This is our time.

What a lovely term it's been. I've recently started hiring the beautiful Whitings Hill Swimming Pool in Barnet on Tuesday mornings and have met some wonderful families and gorgeous babies and toddlers. Sunday mornings are busy and lively with lots of lovely children making great progress.

One of the things I have observed this term has been the value placed by parents on the half hour they spend in the water with their babies and toddlers, and that has really been touching to see. A lot of parents of more than one child tell me that they don't get to spend as much time one to one with either sibling as they'd like to, which is one of the reasons they really treasure their swimming lesson.

I always encourage parents to really focus on their babies, and the half hour weekly lesson gives them an opportunity to really do this. Particularly in younger babies, we see such huge changes from one week to the next - whether they're able to follow a toy with their eyes, or make some new sounds, or reach for a ball. It really is amazing to experience.

Life is so busy (and I empathise fully with two little children of my own) with work, school or nursery, looking after the house and just keeping up with feeding and caring for your child. At the pool you can't be distracted - phone calls, emails and everything else has to wait for thirty minutes and it's just you and them.

Thirty minutes a week, skin to skin in a soothing warm water environment and truly focussed only on your child is such a gift, whether it's at a swimming class or at a local public swimming session in a warm pool. In an ideal world we would spend that time daily with each child - a swimming slot is a way to schedule that time and make sure it happens.

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