When speaking to mums and dads about Water Babies the conversation often comes back to the same thing, the cost. There is no denying that £157.50 for a 10 week course is going to leave a dent in any maternity pay packet so what are you paying for and is it worth making savings elsewhere to introduce your little fish to the water? Here is my honest reflection as our Chapter one comes to a close.
What did Phoebe get from it?
- A chance to grow her confidence in the water from a few weeks old
- A foundation for water safety including holding on, swimming on her back and confidence under water
- A bonding experience with both myself and Matt
- Weekly exercise to benefit her physical development
- Social skills with other babies, including taking turns and sharing group exercises
What did Matt and I get from it?
- Ideas to make bath time more relaxed and fun
- The confidence to take Phoebe swimming at other times with a good knowledge of her ability
- A bonding experience with our little fish
- Exercise for us (all that holding, lifting, positioning of baby means our workout was as good as hers!)
Couldn’t I just take Phoebe swimming on my own?
Before visiting a Water Babies class I thought I might find myself paying £157.50 for something I could probably do myself. Water Babies classes are most useful to parents who would like to be in the pool with a professional instructor and who would like to structure their swim with specific exercises. I certainly wouldn’t have been brave enough to try many of the things Phoebe can now happily do, swimming underwater, letting her go in the water and splashing water over her face. Of course you can take your baby swimming by yourself and any baby will benefit from being in the water, your progress may just be a little slower.
Did it ever feel like a waste of money?
As the ten weeks have come to a close I can honestly say it feels worth every penny. There was something really sweet about Phoebe receiving her first swim badge and sharing it with her family. Ok, she didn’t have a clue what the badge was but we did and we made sure to exploit it with a million photos! There are 17 chapters in total and you can choose to stop at any point but be warned it does get addictive.
Admittedly, there were times a few weeks in where Phoebe was not happy in the water and watching her cry for 30 minutes before getting out of the pool again was not much fun (see the post ‘When Water Babies cry’ here- https://growliverpool.home.blog/2019/03/06/when-water-babies-cry/). At this point I honestly wondered why we were doing it… but… if we hadn’t been part of a 10 week course I would probably have just stopped taking her and admitted defeat at this stage so the commitment to the chapter really helped us get over the bump in the road and she is definitely over that water wobble now.
You would love to take part but you just can’t afford it…
If a 10 week course is out of reach you do have other options. You can take a taster session for £5 to see how baby is in the water and to speak with an instructor if you’re nervous about your first time or look out for the short courses that often become available. Water babies also have a range of different payment options available so you don’t have to pay all in one go.
If that’s still too expensive I would highly recommend the pool at Everton Nursery and Family centre where you can book 30 minute slots in the pool for you and your baby for only £3. Finding warm enough pools to swim with small babies can be a little tricky but this one is designed for exactly that.
We as mums and dads are really good at giving ourselves a heavy dose of guilt if we feel other families are all doing something that we just can’t manage. If you can’t stretch to classes and don’t feel confident to start taking your little mini swimming straight away take your time and introduce them to the water gradually to build their confidence and yours.