwl Fri 07-Mar-14 21:29:22

Plenty of people take their babies swimming for more than 15 minutes, even when they are little, so it's your choice to only be in there for 15 minutes.

You could be right that more people would go if it were cheaper, but it's not a given.

PavlovtheCat Fri 07-Mar-14 21:30:10

Yet a large percentage of these children eat rubbish when they leave the school gates where is the evidence for that sweeping statement? and if it's true, then doesn't that make the free school meals policy a good idea, so that children get at least one meal before heading home for a whole heap of shit to be dished up?

HadABadDay2014 Fri 07-Mar-14 21:30:55

I had a gym membership that was going to end when PFB was due to be born. I said I wasn't going to renew as with a baby I wouldn't use it.

They offered to put DS on the membership for free, which meant we used the pool every few days.

Would this be an option

Amissbyanyothername Fri 07-Mar-14 21:33:32

grin Personal experience! The large percentage part was to soften the sweeping statement aspect. All I'm saying is perhaps a "hedging their bets" "don't put your 60 million in one basket" approach should be taken.

Waltonswatcher1 Fri 07-Mar-14 21:33:40

The school lunches are shit

scottishmummy Fri 07-Mar-14 21:34:30

£840 total?that bargaintastic

But the swimming is free for your child. It costs the adult. So it is already subsidised.

And theres a heck of a lot a child can do for free to get exercize.

Pagwatch Fri 07-Mar-14 21:35:21

<roar> at 'reading properly'

Yes. I disagree so probably read badly.

starlight1234 Fri 07-Mar-14 21:36:07

Our local pool under 7's are free...

Our pool also has a suggestion box also maybe make a suggestion to the management but as for subsidising so both of you can go is madness...Childcare needs subsidising to help people work a baby swim does not require 2 people and if that is what you want to do then pay for it

Amissbyanyothername Fri 07-Mar-14 21:36:20

To be fair my current school lunches are nice (if very very stingy). I have ate some very minging one's though, particularly around Christmas time.

ikeaismylocal Fri 07-Mar-14 21:38:05

I don't think a tiny baby is getting any physical benefit from splashing about in a swimming pool. The only excersise babies need is rolling about on a blanket on the floor.

If you were saying low income families with toddlers or older children should get reduced rates I'd think it was a good idea but I don't see why a trip which I see as mostly for the parents ( familiy time, a baby doesn't give a flying toss if they are swimming with mummy and daddy or Madonna) should be subsidised.

Amissbyanyothername Fri 07-Mar-14 21:38:12

Ken, we had to pay for DD

arthurbaby Fri 07-Mar-14 21:39:13

Mynameiskenadams- Our child was not free, we did have to pay.

winterhat Fri 07-Mar-14 21:40:46

That does sound expensive.

scottishmummy Fri 07-Mar-14 21:43:07

But you chose to leave after 15min,you weren't compelled to?i can't see issue

meerschweinchen Fri 07-Mar-14 21:43:14

I'm surprised you had to pay for your child. I would have thought littlies would be free - they are where I am. In that case, I agree with you to some extent, that it could be made slightly cheaper. Out of interest, what were the exact costs per person?

Amissbyanyothername Fri 07-Mar-14 21:44:32

My final word is schools should invest their share of the 60 mil on better sausages. Surely entrails and eyelids can't be healthy living wink wink

Ypu had to pay for a tiny baby?

arthurbaby Fri 07-Mar-14 21:46:43

90p for a tiny baby.

CharlesRyder Fri 07-Mar-14 21:46:50

I also think a baby is more likely to poo/vomit in the pool causing a costly evacuation and clean up.

God love ya Ikea for thinking they evacuate and clean up the pool for this. It's just all in there you know! grin

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 07-Mar-14 21:47:24

How much did you pay for each person?

I think it's reasonable. There are all sorts of ways you could have made it more cost effective. You chose to both go and you chose to all get out after 15 minutes. I don't think subsidising that should be a government priority tbh.

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 07-Mar-14 21:48:19

They do evacuate for poo/vomit!! What sort of pool do you go to? shock

FoodieToo Fri 07-Mar-14 21:49:23

Ten euro for 2 adults and a baby is unbelievably cheap!

I know you didn't stay in long but you could have. Businesses can't function allowing people to 'pay per minute'. They have to have some kind of flat charge.

WorraLiberty Fri 07-Mar-14 21:49:37

I'm sorry but use of the phrase 'tiny' baby is really making me laugh grin

Would it make a difference if the baby was big?

scottishmummy Fri 07-Mar-14 21:51:01

Haha twee parents pay less for tiny babies

AmandinePoulain Fri 07-Mar-14 21:54:02

Does your pool run special parent and baby sessions? Ours does on weekday mornings and before 10 at weekends - it's £2.50 for an adult and child under 5 (it's normally £7 for adults because it's a leisure pool with slides, waves etc), or the 'lessons' I take dd2 to (basically splashing and singing grin) are £3. Our local council pool offers free swimming for children in school holidays so might be worth seeing what else is available.

We've got a neoprene suit (a Speedo one) and it keeps dd2 warm for a good half hour. We've been going weekly since she was 2 months old and she's a little fish smile

ikeaismylocal Fri 07-Mar-14 21:54:14

Our local pool canceled all the baby swimming classes that afternoon because of a nappy explosion in the pool. Not sure what they did about the poo, maybe just left it so it could settle to the bottom of the pool.

AmandinePoulain Fri 07-Mar-14 21:56:44

Oh and we've been evacuated before when another child was sick, they do clean it out. Then they had to run some sort of tests on the water before we were allowed back into the teaching pool.

dellybobs Fri 07-Mar-14 22:00:10

Just a question, genuine one. All the people saying up dont have to take a baby swimming and todo something else what else do you suggest? Soft play is hardly suitable for a tiny baby? Swimming seems to be the only thing that a baby can actually take part in iykwim? When we go for a walk to the park she just falls asleep and at the park she's too small to go on anything as she can't even sit up.

HarrietSchulenberg Fri 07-Mar-14 22:04:55

Seeing as you adults probably got more from the session than your baby, I don't think £8.40 is steep at all. You could have stayed for longer, or just one of you could have gone. You really do not need 2 adults so why should you expect one adult to be subsidised so they can have a lovely time.
Christ! Talk about entitled!

Lucylouby Fri 07-Mar-14 22:05:00

I do agree that if the prices were lower, the swimming pools would be better used. We would go far more often if it were cheaper. The children love going and when they were younger we went far more often. DHs old job used to give cheap swimming for us both at the local pool as a perk and we went every weekend. That was a lot of swimming. Since he started his new job we go once every month or two because the cost puts us off.

arthurbaby Fri 07-Mar-14 22:08:44

My point is not actually to subsidise, it is to charge all customers less, so that in turn they get more customers and thrn perhaps make more money.

ikeaismylocal Fri 07-Mar-14 22:10:29

There is lots of things you can do with a young baby, baby massage, blowing bubbles, baths with candles and soft music, walks, smelling flowers, singing.

Adults think there needs to be an outing or event but babies are happy with simple things.

hippo123 Fri 07-Mar-14 22:14:09

Loads of council run swimming pools are under threat of closure. There not exactly making a profit you know. They cost a lot to staff and maintain and whilst expensive for only 15 mins, it's not bad for 2 hours which you can do once older. Take a look at baby / toddler time slots, these are often cheaper.

I took dd today.

We spent more time in the changing room, then we did in the pool hmm

Couldn't agree more! She's 20 months, and even after 20 minutes her lips were going blue. But that's probably because she insisted on spending 90% of her time, sat on the side, pouring water blush

arthurbaby Fri 07-Mar-14 22:19:31

But is the price not the reason they are facing closure? As I stated we were the only people there.

Wingdingdong Fri 07-Mar-14 22:20:13

How old's your baby? We've had both DC in the pool for an hr plus since they’d had their 8w jabs. We used to manage it that one of us would go earlier, have a swim, then the other would join with the DC and we'd have 'family time', then we'd get out, the parent who'd not swim would help change to the point that the other could take over and then get back in the pool and swim properly. We used to be there a good couple of hours at least.

If the baby's cold, you need to find a warmer pool, or buy a neoprene wetsuit. My DS is now 2, still wears a wetsuit for adult pools but spends 2-3hrs at a time in the pool without getting cold.

I don't think you can complain about the cost. They charged you £3-something per adult. That's about 30p more than the coffee in our local leisure centre! Up to you how you use the time...

BarbarianMum Fri 07-Mar-14 22:24:26

<<Just a question, genuine one. All the people saying up dont have to take a baby swimming and todo something else what else do you suggest? >>

Dear God, anything! Chill out in a cafe, go for a walk in the park, visit a museum, take it to IKEA and by a rug.

Tiny babies participate just by being with you, being held and being spoken to. Never again will they be so small, portable and willing to do what you want. Make the most of it - you've got the next 20 years to do tailor your life round their needs, wants, desires, activities and friends.

Sharaluck Fri 07-Mar-14 22:28:59

I don't think it is too expensive.

Pools have a lot of overheads to pay for. Heating, pool cleaning and maintenance etc. More than soft play and other baby/toddler activities and classes.

You were very unusual in only being there for 15 mins, most pool users would be there for an hour.

I would wait until baby is older. Or if you want your money worth, do what has been suggested and take turns swimming with your dh.

Coconutty Fri 07-Mar-14 22:29:31

When my DCs were little I thought it was free to take them swimming, like the museums. We went every week for years. We used to wave a cheery hello to the staff and then walk in.

It wasn't until DS1 was about 6 and we went with my friend and her DCs that I saw her paying and asked her what she was buying.

pixiepotter Fri 07-Mar-14 22:34:04

How big is your baby? I took all mine swimming at about 9lbs weight and stayed in much longer
maybe you need to find a warmer pool?

GarthsUncle Fri 07-Mar-14 22:38:05

Was this a special baby session or just general? Special sessions are generally less.

Is there any kind of membership or discount card available that could reduce the price?

Cabrinha Fri 07-Mar-14 23:05:48

Another vote for baby wetsuit - often sell for bobbins on ebay, second hand.
I know all babies are different but at 5 weeks my baby was still warm after an hour. They're brilliant!

BikeRunSki Sat 08-Mar-14 07:23:37

Maybe the pool was quiet because it was the middle of the day on as week day? Maybe it was programmed downtime? If you were only there for a short time you may have been there in the break between sessions? Every pool I know has a very full programme of length swim/aquafit/school lessons/private lessons/ lifeguard training etc. The "schools" slot is occasionally unfilled for a week or two and sometimes lessons are postponed if a swim teacher is ill.

CSIJanner Sat 08-Mar-14 07:30:41

I've taken both of mine swimming from birth. It started at £8.50 - its now 13.50 for the 30 minutes. Another post saying you need invest in a neoprene wrap wetsuit (a cople of £2 from eBay) and start arguing your cause with the swimming pool.

DrinkFeckArseGirls Sat 08-Mar-14 07:43:55

Don't take your babies to cold water pools confused

DrinkFeckArseGirls Sat 08-Mar-14 07:47:42

Why don't you sign up to z local council gym ir at least one of you. I pay £40 per month and we have unlimotrd pool access. Well, when there is no classes.

missymarmite Sat 08-Mar-14 07:47:51

This is why I rarely take myself or the kids to any activities especially the sports centre. Yanbu to feel it's a lot if money, it is! YABU yo expect any sympathy. Some people live in a different world where £8 is small change!

I wait for a nice day and take the kids to the local beach in the summer, that's free!

Dishaster Sat 08-Mar-14 08:01:34

All I can say is it does and doesn't get better. We all paid more to take our babies swimming, like yours mine got cold after a short time. We took them one adult to one child. When we only had one kid we both went but one of us was a spectator and therefore free to sit at the side and help with drying. Now we have two kids who aren't old enough yet and still need one adult to one child (6 months to go). We don't swim that often because it cost £18 for us all.

So yes it gets better because they can dry themselves but the prices get more and more expensive.

Either one of you go in the he pool and the other help dry or just wait until your baby is older and can stay in longer. We rarely swim as a family and much prefer walks, bike rides etc. Something we actually all enjoy. I don't buy into the ethos that family time is all about the kids. That would be kid time. Family time is finding something we all enjoy doing, together.

BikeRunSki Sat 08-Mar-14 08:14:58

My dc (5 and 2) love swimming. I've also joined a (private) gym which costs £40/month for going as much as we want. We go about once a week - although 4 times in half term! Much warmer and less busy than council pool too. Occasionally I also use the gym. It is our family luxury, and well worth it. They also let me take both dc swimming by myself which is brilliant as council pool didn't and DH can't swim.

splasheeny Sat 08-Mar-14 08:23:18

If you want to go all the time why not get gym membership which has a pool? It would work out cheaper overall.

Also you can get wetsuits for babies (konfidence) and they will help baby be able to swim for longer.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Sat 08-Mar-14 08:46:44

Coconutty - did you really do that? How could you not expect to pay? Also can't believe staff never challenged you...

TinkerbellTrains Sat 08-Mar-14 08:54:10

I agree it's too expensive to swim in the UK. I hardly ever took the dc because of the cost.

Here in NZ it cost me $1 (50p roughly) to take 2 under 5's swimming in a special baby pool that's heated up really well.

All under 16's are free to swim. Any parent accompanying a child under 5 years gets in for $1

Why can't they do that in the UK? The pools are always full of children here in the evenings and weekends.

TinkerbellTrains Sat 08-Mar-14 08:56:22

And when I say "baby pool" it's actually quite big and quite deep. My 3yr old can only just stand up in it at the shallower end. The kids love it.

Such a shame the UK can't work it the same way.

Coconutty Sat 08-Mar-14 09:22:40

I know, I honestly thought it was free like museums are. The staff never challenged me, ever or I would have realised. I think now that they must have thought I was taking the DCs to pre booked lessons.

My friend was shock and I was blush

Catsize Sat 08-Mar-14 11:08:18

This makes baby swimming lessons with Water Babies, Puddleducks etc much better value. Nice pools, and one parent can watch whilst the other swims.

DonnaDishwater Sat 08-Mar-14 12:25:15

Maybe pools could set aside 30 minutes in the morning for parents and babies to go in, a cheaper price but you have to be out by the end of the 30 minutes for when regular swimming starts.

GarthsUncle Sat 08-Mar-14 13:12:26

Donna, some pools do that but a lot will be used by local schools for swimming lessons.

kungfupannda Sat 08-Mar-14 13:27:16


Our local swimming pools are always busy. Out of school hours you nearly always have to wait to get in, unless you go very early. All those people are quite willing to pay the full price, so why would they take up a place with people who are only paying a small amount?

£8.40 for 2 adults and a baby is perfectly reasonable. It is up to you how long you spend in the pool for that price. You could take the baby in for 15 minutes and then one of you stay in for longer - or you could take it in turns.

Swimming isn't vital for tiny babies - it's a nice thing to do, but there are plenty of nice activities for families to do. The government/local authority can't be expected to subsidise everything people want to do, just because they've got a baby.

insancerre Sat 08-Mar-14 13:33:31

if you can't afford to go every week then go every other week or every month
there are los of things I couldn't afford to do with my kids when they were little
I didn't expect the government to subsidise me

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