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Is the baby swimming class a "scam" or is it truly beneficial?

146 replies

happyfishcoco · 09/07/2023 22:01

Is the baby swimming class a "scam" or is it truly beneficial? Can a 6-month-old baby really learn to swim? Some claim that a 6-week-old baby can start joining swimming classes. Moreover, there are a total of seven levels in baby swimming classes, followed by ten levels in toddler swimming classes, amounting to seventeen levels that take around four years to complete. Is it worthwhile to spend £2500 to learn swimming by the age of six? Are the initial seven levels in baby swimming classes of no use? as toddlers can directly join toddler swimming classes.
I'm wondering if anyone has experience with baby swim classes. is it worth anything?

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PrimalOwl10 · 09/07/2023 22:13

As a swimming teacher it's amoney making scheme start them at 3/4 and save your money.

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Wenfy · 09/07/2023 22:18

It’s beneficial if they do it in a cold pool. Kids will become used to the water temperature earlier. A warm pool will definitely hamper them being able to learn how to swim in a normal pool

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Curioushorse · 09/07/2023 22:20

We'll it gave me something to do...but I can't honestly say it did anything for my kids.

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mynameiscalypso · 09/07/2023 22:20

For me, the benefit was gaining confidence (myself!) in the water with my baby and getting ideas of what to do when I took him swimming. We only did it for about 6 months though.

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sashagabadon · 09/07/2023 22:21

I think all baby activities are mostly for the mums and if you view them that way they are not a “scam”.
swimming in particular is a lot of faff but I found they knackered baby out which meant they slept for longer and I got a nice long break so a win for me!

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Giltedged · 09/07/2023 22:21

I seem to have a unique view to most of MN on this but I do actually think our swimming classes have been brilliant. We’ve been going since DS was 4 months (he is now 2 years and seven months) and initially I didn’t expect much, I just thought it was a nice thing to do when on maternity leave and then after returning to work.

We went every week and then when it was very hot last summer I took DS swimming and I couldn’t believe how much he could do independently and how confident he was in the water. The teachers never make him do anything he really doesn’t want to do but other children doing it give him a bit of confidence.

It isn’t cheap - I pay nearly £60 a month - but it’s the activity I’d personally prioritise.

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Usedtobecool · 09/07/2023 22:23

Both my babies loved the baby swim classes. 4 yo just started proper swimming lessons and I would say the only advantage she has over the kids that have not done baby swimming is confidence in the water. I only took them to baby swim classes for something to do, and since it was included in the gym membership I was paying anyway

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QueenOfWeeds · 09/07/2023 22:24

Our baby swimming lessons say they focus on developing instinctive water safety, ie roll onto back/hold onto the side etc.

I hope we never have to find out if it works or if it’s a “scam”, but I feel better for trying.

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FrozenGhost · 09/07/2023 22:25

I wouldn't say it's a scam because I think kids do get things from the class - they get fun and exercise. In the cae of the parent and baby class it's an activity to do together. However yes, they could get those same positives elsewhere and for less cost or free. That's the same with any kids activity.

Any promotion along the lines of your kids must learn to swim now to be a good swimmer, I do think that's a bit of a scam, yes.

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Littlemissprosecco · 09/07/2023 22:25

All three of mine did baby swimming, as soon as they were safe with vaccinations, 3 months old I seem to remember. They use their natural ability to hold their breath underwater, teach them to kick, swim to the edge and hold, within weeks.It’s life saving stuff. Truly amazing. They’ve never feared the water and always been strong natural swimmers because of this ( I’m really not good in the water!)

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ronconcoke · 09/07/2023 22:26

I did it for something to do and to get them used to the water. Only did it for a few months though. They both started proper swimming lessons when they were pre-schoolers.

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Labraradabrador · 09/07/2023 22:26

I don’t think it makes a massive (any?) difference in eventual ability to swim, but mine both really liked it, so worth it from that perspective for us.

I don’t think most kids have the physical strength or coordination to swim until about 5yo. There are some foundational skills / general comfort in the water that can be done beforehand - mine had to stop swim during covid (2.5 - 4.5 yo break from swimming) and restarting at 4.5 was like starting from scratch. Both were much more nervous in the water, and we had to reteach a lot of basics (putting face in water, floating) that they were doing confidently at 2yo.

if I were to do it over again, I would probably miss the baby swim classes that are extra expensive, and just do a weekly session at the leisure centre until they were old enough to start formal lessons (4ish?). Early exposure to water (building confidence) does make a difference, but you don’t need lessons.

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NCTDN · 09/07/2023 22:27

I never did baby swimming classes but did take them from a very early age into the pool. By the time he was 3.5 ds could swim and I think a lot was because he was confident and didn't fear the water. We paid for toddler lessons.

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TooManyAnimals94 · 09/07/2023 22:29

Depends what you think you're paying for. I've been going since my daughter was 8m old (22m now) and it's just a fun thing to do. I prefer it to soft play or other cheaper activities because I feel like we're actually doing something together.

No, she hasn't learnt to swim as yet, but she's very confident and knows how to hold the side and get in and out safely. I'm rubbish in water so wanted her to have good early experiences.

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CapEBarra · 09/07/2023 22:29

They’re not going to learn to swim at that age, but it has benefits for both parent and baby in the same way that going to any social activity does - meeting people in a similar stage of life as you, getting out and about, engaging in an activity. Most babies really enjoy it and it seems to relax them. They sing songs, splash, move around the space - It gets them used to the water and the routine of getting changed in changing rooms. So I’d recommend it from that perspective. When they are ready to learn they’re already used to the environment and ready to hit the ground running, but if you want your kid to be swimming by age 1 that’s not going to happen. Mine did lessons for years are now excellent, confident, swimmers but I think if I was doing it again I’d get private lessons and get them competent much quicker. My DS seemed to view it as a social occasion and never stopped talking to his classmates 🙄

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Jobalob · 09/07/2023 22:30

mine all started on their third birthday when I didn’t have to go in with them. We did hoody’s crash courses followed by weekly lessons and they were all swimming by 5. Did baby swimming with eldest, what a waste of time and it was more stress than it was worth getting us both dressed and dry etc. wouldn’t bother

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happyfishcoco · 09/07/2023 22:35

Wenfy · 09/07/2023 22:18

It’s beneficial if they do it in a cold pool. Kids will become used to the water temperature earlier. A warm pool will definitely hamper them being able to learn how to swim in a normal pool

thanks, very new point of view!

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happyfishcoco · 09/07/2023 22:41

sashagabadon · 09/07/2023 22:21

I think all baby activities are mostly for the mums and if you view them that way they are not a “scam”.
swimming in particular is a lot of faff but I found they knackered baby out which meant they slept for longer and I got a nice long break so a win for me!

if they claim this is a baby swimming class but actually just a baby water-playing class, I don't see why I cannot say it is a scam.

the way they "teach" seems just to let the baby get used to the water.

and I know how to swim. so, I can just bring my baby to a pool to do the same things. the only difference is no classmates.

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LostMySocks · 09/07/2023 22:44

I was terrified of water as a child and didn't swim til my teens.
I prioritised baby lessons as I wanted them to be happy and confident in the water. Took time out of lessons over Covid but they spent lockdown in and out of our deepish paddling pool with a lot of time under water.
Went back to lessons and while they are not the strongest swimmers they are super comfortable in the water with the younger one happily doing backstroke with his face under water....
Lessons won't teach your baby to swim but for me the water confidence was a huge positive. I never had a wailing sad child at the pool apart from the time one was starting up an ear infection

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Tinybrother · 09/07/2023 22:48

I did it with my first because I could afford it and it was fun. I had other priorities once second and third children came along. I wasn’t expecting my baby to actually learn to swim and neither was a promised that, so I didn’t feel scammed at all - we had a nice session with a bit of singing in a lovely warm pool.

my eldest very happily went to lessons in a chilly municipal pool so having experienced the lovely warm pool didn’t make any difference.

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happyfishcoco · 09/07/2023 22:49

Giltedged · 09/07/2023 22:21

I seem to have a unique view to most of MN on this but I do actually think our swimming classes have been brilliant. We’ve been going since DS was 4 months (he is now 2 years and seven months) and initially I didn’t expect much, I just thought it was a nice thing to do when on maternity leave and then after returning to work.

We went every week and then when it was very hot last summer I took DS swimming and I couldn’t believe how much he could do independently and how confident he was in the water. The teachers never make him do anything he really doesn’t want to do but other children doing it give him a bit of confidence.

It isn’t cheap - I pay nearly £60 a month - but it’s the activity I’d personally prioritise.

Did you mean your DS attends swimming classes starting from four months old until he turned two? And can he swim independently now?
Actually, my six-month-old DS2 is already attending swimming classes, only for the underwater photoshoot.
Now I'm considering whether or not to continue in the future.

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Tinybrother · 09/07/2023 22:51

Oh god the underwater photo shoot was the bit I thought was a ridiculous waste of time (I was never going to buy them)!

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Giltedged · 09/07/2023 22:52

No - I wouldn’t expect him to swim independently to be honest, although he can manage a little tiny bit now (from me to the side for instance.)

But he can do a lot in the water. He can get himself in and out safely, he doesn’t get stressed or anxious if water goes over his head, he just knows what to do. It’s possible he would figure it out anyway, but we both enjoy it and I do think he gets a lot out of it. I also don’t think I’d be motivated to take him every week without paying for lessons, to be honest!

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happyfishcoco · 09/07/2023 22:53

Usedtobecool · 09/07/2023 22:23

Both my babies loved the baby swim classes. 4 yo just started proper swimming lessons and I would say the only advantage she has over the kids that have not done baby swimming is confidence in the water. I only took them to baby swim classes for something to do, and since it was included in the gym membership I was paying anyway

your gym membership is very good! I never see any gym membership including baby swim classes! I would go every day if I have a membership like this, hand on, I don't even have a gym membership lol

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Tinybrother · 09/07/2023 22:53

My youngest had no swimming at all until about 1.5yo because of covid and difficulty getting access to any pools around here even once they opened again, and they loved the water straight away and is easily as good at swimming as my eldest at the same age, so I think a lot is temperament

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