Turtle Tots - FAQs

Babies Swimming Tips and Faqs

Your own swimming costume, goggles – those with clear lenses are best, and a towel. Plus a big bag to put all your wet kit in afterwards.

We understand that when babies are hungry, they need feeding! If it is possible to time your baby’s feeds so that they are fed around half an hour before the class that is ideal. But if you feel your baby is hungry at any point before or during the class then we encourage you to meet their needs and feed them as required. Once your child is eating solids please don’t give them a big meal in the hour before your swimming lesson. Babies may be hungrier (and sleepier) after swimming, so they may need a big feed or a snack after the swim.

If you or your child has a significant illness, such as an ear or chest infection, measles, chicken pox, fever, sickness or diarrhoea then please stay at home. Symptoms must have cleared for at least 48 hours before attending a lesson. However, we always ask that you always take your health practitioner’s advice.

The first year of your child’s life is the perfect time to gently introduce your child to swimming and begin a lifelong love of the water.

Water is a natural environment for babies, and the special time that you spend together in the water facilitates bonding and attachment. Attending Turtle Tots lessons from an early age familiarises children with water and teaches them vital life-saving skills. Lessons also build strength and co-ordination.

Swimming underwater is not the main focus of Turtle Tots lessons. Lessons include natural submersion once your baby is ready (this will be different for each child), but most what happens in our lessons takes place above the water, with lots of emphasis on fun!

No, although parents need to be in the pool with their child, pools are shallow enough to stand up in. Our teachers are fully trained and experienced in helping parents feel confident in the water.

The age that independent swimming happens depends on many factors, including ability, confidence, and regularity of swimming.

Introducing children to Turtle Tots early (and continuing regular classes through the toddler years) means that by the age of 3.5 years many children will be swimming independently, meaning that they can swim without being held and lift their head to breathe. For most children they will first swim a basic doggy paddle. Once this is mastered, they can progress to working on the basic strokes.

We always advise parents that learning to swim takes a lot of practice and patience and every child will accomplish the goals in their own time, as with any other learning process. We do not rush or force any baby or parent into any activity they are not ready for.

The Turtle Tots philosophy is to ensure safety and water confidence, encouraging parents to fully utilise the benefits and enjoyment that they can have swimming with their children – whether at classes, on holiday or trips to the pool. Water confidence and the ability to swim from a young age is certainly a gift for life. We also provide a great social environment for parents and babies, especially for mums as their social life totally changes with the new arrival, to meet and share their precious baby time.

Our classes are small and are held in warm pools. Getting children in the pool early is vital and means that by the time they are 3 years, they will have learnt to doggy paddle and will most likely have mastered some basic strokes. At the earliest stage they learn lifesaving skills including floating, turning and swimming to hold on. Through continuous development on the course, they should be able to swim 5m unaided by the age of 2 1/2 - 3 years.

We always advise parents that learning to swim takes a lot of practice and patience and every child will accomplish the goals in their own time as it happen with any other learning process. We do not rush or force any baby or parent into any activity they are not ready for.

Babies have a natural ability for swimming, having a different reflex that makes them perfect candidates for swimming. Reflexes are defined as automatic responses to an outside stimulus. Healthy babies are born with extremely sophisticated natural reflexes that protect them from any harm and are very important as they promote their survival. At Turtle Tots we work around these reflexes to turn them into deliberate actions.

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