Turtle Tots report a huge increase in dads attending baby swim lessons.
With Father's Day just a couple of weeks away, Turtle Tots Ltd is celebrating the role fathers play in their award-winning baby swimming lessons as part of STA International Learn to Swim Week (21-27 May).
Turtle Tots, who teach more than 12,000 babies every week, say they have seen a huge increase in the number of dads who now actively participate in weekly baby swimming lessons.Over 80% of Turtle Tots’ 50 licensees reported an increase in dads attending lessons when compared with 2 years ago.
With mothers generally accepting the lead role in parental bonding it is revealing that baby swimming is fast becoming dad’s special time.
The Turtle Tots licensees reported that while weekday daytime classes are still predominately mums, the evening and weekend classes are very popular with dads. Some even reported that over 90% of attendees at a weekend are dads!
Dan Allen, Managing Director at Turtle Tots, said: “It’s fantastic we are seeing more and more dads sharing such a wonderful experience with their little ones. Playing and learning together in the water, while learning lifesaving skills, really does help with the human bonding process. This is because baby swimming is one activity where both parent and baby can jointly participate and enjoy positive interaction - skin-to-skin contact, regular eye contact and big smiles. This all helps to make a baby feel secure and safe with their parent, which is so important.”
One Turtle Tots dad, Aaron, said baby swimming provides the perfect platform for him to bond with his son. “Being a first time dad and working full-time, I found it really difficult to have quality bonding time with my son as he would often be asleep when I came home from work. But for 30 minutes every week, we now have our uninterrupted father and son time. It has had such a profound, positive effect on our relationship.”
Baby swimming has grown in the UK over the last decade because it is proven to help babies develop physically, emotionally, intellectually and socially. It also encourages healthy growth and helps with the development of strength, co-ordination and balance, all while equipping them with key safety and safe hold skills in the water.
Research has also shown that routine swimming can have a positive impact on baby’s sleeping and eating patterns.
Dan adds: “Whether it’s mum or dad helping with a baby’s water skill development, it is important that confidence is developed early and that lessons promote positive feelings of fun and enjoyment that will be taken into adult life. To support this, we are proud that our swimming teachers are amongst the first in the baby swim industry to be fully qualified in the new STA Level 3 Diploma for Aquatic Teaching.”
This week (21-27 May) marks the start of International Learn to Swim Week, an annual campaign run by the Swimming Teachers’ Association (STA) to promote the benefits of learning to swim. To celebrate this and the major role dads are now playing in baby swimming, Turtle Tots is running a Father’s Day themed competition over on Facebook, where a term of baby swimming lessons can be won.