When the topic of swimming lessons was raised in our house, I was confused from the outset, Ivy can’t crawl, she can barely roll, so why do we need to put her in the pool. The same questions were raised when I mentioned to the boys at work that we’d signed her up for classes… “WHAT?! She’s going to swim, isn’t she like 3 months old” so the confusion didn’t just live with me.
Amongst a number of benefits of working from home, having a swimming lesson during my lunch hour was one of them. So on a Tuesday afternoon, I shut my laptop and the three of us took to the local hotel/gym. Weirdly both Meg and I were nervous… Would Ivy scream the place down, would she love it? We arrived into lots of mums and lots of young babies… So at least we were in the right place and with Ivy changed (waterproof nappy of course) Mum’s and babies entered the pool. Now I knew @ 12.30 on a Tuesday afternoon I wasn’t expecting to see many dad’s there… To be honest I wasn’t expecting many spectators at all, but it was nice to be accompanied by one dad, we exchanged the usual “alright” and that was about it. I was all for swimming lessons, i think it’s an important part of kids lives to learn, but I was still baffled as to why it was relevant for a 3 month year old to be bobbing around… Well I my eyes were quickly opened and it all made sense.
As a baby, developing senses is so important, the ability to feel, see, smell, touch and taste is crucial, hence the abundance of toys with rustling and squeaking and the wide eyes Ivy has when we to shopping. That all became very apparent when Ivy entered the pool – aside from a few tears at the start, the bubbling of water, lying on her back, throwing a ball and following it in the water, all brought out responses in her that I never thought swimming would… My early expectations of 20 lengths of butterfly and a couple of double frontflip pike with a twist off the 20 meter board were quickly squashed, but it was amazing to see her experiencing yet another ‘first’.
I would recommend swimming lessons to any parent, mum or dad, it’s great for baby and it’s an opportunity to meet other mum’s and dads. The class I went to was all mum’s which I think would drove me away from the idea of taking a dip myself, but i’m told the following weeks there were more dads, including those that actually swam with their babies, so don’t let it put you off fellas. When I next get the opportunity, I will be – it’s a fantastic chance to bond with your baby.