When we're in the water with babies and toddlers, it provides us with an excellent opportunity for genuine one to one time, without the distractions of every day life. There is not laundry to do, no meals to cook, no washing up, no phonecalls - just half an hour of you and your baby.
When you give your baby your full attention in the pool, there is so much to notice. A child who was wary of the water at first might be dipping their mouth to blow bubbles, or splashing their hands and watching the water. When we really watch, we can see just how much progress a child is making. We get messages from even very young babies - they use their body language to convey to you what they want and need .
We can learn so much from watching our babies - which songs and activities do they enjoy? Which toys are their favourites? Which holds and moves do they get the most out of? Is there anything that seems to scare them? Do they enjoy being on their backs? Are there other babies they enjoy swimming close to? We can really see them in the water too - are they making any new noises? Have their faces changed or developed since last week? Especially for younger siblings, the swimming lesson provides excellent one to one time that might not be as easy to provide at home.
It is so important to choose a swim school that gives you opportunities to really get into activities with your baby. When a tried and tested lesson plan is being worked through and things are moving at a speedy pace, you don't get time to really watch your baby and see how they're progressing. When you're being expected to do things to rather than with your child, you don't get those opportunities to work at your child's pace and gauge their reaction to what is going on.
So I propose that in swimming lessons, the less we do, the more we'll see. Let's see what our children are ready for!