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to not see the point of baby swim classes?

(109 Posts)
Madmum24 Fri 12-Apr-13 12:28:11

Another epic thread about baby swim, but I honestly don't know what the point is so someone please enlighten me.

My kids go swimming once a week and at the same time there is a baby swim class in another pool; it is a half hour class with babies ranging from about 4 months to maybe a year. All they do is walk back and forward and occasionally join in a circle and the instructor (who is by the pool side) floats little plastic ducks in and pours over some water in a little watering can.

I understand these classes are a rip off expensive, so I am seeking MN wisdom on this one :-D Are they more a social meeting for the parents? I get the whole water confidence thing, but you could just take your baby for a regular swim and walk up and down the baby pool for a fraction of the price.

Have my children been disadvantaged due to missing this experience?

givemeaclue Fri 12-Apr-13 12:30:06

Yanbu. In my experience there is no difference in swimming ability between those who have and have not attended there classes. Actual swimming lesson another matter. But if people enjoy it let them get on with it

livinginwonderland Fri 12-Apr-13 12:32:30

i think it's mostly about confidence annd it's probably a good chance for parents to socialise and meet other parents with children of a similar age.

Madmum24 Fri 12-Apr-13 12:33:18

givemeaclue that was something I forgot to add, the parents seem quite non-happy throughout, but there is an awful lot of loud parenting in the changing room after, and exchanging stories of how many classes each baby goes to.

willyoulistentome Fri 12-Apr-13 12:34:04

Yes, I think its mainly about giving mums of babies a chance to get out and about.

Sirzy Fri 12-Apr-13 12:34:33

I guess its like any other group and as much about socialising for parents as anything else.

Perosnally i would rather just go for a splash around occasionally!

Kaluki Fri 12-Apr-13 12:34:41

IMO it is a waste of money and a hurrendous amount of hassle for the mothers.
I took DS1 to baby swim because at the time it was recommended and it was pure hell. He hated it, I hated it and I used to come out of the pool feeling exhausted and looking like I'd been pulled through a hedge.
I never took DS2 as by then I'd wised up and the thought of taking a baby and a 3 year old swimming was a punishment worse than death!
Both boys can swim like fishes now so it obviously makes no difference.

BigFatBarry Fri 12-Apr-13 12:35:43

It is actually slightly cheaper to do baby swim lessons at our council pool than to pay for casual swimming once a week, every week.

Loupee Fri 12-Apr-13 12:36:35

I love our baby swim class, DS seems to enjoy it as well, and I tires him out so he as a long nap after grin
The one I go to is only £2.50 and has given me so much confidence with my DS in water.

schnauzerfan Fri 12-Apr-13 12:37:29

Looks like an absolute waste of time to me and anyone who says they are doing it so their babies are better swimmers is talking out of their arse.

MidniteScribbler Fri 12-Apr-13 12:39:04

Our classes work out at $5 Australian per class, which is actually cheaper than the casual rate for using the pool. They sing songs and play games, and with DS being an only child, I like to get him out among other kids. He has always enjoyed the classes. It's no different to attending playgroups, or any other group. And since it's not affecting your enjoyment of the pool, then why do you care how others choose to spend their money?

LadyVoldemort Fri 12-Apr-13 12:41:44

I think it is mostly for the parents to get out and feel like they're doing something active with their baby. I did it lots with ds as we got a free swim pass from our local sure start, would be daft not to take them up on it.

Succubi Fri 12-Apr-13 12:41:51

YABU. Both my boys have been to swimming classes since they were 3 months old. It is good exercise, it builds up their water confidence, and from my experience it helps them sleep better.

It is a huge amount of fun and it is an opportuinity to meet other parents.

dreamingbohemian Fri 12-Apr-13 12:42:00


Obviously nothing wrong with taking these classes, but I don't think anyone should feel their kids are disadvantaged if you don't.

People can get OTT with this idea that you have to expose babies and young children to things very early in order to make sure they're comfortable with them later. Not just swimming but types of food, computers, etc.

I mean, I assume we're not all sitting here in diapers, eating puree and writing with crayons, so obviously it's possible to adapt and like new things at any age?

cansu Fri 12-Apr-13 12:43:10

It's really for the parents to have something to do with isit ds and meet other parents. I didn't do them as I found most mother and baby activities pretty awful generally.

ghosteditor Fri 12-Apr-13 12:46:35

Meh, it's up to you whether you're interested, but my daughter enjoys her class and at 15 months can get into and out of the pool safely, float on her back, doggy paddle around with a bit of support, swim underwater and other stuff. I (a) wouldn't have thought to teach her that way and (b) am too lazy to go regularly unless motivated by the fact that I've paid for a class already.

I'm a confident swimmer but lots of the other parents aren't and probably want reassurance. And one of the younger kids fell in a pool on holiday while his parents were packing up, but at 11 months was found (only moments later as they heard the splash) clinging safely and happily onto the side. So it does happen...

Succubi Fri 12-Apr-13 12:52:20

And to those that don't see the point of it you might want to read the Griffith Institute's paper on it (link below).

Not that actually it makes a difference whether there is an additional benefit over and above the fact that it is fun.

AMumInScotland Fri 12-Apr-13 12:55:52

If you are confident and happy in the water yourself, and would take your child regularly to the pool anyway, then no it probably doesn't add much, unless you like to have things scheduled into your week and it gets you out of the house.

But for parents who aren't keen on swimming themselves and aren't that confident in the water, but would like their child to be encouraged to be ok with it, it instils more confidence to go to a planned activity where the leader takes them through what can be fun to do in the pool with a baby.

It also pushes them to go regularly, which helps if 'go to swimming pool' is a very long way down your list of favourite activities.

Going for a swim barely makes it onto my 'things to do when hell freezes over' list, so it took a real effort to take DS there, and it would undoubtedly have been good for him (and probably me too!) to have had a regular slot.

MyDarlingYoni Fri 12-Apr-13 12:56:54

There is no real point to any baby classes at all, not sure about those with SN though.,

Its just fun and an excuse to get out, all babies will usually develop and do things regardless of whether you take them to music. tumbletots etc.

Carolra Fri 12-Apr-13 12:57:46

I took my dd when she was tiny, as someone else has said, it was cheaper to book a block of session than to go causually (local council pool). I'm glad I did it, got me out of the house, met some nice mums, DD loved swimming and still does but we just take her on Saturdays now I have gone back to work.

If you want to see something amazing - google Infant Swim Self Rescue and watch a couple of the videos. Its proper swimming lessons for babies in the USA, its amazing what they teach them!

Bejeena Fri 12-Apr-13 12:58:38

Watch this video to the end (it is a very happy ending don't worry) and then tell me you really don't see any point at all.

Blissx Fri 12-Apr-13 13:00:22

My first clear memory is actually of going to mother and baby swim classes-random I know as it's unusual to remember that far back! Personally, I prefer to take mine swimming than any other activity but that is my choice and therefore YANBU as it's your choice too. However, YABU to say they are pointless.

lakeofshiningwaters Fri 12-Apr-13 13:00:35

YABU to not see the point. There are lots of reasons why people go to these classes. They may not be your cup of tea but plenty of people enjoy them.

I'm not convinced they help with swimming ability any later on, but my dd and I enjoy the classes, and I don't think I'd be brave enough to do all the swimming, splashing, chasing balls etc in the pool on my own in a normal family swim session!

Certainly don't think a child who doesn't do them is missing out (my ds hated them so we soon gave them up. He is still very nervous in the water (aged 5) though).

Carolra Fri 12-Apr-13 13:02:51

Blissx - that baby has been taught Infant Swim Self Rescue - that is not what they teach at baby swim lessons in the UK! I wouldn't want anyone to think that their baby who's done a few WaterBabies classes is going to be able to do that - its a totally different thing....

Carolra Fri 12-Apr-13 13:03:11

Sorry Blissx - wrong poster! Bejeena!

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