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Local, up to date and current directory for baby businesses in Suffolk.

Are you thinking of taking your baby swimming?  Here’s the lowdown from Bex Succamore who runs Water Babies classes across Suffolk and North East Essex alongside her husband Ian.

Why Baby Swimming?  Because it’s educational, potentially life-saving and really good fun!

Swimming is one of the few things your baby can do from birth, and as well as being fantastic for them, it’s also one of the healthiest activities for you.

In water, little ones are able to exercise every muscle in their body – including some they wouldn’t yet find on land. Whilst being in the water with your little one strengthens the bond between parent and child, swimming from birth is also excellent for development.

During their first year of life, a baby’s brain grows more rapidly than at any other time, with every movement they make helping to strengthen this growth. Despite looking gentle, swimming provides a complete workout, strengthening the heart, lungs and respiratory system which, in turn, aids development of the brain.

A weekly swim session will also help physical, emotional and mental development.  Right from the start they’ll be learning to respond to voice commands, which is fantastic stimulation for a baby’s brain.

Water familiarisation is an equally important aspect. Babies who swim regularly develop a respect for water and can be taught potentially lifesaving skills. These skills are retained from early on, proven by the fact that Water Babies pupils as young as two have saved themselves from drowning.

So with so many good reasons to take your little one swimming, how do you make sure you choose the right baby swim school?

Choosing a swim school

Teaching babies to swim from birth is a skilled profession, requiring considerable in-depth knowledge.  2015 saw the launch of the Baby and Toddler Swimming Teaching Safety Guidelines, developed by the ASA (Amateur Swimming Association), Water Babies and Splash About in collaboration with the BSI (British Standards Institution).  These guidelines were introduced to ensure baby and toddler safety during swimming lessons and provide a minimum standard for all British baby swim schools to adhere to.

When choosing a baby swim school, parents can ask if they conform to the guidelines in order to be sure of the highest safety standards and best practice.

Training

Always check the qualifications and experience the teachers of the swim school must gain and don’t be afraid to ask questions. A good company will be happy to answer your questions! Incredibly, every Water Babies teacher could have trained as a private pilot – five times over – in the time it takes them to fully qualify! Plus, our swimming teachers are the only ones who can obtain a nationally recognized extended diploma in baby swimming.

Insurance

Always check that your preferred swim school is fully insured.  Any reputable company should be happy to show you a copy of their current Public Liability insurance certificate.

Structure

Some classes will simply get your child used to the pool while others are more structured, with a distinct course progression. The Water Babies programme is endorsed by the national governing body for swimming, the ASA, and gives young swimmers the chance to progress into mainstream swimming lessons earlier, enabling them to continue their aquatic adventure as they grow.

Fun!

Baby swimming is a relaxing and enjoyable activity, perfectly designed to enhance the parent/child bond.  The emphasis should always be on you feeling like you’re evolving at your child’s own pace, and on both of you having fun.

About Water Babies

Since it was co-founded by Paul Thompson in 2002, Water Babies has grown into the world’s largest baby swim school, today teaching more than 41,000 babies every week through a network of family businesses across the UK and with international operations in New Zealand, Ireland, The Netherlands, Canada and China.

What makes Water Babies different?

Babies have natural reflexes that mean they instinctively hold their breath when submerged. However, the Water Babies course actually teaches babies to control their breathing instead of relying on reflexes, thus negating the risk of water inhalation and giving the babies a sense of being fully in control.

The core points of difference between Water Babies classes and mainstream baby swimming lessons are:

  • We teach babies from birth. Our youngest pupil was just two days old, but normally they start at around six weeks.
  • Having fun and enjoying the water is the primary aim – so Water Babies rarely feel like they are in a lesson. However because the course is highly structured and progressive, most will happily be swimming distances underwater by about 30 months, then naturally start swimming on the surface as their strength increases.
  • We teach without the use of permanently attached flotation devices. This is in order to prevent children developing a false sense of security and because the water naturally supports their body weight
  • Children lack the strength or co-ordination to swim on the surface until at least two years. From birth we enable them to swim short distances underneath, allowing them to move freely without constraints of gravity

Water Babies classes are available in Bury St Edmunds, Hadleigh and Ipswich.  For more information, please phone the friendly team on 01206 841126, email blastoff@waterbabies.co.uk or visit www.waterbabies.co.uk.

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About Rebecca Succamore

Water Babies classes are suitable for babies from birth up to children aged 5 years old. We teach babies and toddlers to swim and incorporate vital safety skills. Lessons are fun, innovative and progressive and are taught by teachers who are among the best-trained baby swimming teachers in the world.


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