Has anyone taken their babies swimming with 'waterbabies'?

(38 Posts)
AC786 Fri 29-Mar-13 18:20:17

I just wanted to know your experiences please! I now that they submerge babies which is scaring me a little! On the other hand, I am excited at the prospect of taking LO swimming!

MumOfTheMoos Fri 29-Mar-13 18:26:17

My DH has been taking our DS since DS was 5.5wo. It's fab! Yes, the do go underwater but not the first lesson. DS looooves it, so does DH.

I'd go for it if I was you!

MyLifeIsStillChaotic Fri 29-Mar-13 18:29:17

Yes. With ds1 when he was a little under 6 months. He hated it. I stuck it out for two terms (which cost me a bloody fortune) in the hope that he would gain confidence, or relax more, or...something. He didn't.

I know of one baby from his 'class' who started at about 8 or 9 weeks, still goes and at almost 4yo can swim himself, unaided. AFAIK the rest of the class just left.

Needless to say, I didn't go down that route with ds2.

Beatrixpotty Fri 29-Mar-13 20:19:32

I did it with DS1 from about 6m .The best thing about it was that I made some friends!The underwater bit is nothing to worry about.I do,however,think it is REALLY expensive.I stopped when DS2 came along and we didn't do swimming for ages but had a couple of holidays with swimming pools which he loved.He started swimming lessons again age 3 because I didn't have to get in with him & could look after DS2.He is learning to swim properly now and it is cheaper than water babies.DS2 got taken to surestart swimming which was free,and just as much fun,singing songs playing with toys and getting used to the water.It is nice to do things like water babies especially when you just have the one,but you are certainly not doing them a disservice by saving your money until they can properly learn when 3 +and just taking them to the odd mum & baby session in the local pool.

FreddieOrFreida Fri 29-Mar-13 20:28:40

Yes, with Waterbabies and another company too. Both did underwater with the babies and we loved it, great fun and they sleep soooooo well afterwards that it is worth it for the lovely peace you get afterwards!

TheEwok Fri 29-Mar-13 20:30:09

DH took our LO in at 3 months. She was a little uncertain at first, but loves it now. As others have said, the underwater element is a very small part and is nothing to worry about. They build you and the babies up to it slowly.

I would warn against the underwater pictures though. We did it with DD at 5 months and it really distressed her. They take them under for a little longer and go a little deeper than they are used to. It upset her at the time and for the next 2 lessons. After that she was fine going back under. If I had my time again, I would never have had the pictures taken, she was far to young. The teacher said this is commen, so I think it is awful that they don't put an age limit on it.

QTPie Fri 29-Mar-13 20:44:27

We have done Waterbabies since 14 weeks old (DS now 3 years and 2 months): best class that we have done!

DS did have a "wobble" at about 12 months: his Dad was doing it with him and I think dunked him at the wrong time.... Trust issues: I took over and it was fine. It is very common to have a wobble or two. The advice is to gently try to work through the wobble (which normally lasts a few weeks), but some parents do find it better to take a break or give up completely. Normally you can work out what will suit tout child specifically.

DS can now swim about 1/2 a width unaided (although face down - need to teach him to keep his face out of the water and breath ;) ). He is exceedingly confident in the water and LOVES it. We have met many nice mums and children through Waterbabies too. Since DS was 14 months old we have been doing a 10.30am class. There is a farm shop with a cafe next door, so we go there for lunch afterwards with some of the other mums and toddlers. Lovely. I take DS once a week during the holidays too: find the ideas from Waterbabies invaluable smile

lottiegarbanzo Fri 29-Mar-13 20:54:36

Yes, since 6mo with her dad. Now 1yo. She loves it.

It is expensive, more than puddle ducks and others. It just happened to be at the closest pool on the best day. They went underwater from the first lesson, I thought they'd have worked up to it gradually. It's very structured and the teacher is good.

AliceWChild Fri 29-Mar-13 21:23:26

I do, it's good. I like that they are teaching the babies how to be safe if they fell into water. I think it's important. And we have small class sizes in a lovely warm pool so I don't think it's pricey really. I have heard the same about photos. I'm not going to do them with mine.

redwellybluewelly Sun 31-Mar-13 15:36:56

We went from eight weeks for three terms. Horrible DD absolutely loathed it and it was outrageously expensive.

The pool was warm but the changing rooms cold and filthy. We swapped twice to other pools. It was a terrible faff getting me and DD changed (though many friends I knew took their mum to help) and the final straw was when DD spent a few weeks in high dependency unit and they refused to allow us any leeway on possibly making up sessions elsewhere. That term cost us £26 a lesson due to the ones we missed.

Also the sessions I went to were made up of various NCT groups who didn't want to speak to me and my SN baby. Did I mention DD was terrified of the pool? Think it was the echo.

Next time we'll just go to monkey gym or go to the pool as a family. It was a complete rip off.

WillowB Sun 31-Mar-13 17:48:13

I did similar with DS from 4 months. He hated it! Persevered for 2 terms but he still hated it. IMO its a right faff getting them changed for 20 mins in the pool, trying to fit it around feeds & naps etc. I dreaded it in the end. Some of my friends babies loved it & still go but it wasn't for us. I'm going to start again when he's a couple of yrs old. Baby sensory classes were much more his thing. Warm & dry!

fozzy26 Sun 31-Mar-13 18:06:58

Took my son from four months. We both HATED it! Was always having to wake him to make sure he fed in time but not too close before so he wasn't sick in the pool. One day he did bring up a bit of milk and everyone was made to evacuate the pool while the instructor used a net to catch the milk!! It was just a bit of milk - he wasn't even on solids! He didn't enjoy it at all and looking back it seems quite cruel that I would just 'dunk' him! Deffo didn't do it with my second child!

redwellybluewelly Sun 31-Mar-13 18:40:09

I should just qualify that it was water babies that was horrible and NOT my DD.

Who is lovely. smile

elvislives Sun 31-Mar-13 19:03:49

We did waterbabies from 6 mo until DD was 3ish and too old for the classes. She loved the lessons and was very confident in water. At the end of her time there she could swim a whole width of the pool unaided (face down, as someone else said).

Swapped then to "proper" swimming lessons with us on the poolside. Still very confident but seemed to go through some sort of developmental stage where she tried to swim upright. Went from unaided swimming to armbands and woggles and fins.

She has just turned 6 and her latest swimming certificate is for 3 metres. 3. (Last years was for 5 metres) Her fellow waterbabies are swimming 500m. She does have dyspraxia and other SN. Proper swimming lessons cost just as much as WB and we get nothing out of them sad

vez123 Sun 31-Mar-13 19:10:40

We have been going with DS (nearly 3) since he was about 4 months old. We have had a few wobbles but have stuck to it. He really loves it now and is very confident in the water.
If you do decide to go you have to be aware that it's not just like another mum and baby activity - it's a proper commitment over several years that will take a lot of time and money if you want to do it properly. If you just want to go and have a little splish splash I would just go to the local pool.

SkiBumMum Sun 31-Mar-13 19:14:41

Took DD1 until 3.5 and she swapped to swimming lessons (& is doing really) well. DD2 also loving it. It is expensive but I think worth it if you can afford the luxury. We've got a lot more out of it than any other class. The "dunking" bit is way worse for parents. Babies have a natural reflex that allows them to hold their breath underwater.

Sunshine200 Sun 31-Mar-13 20:02:13

I took my dd at 8 months I think, she hated it, was so clingy when we were there and cried on and off for the sessions. She liked the swimming but hated the going under water and hated it when the instructor took her from me. She had a fear of swimming pools for a while after.
If you do decide to go and yours shows signs of not liking being submerged then just do the lessons and refuse to put them under. They are very expensive though, not sure what you get for your money that normal lessons dont give.

Misty9 Sun 31-Mar-13 20:19:33

I think it really depends on your dc and whether they like the water. We did it with ds from 4mo for one term. Even the instructor suggested we might like to give it a break! And they're usually taking the money faster than you can say 'hang on'

That said, ds was the only one who screamed every lesson - all the other babies seemed to love it. I would check out the pools though as our first one was too cold and echoey, and the second was a bit small. Changing facilities for both were rubbish - and it is VERY expensive IMO. Other companies are around nationally too. Also don't forget small private pools can work out good value for money if a group of you go. I really need to pluck up the courage to get ds back into swimming (apparently I hated it as a child too...) and he's 18mo now.

Misty9 Sun 31-Mar-13 20:21:41

Oh, I should say that ds LOVED the bath before waterbabies, then went through a period of hating it (god that was stressful - at least lessons were only once a week, bath time was every other night!). Thankfully he started enjoying baths again when we stopped lessons.

sleeplessinderbyshire Sun 31-Mar-13 20:24:49

Done it with dd1 since 10 weeks (now 3yr 7m) and with dd2 since 8 weeks (now 9months) it is by far the best activity we have ever done and whilst pricey is worth the money

Debs75 Sun 31-Mar-13 20:28:56

I did waterbabies with dd2 who was about 4 months. She screamed for a few weeks but towards the end did love it. Didn't have the photo done as it worked out almost as much as the course of ten weeks.
At the end we did go to the neighbouring councils swim lessons. They were absolutely brilliant. The teacher got in with us and was super friendly, the classes were more fun and they only cost £3 per class. Still did dunking in but a lot more emphasis on safe places at the side of the pool etc. We only stopped, after 10 months, as the wonderful guy left to train Paralympic hopefuls.

Now at 4.6 years she is water confident finally after having some clinginess issues. In contrast dd3 is 2.6 and has never had any swimming lessons but is much more water confident and loves splashing about, being thrown in and dunking under.

redwellybluewelly Sun 31-Mar-13 20:30:17

YY to misty our DD started to hate bath time, so much so she would become hysterical. Water babies instructor kept telling us these water wobbles were a nornal part of separation anxiety but they certainly reduced once we stopped swimming. We have had little bath upsets since but nothing on the same scale.

Also. We did intend tjis to be a long term commitment, come the summer I am involved in many river activities and its vitally important our DC are safe around water. However DD was terrified and looking back I really don't know why I put her through it. We also did it to try to reduce the high tone in her muscles (cerebral palsy) but she was so frightened she simply stiffened up even more!

Tobagostreet Sun 31-Mar-13 20:40:40

Attended Waterbabies classes with DS2, as something to help with the binding recess after I'd had quite bad PND.

I loved it, DS2 loved it. Was a lovely experience, and I have some great photos from the organised underwater photo session.

The underwater bit is only a small part of the class.

I still get a warm glow when I think about supporting his head with be hand whist the other hand was the twinkling stars as we sung twinkle twinkle. He was so calm and fascinated by it.smile

It is however, very expensive.

And I echo the point above, nice warm pools, but changing rooms are often not designed for 10 mums with babies to get changed - so expect, cold, cramped changing rooms and having to change your baby on a wet, sometimes not so clean floor. I just sucked it up - took a waterproof, padded chasing mat and a couple of spare towels, and kept DS2 in his car seat whilst I got changed.

Tobagostreet Sun 31-Mar-13 20:41:22

That was bonding rather than binding - I didn't bind him - honest gov!

FernandoIsFaster Sun 31-Mar-13 20:45:23

We did waterbabies from 3 months to 2.5 and dd loved it. I think it makes a difference if you start early. Most of dd's class started at 3 months ish and they all enjoyed it. Dd has moved to 1-2-1 private lessons now and at nearly 3 is swimming (face down as others have said) without armbands and is totally water confident. It's the best class we did and money well spent in my opinion. If you are not confident yourself though in dunking etc that may transmit to your baby so do whatever you feel confident with and have fun. If you look terrified chances are your baby will too!

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