I cannot swim and on a tiny Island like England that is ridiculous. I cannot float, my muscle density seems to make me sink like a brick. Most people are surprised at this because I am pretty sporty but even though my mum tried to encourage me to swim, I got bad ear infections and frankly found any excuse not to go. I think this was probably because I found other sports easy, so I was just too darn lazy to put any effort in, which has turned out to be a great shame for no one but me.
I was determined that Phoenix must go swimming from an early age, so that being in water is never a big deal for him as it is for me now. So from about 4 months old we took him to Water Babies and I think it's one of the best things I've done for him.
I don't really go along to many 'Mum and Baby' groups, I have tried them but I often think they are more for us mums to support each other than they are for our babies development. Water babies is completely different though, you are teaching your babies a vital skill that could save their lives and make their summers so much more fun.
Of course I was petrified at our first Water Babies lesson but I was determined to not pass on my fears to Phoenix, so I totally pretended I was an amazing swimmer. It was about our 3rd lesson in (when the water was a little deeper than usual and I couldn't walk in the deep end) that I finally fessed up to my Water Babies teacher that I couldn't swim.
She was so lovely about it and didn't make me feel bad at all and she didn't patronise me either. So now Phoenix and I are learning to swim together and I must say he's doing a lot better than I am at the under water stuff.
This week is National Baby Swimming Week which is being launched by Water Babies and because I love my lessons so much I thought I would share some of their facts and they are pretty impressive.
As you can see by their chart, if you take your baby swimming you are probably increasing their Cognitive benefits. You are undoubtedly helping them physically as well as psychologically.
All this and having great fun too.
Phoenix absolutely loves his classes and I can't tell you the joy that brings his dad and me. There is nothing better than seeing your little dream smile with anticipation as he realises you are about to 'splish, splash' in the pool with him.
The classes do seem expensive on first glance - but actually they are very cheap, when you way up all the bonuses.
I did take Phoenix to swimming at my gym before we started Water Babies and it's a great thing to do - but here is why I think Water Babies is best
Water Babies tend to have warmer pools.
Water Babies have structured games and they teach you commands to ready your little ones for things like; holding on should they fall under, getting ready to swim under water and what to do if they fall in
Because I can't swim , being with the Water Babies teacher made me feel more confident and therefore Phoenix trusted me and the water
Phoenix very quickly started to anticipate what was coming next because of the songs in the classes, which is brilliant for him to build his neural pathways
Once you have been to Water Babies classes, when you do take your babies swimming with you to the local pool, you can do some of the exercises, which makes going to the pool great fun
I use their commands in the bath before I rinse his hair so he knows when to shut his eyes and if he looks like he might fall off something when climbing - because of Water Babies' lessons, I can get him to hold on when he needs to. This has saved many a bumped head!
The main message Water Babies want to give this week though is to get your little ones swimming. Let them all be mermaids and mermen so they can enjoy water while they are young and it's easy to learn, unlike me, who's having a nightmare learning to even go under the water.
I can ride a bike but I can't swim and that's probably true of more people than we even realise and it doesn't make any sense. Both are important but surely being able to swim should be top of the list when it comes to physical activity and sports for our children.
Take your kids swimming this Autumn and if you can, check out your nearest Water Babies or your kids will be learning to swim at 42 like me and that's just sad!