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Tips for Getting into the Pool with Your Baby for the First Time

Tips for Getting into the Pool with Your Baby for the First Time
18 September 2018 7270 Views No comments

Here at Konfidence, we understand that getting into the pool for the first time with your baby can feel like an incredibly daunting experience if you are a new parent.

That’s why, for the third instalment of our baby swimming advice series, we asked our baby swimming experts for their tips on making this a relaxing and enjoyable experience for you and your little one.

Here’s what they said…

Hannah Bree

Turtle Tots Southampton & Solent,

Facebook: @turtletotssouthampton

Twitter: @TurtleTotsSoton

Instagram: turtletotssouthampton

Hannah runs baby and toddler swimming lessons across the South Coast. It all began for Hannah when she started baby swimming with her little boy when he was 7 weeks old and completely fell in love with it...the rest is history as they say! Hannah and the team are incredibly proud to teach non-pressure, baby led swimming lessons from birth to pre-school.

Do you have any tips for getting into the pool for the first time?

“Watch your little one as much as possible, it's amazing - the swimming pool is an incredible sensory exploration for babies, the new sights, smells, touch, you could see pure wonder in their little face for one of the very first times!”

Emie Kitson


Facebook: @aqualightuk

Emie has been teaching babies to swim for over 17 years and has also been tutoring baby swimming teachers all over the world since 2003 - most recently in Taiwan and China. Emie also works for the STA (Swimming Teachers Association), is a WATSU practitioner and is a consultant for the ASA on their aqua natal course. She used to tutor for Birthlight but more recently has been involved in developing the Aqua Sensory programme.

Do you have any tips for getting into the pool for the first time?

“Take it slow, the slower we physically enter the pool the more the baby has time to process what is going on and is less likely to be upset. Relax and have fun with your baby gaze into their eyes and hold baby the way that feels right for you.Try to make sure your 'hold' is soft but supportive and that if your baby requires a feed that this is on hand as they may need it to feel safe and happy in the water. Then relax and enjoy the water together”.

Rui Duarte

Love Swimming,

Facebook: @loveswimmingdolphinsquare

Love Swimming instructors are handpicked for not only their qualifications and technical knowledge, but also their ability to make lessons fun. Their founders are former professional international swimmers who take as much pleasure teaching babies to have their first fun splashes as coaching top swimmers to the next level. And you won’t find high staff turnover at Love Swimming – continuity is so important when building trust and rapport, so you’ll get to know the same faces and they’ll get to know you individually, taking a personal interest in your progress.

Do you have any tips for getting into the pool for the first time?

“Safety first. If the swimming pool floor is slippery wear flip flops. Enter the water gently and let your baby look around and discover this new place. You should learn different kind of holding position during your first couple of lessons and then you can practice them every time you go for a swim with your little one”.

Karina Reinhardt

Turtle Tots Edinburgh & East Lothian,

Facebook: @TurtleTotsEdinburgh

Twitter: @TurtleTotsEdin

Instagram: turtletotsedinburgh

Karina Reinhardt set up Turtle Tots Edinburgh & East Lothian nearly six years ago after the birth of her second child (she’s added a third to her family since then too)! Karina has always been a keen swimmer having swum competitively in her younger years. The team and Karina are hugely passionate about teaching babies and children swimming. Karina is also a STA Baby and Pre-school Tutor and was part of the first few batches of teachers in the UK to undertake the fantastic new level 3 Baby and Pre-school Diploma. In Karina’s opinion, this new qualification has revolutionised the industry and gives parents even more confidence that their team is committed to providing the highest level of teaching for their little one.

Do you have any tips for getting into the pool for the first time?

“Your first dip should be about creating a wonderful safe environment for your baby. Think about what they enjoy in the bath, perhaps taking their favourite bath toy with you. Keep their shoulders under water most of the time to keep them warm. Splash a little water gently on their head, they should be used to this from the bath so most babies enjoy it. Most importantly, hold them close to you and give them lots of smiles and encouragement.

Your first swim might only last about 10-20 minutes and take them out sooner if they seem cold or are upset. Ideally this would be in a quiet pool, which is 30+ degrees”.

Julie Dugdale

Puddle Ducks North East,

Facebook: @PuddleDucksNewcastleNorthEast

Twitter: @puddleducksne

Instagram: puddleducksne

Julie is the Head of Teaching and Technical for Puddle Ducks in the North East of England and the South East of Scotland. Julie has been a baby and pre-school swimming teacher for seven years, and is also an Assessor and Tutor of trainee baby and pre-school swimming teachers.

Do you have any tips for getting into the pool for the first time?

“Lots of smiles and make sure you are relaxed. Little ones pick up on your mood so use gentle holds and help them to enjoy the water”.

Fiona Munt-Whittle

Aquatots Swimming Ltd,

Facebook: @aquatotsswimminguk

Twitter: @AquatotSwimming

Fiona has been teaching babies to swim for 33 years and professionally for 20 years at Aquatots. Fiona has 4 children, eldest with special needs who learnt to swim at 9 months, swimming 7m on his own.

Do you have any tips for getting into the pool for the first time?

“Again - be prepared. Feed your baby in advance so they are happy and settled.Try and take them at a time you know will be not at their nap time.Allow plenty of time - don't go swimming just before another appointment. Your baby will be tired (and so will you) after their swim, so allow time to relax afterwards, have a warm drink, take baby a snack or know there is a quiet place to go that you can breastfeed.Take your towels onto poolside so that you can wrap your baby up straight afterwards to keep them warm. Wear flip flops so you feel confident on slippery pool floors.You don't need any fancy equipment - just yourself :)”

Marjan Moosavi

Blue Wave Swim School,

Facebook: @BlueWaveSwimSchool

Twitter: @bluewaveswim

Instagram: Bluewaveswim

Marjan founded Blue Wave Swim School in February 2010 following decades of experience in sports science and coaching swimming. Marjan has a MSC in Sport Sciences and has been teaching swimming since 1993. “I love educating parents about the overall benefits of swimming and what are the best swimming teaching practices. I was named one of the 10 top swimming bloggers the U.K in 2018”.

Do you have any tips for getting into the pool for the first time?

“As mentioned before, try keep the whole experience calm and not rushed. Don't form any quick judgment based on your baby's first reaction to water and swimming pool- it may take a few visits for a baby to get used to water and swimming. Avoid scheduling your first pool visit when your child is just recovered from an illness or when he/she is teething. Take your child's favourite toy with you to the pool and if it is a plastic one and it is 100% safe to be put in the water, take it in the water with you”.

Fiona Edwards

Little Dippers Ltd,

Facebook: Little Dippers LTD

Twitter: @L_Dippers

Instagram: littledippersltd

Little Dippers was one of the first baby swim schools in the UK. Set up by baby swim pioneer Lauren Heston, they have been teaching their popular baby swim programme for over 25 years. Their aim is to teach babies to love the water while giving lifesaving skills in a fun and nurturing environment.

Their classes teach babies confidence in the water through combining songs and games and repetition with the exercises. All of the classes take place in warm water pools to keep parents and babies happy and with a maximum of 7 in a class so that it never feels too crowded.

Do you have any tips for getting into the pool for the first time?

“Give yourself lots of time before your class, never underestimate the time it takes to change a wriggly baby and squeeze them into their swim nappies.

New parents always bring too much stuff, try and put your own cossie on before you arrive, wear as few clothes as possible and wear ones that are easy to get on and off.

Try to leave an hour between feeding your baby and coming in the pool as it can either come back up again or give them an upset tummy and they won't enjoy the class”.

Some great advice from our experts! If you would like to share any tips from your own experience, please feel free to leave a comment below!