What to Expect: Mommy & Me Swimming Class
This weekend was our last session of Mommy and Me swimming class. I have to admit this was something my husband pushed me to do since my daughter was in the womb! As soon as June came around, he would mention it to me every single day until I finally found a location and signed us up! I am so thankful however, that he was so insistent on that I take this class with my daughter. It was truly such a relaxing, fun, and educational experience for me as a mother. Taking this class gave me the opportunity to bond with my daughter just the two of us while we both learned to be comfortable and fearless in the water.
If you have never taken a mommy and me swimming class before don’t be surprised by how short the sessions are (30-45min at most) or by the fact that your baby will not be coming out of class swimming on their own. I ignorantly had all these expectations when I began the class but later I realized how outrageous my expectations were for a beginner level baby swimming class! So, here's a list of REALISTIC results that I experienced from taking this class:
1) Familiarity & Comfort in the Pool
One of the most important things we received from taking this class was the familiarity and comfort my daughter gained of being in the pool. By the second session, I could tell she was super excited to get in the water and began to throw herself in on her own whenever I placed her on the ledge (with me in front of her inside the pool, of course). Also, I am no longer fearful of having her in a swimming pool with me. I feel more confident being with her in a pool because I now have the knowledge of what I am capable of doing with her in the water.
2) Basic Swimming Skills
Some of the basic swimming skills I learned to do in the pool with my daughter were how to get her to kick her feet, how to help her climb the ledge, how to get her to float on her back, how to make bubbles, and how to slide around the edges of the pool while holding on to the ledge in a movement they called "monkey, monkey". At the beginning of the class, I had to help her kick her feet by holding her legs in the water and doing the kicking movement for her. By the fourth class however, I was so excited to see her kicking all by herself. The ledge climbing, I always had to help her do because she's still to young to do on her own. The method they taught me to use was "elbow, elbow, belly, knees, knees, and then sit her up on the ledge. Once she's sitting on the ledge, I would count to 3 and pull her by her arms back into the pool (she loved that!). By the third class, she was jumping in all on her own without me having to pull her in. (I couldn't help but to laugh every time she threw herself in because she would squint her eyes shut so hard, open her mouth wide and stick out her tongue.) When it came to making bubbles in the water, as you can imagine, all she did was stick her tongue in the water and drink water like a cat so, I did most of the training there. As the sessions progressed she became more comfortable with floating on her back but, most of the time I would have to sing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" softly in her ear to get her to relax and stay laying back. Doing "monkey, monkey", was another thing that always had me cracking up laughing because she would stick out her tongue, licking the pool wall while sliding down the ledge. Overall, I think her favorite part of the entire class was at the end of every session when we got to sing "The Wheels on the Bus" song while in the pool. She has come to love that song so much now thanks to this swimming class. Every time she hears someone sing it or it playing she begins to clap and dance.
3) 30-45 Minutes in a Pool with a Baby is More Than Enough Time
I am definitely guilty of being the one to think I was being ripped off when I learned the class was only half an hour long. However, after attending the first class I realized there was no way I would want to keep my daughter in the pool for longer than that. The swimming pool at our class facility actually had a heated pool but even so, after 20 minutes in the pool I could tell my daughter was beginning to get cold. Another thing is that after doing all those activities in the pool, babies really get tired and cranky. As soon as we were done with the class and I put her in her car seat she would fall asleep immediately because of how tired she would be.
All in all, I would not give up the opportunity to have this experience with my daughter. Just seeing her big smile and jittery body full of excitement and joy when we get in the water together makes every penny, every lost minute of sleep in the morning, every mile of the drive to and from the classes, all worth it
...Sew This is Life!
***Below I have linked the facility where we took our class for your reference. I highly recommend this location. The instructors are extremely friendly and great with the babies. They are also very flexible and cooperative with making up any missed classes or late sign ups. Best of all, their prices are much cheaper than most places I found in NYC.