Swim Lessons & Water Safety Tips
When Ford hit 6-months-old, I knew I wanted to start exploring some sort of weekly activity that we could do together. While researching a few different activities, I came across swim lessons. It was always something I imagined doing with my baby, but didn’t realize you could start on as young as 4-months-old!
I explored a few different swim schools and ultimately decided that Goldfish Swim in Overland Park would be the best fit for our family. Even though the location isn’t the closest to us currently, it was the best facility by far in Kansas City (it’s brand new and VERY clean) and the staff seemed so incredible - hands-on and well trained.
So, after our initial tour of the facility we decided to get started!
Doing the trial lesson was SO helpful because I really had no idea how to prepare for the lesson.
How to prep for Swimming Lessons
Stock up on swim outfits and diapers! We went with these reusable swim diapers. Note: they carry some swim diapers and swimsuits for purchase in care you ever forget yours, which we have!
You might also want a mom-friendly suit for yourself. I opt for a one-piece during lessons.
Create a swim bag for lessons - Goldfish gives members a reusable tote, which is perfect! We keep ours packed with extra outfits for Ford and myself for after lessons, along with towels and other essentials - diapers, wipes, etc. Note: the school does not provide towels, which was something we forgot the first time around! But they do have extra diaper changing essentials.
Show up early! We try to arrive at least 15-mintues prior to class to give time for Ford to get changed and to play in their play area. We LOVE the play area and it’s helpful for him to see all the kids and get to explore before heading straight to the pool.
For the babies and toddlers, a parent does get in the pool. So, my husband and I will take turns each week.
You can try a free trial by visiting this link.
Our experience with Swim Lessons
I am not going to lie, the first 1-2 lessons were a bit rough. This was really surprising to us, as Ford LOVES the water during bath time and is used to being around other kids at daycare. But it took Ford some time to get warmed up the idea of swimming in the pool and he would get really nervous, especially around the older kids. He was also going through chronic sickness at the time of his first lessons (due to daycare) and developmental leaps, so I am sure that also played a role in it taking him time to get comfortable. We were super patient with him and after his second lesson, he started to get enjoy it!
I am happy to report that we just finished our fourth lesson and he had the best time!
A typical swim lesson
The swim lessons are around 30-minutes long, which is plenty of time to enjoy playtime and learn new swim skills. I think if it were much longer, Ford would get distracted.
During the lessons, the Goldfish Swim in Overland Park instructor is very helpful in making Ford feel comfortable. She sings cute songs about swim safety, brings out pool toys that he loves to play with and always shares tips for each family during and after class. He is now kicking his legs, learning how to move his arms, is comfortable floating on his back and is overall much more confident in the water. It’s honestly such a calming experience that we can enjoy together and I’ve also learned some helpful tips on how to keep him safe near the water. I am planning to keep up the lessons to keep him learning how to be safe in the water.
Not only are the swimming lessons such a fun activity for our family to do together, but I know we are teaching him important lessons in water safety. I feel so much better knowing that he will have these tools to know what to do around the water and that he will hopefully not fear the water, which is something I experienced as a child.
Water Safety Tips
With it being National Water Safety Month, I thought I would share a few of the important tips I have learned since starting my lessons at Goldfish Swim in Overland Park .
W. "Wear a life jacket" - Realize that floaties, noodles and plastic inner tubes do NOT protect against drowning. They are created as water toys, not life-saving devices. U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets can be worn while swimming or boating to keep you safe.
A. Act."Throw but don't go!" - If you see someone in trouble in the water, throw an item for them to grab onto but NEVER jump in yourself -- you could be putting both of you in danger!
T. Take Swim Lessons. "Swim lessons keep me safe" - Swim lessons are the best way to ensure you and your family stays safe and has the most fun while in the water.
E. Educate. "I’m up to speed on my swim skills" - Key to swim safety is knowing essential skills like treading water and rolling over to float and catch a breath. With education about swim safety, you’ll be prepared if something unexpected happens.
R. Follow the Rules. "I respect the rules!" - Pay attention to posted rules and signage -- listen to lifeguards, parents, coaches -- the rules, and adults in charge are there to keep everyone safe!