In the early days of having a baby it’s easy to avoid doing certain things and going certain places in case baby cries. I’ve spoken to mums who have spent the first few months at home for this very reason, as the thought of a mini-meltdown in public just doesn’t bear thinking about. I definitely felt this way myself, but as someone who finds it hard to stay in the house all day I was forced to get over it as quickly as possible. I regularly chant my mantra ‘Baby’s cry, it’s what they do’ whilst internally praying to the god of tantrums that whatever my next trick is will tame the tears, silence the scream and mend the meltdown. So when Phoebe had a tricky second lesson at Water Babies I had to remind myself that sometimes that’s just the way it goes.
After a successful and happy first week there’s no way of saying exactly what caused this little kick off in week two but what I will say is that Louise our instructor was right on top of working it out. If you are attending Water Babies there’s a good chance that at some point even the happiest baby will have an off day or even an off few weeks. As babies develop and change the range of things happening to them can all impact on the sensation and experience of being in the water and the instructors are well prepared for this to happen. From distracting the babies with toys and mirrors to considering the positions and how they might affect reflux or teething babies, part of each chapter is working out how to keep babies (and toddlers later on in the journey) happy and confident in the water. For us in week two this meant keeping Phoebe in the water and participating in anything that didn’t involve going under, this is one thing that can’t be done when a baby is crying for obvious reasons.
Week two allowed us to recap some of the exercises we had learnt in the first week and start to build in processes for the babes to recognise and remember. Watching back the clips it’s interesting to see how in the swim position Phoebe is instinctively starting to kick her legs. As early as week two I am starting to notice these small signs that tell us that even tiny babies can learn technique in the water with structured sessions. Water Babies sessions are focused on safety in water and ensuring that if the worst did happen and a baby or toddler was to fall into water they would have the tools to get themselves to safety. It’s hard to imagine that a baby as tiny as Phoebe could begin to learn these processes, but then I remember the amazing things she is learning from scratch every day and suddenly it doesn’t seem so unfathomable.