Family Pregnancy/Baby

Benefits to Pre-First Birthday Swim Lessons

This post is brought to you by Goldfish Swim School.  While I was provided lessons in exchange for this review, all opinions are 100% my own.

I can’t believe it, but we officially have a one year old!  It doesn’t seem possible.

We’ve been going to swim classes at Goldfish Swim School in Ann Arbor since August. When I tell friends and family about it, they’re often surprised and little confused that I would put her in classes so young.

To be honest, when I started Isla in swimming I was just as skeptical that she would learn much at all, but the skills she’s gained are noticeable and definitely beneficial.  It was recently progress report week, and she’s doing so well!

Oh hey, guys. Just taking a picture with Bubbles!

So I felt the need to share the top reasons – from a personal experience – why you should enroll your baby in swim classes before they even turn 1!

As I’ve talked about in my first lesson recap and water safety posts, we’re in the Mini 1 class, which ranges in age from 4-15 months.

1. Confidence In the Water
I’ve met many little babies and toddlers who HATE the water.  Bath water, pool water, lake water, they hate all of it.  Some of this boils down to the baby’s personal preferences, but some of these little ones just weren’t exposed to it (other than bath time) early on in life, and end up developing a fear of it.  Isla was introduced SO young – she had her first dip in the pool at 6 months, and started swim classes at 8 months – that now it’s no big deal.

2. Bath Time Fun
This brings me to my next point – bath time!  Some babies love it, some hate it.  Isla was in the former category when we first started baths, at least when it came to getting her head and face wet.  She would gasp, choke, and try to climb out of the tub to get away from the water – and this would usually end up in panicked tears.  Poor girl.

Since we’ve started at Goldfish, her comfort level with water has increased 1000x.  When we wash her face/hair, it’s a non-issue.  We tend to do bath time every night right before bed, so it’s a huge relief that she can relax now and wind down instead of working herself up.

Floating like a little baby otter.

3. Bonding Time with Mom & Dad
We LOVE class time with Isla.  So much, that we have to take turns every other weekend getting in the pool with her!  Not only does it solidify the trust between you and baby during teaching moments, but we also spend most of the lesson smiling or laughing.

4. Physical Activity 
Swimming is great exercise for kids and adults alike, and I’m glad we’re getting her started early.  I’ve also noticed that she naps a lot better right after class — she usually fights naps like it’s her job, so I’ll consider this a big win.

Practicing climbing out. Elbow, elbow, belly, knee!

5. Social Interaction/Observation
If you’ve ever visited GSS on a weekend, you know it can be busy.  However, I’ve found that to be a plus for our girl.  She loves watching all of the other kids and babies swimming while we’re waiting for class.

My favorite thing is when we’re in the pool trying something new and she’s hesitant, she’ll often look to the other babies in class and watch what they’re doing.  When she sees that they’ll try it (and have fun!), she’ll look right back to us with a new found bravery and try it herself, like “I can do it, too, Mama!”.

6. Babies love it!
This one is pretty self explanatory.  When we’re in the changing room, I can hardly get her into her suit and swim diaper before she’s demanding I pick her up.  She’ll look at me, point at the door, and say “bye bye!” – it’s her way of saying “okay, mama!  I’m ready for the pool, let’s go NOW!

My two favorite Goldfish.

We are looking forward to growing up through swim lessons, and learning how the Mini 2 classes will be when she gets promoted in just 3 short months!

We love our instructor, Miss Megan!

If you’re looking for swim lessons for your water babies (or big kids), you can find a local Goldfish Swim School at their center locator, and more information below:

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Have you had an awesome experience at Goldfish Swim School?  Would love to hear your stories in the comments!

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