Top 10 FAQs on Baby Swimming Lessons: A Parent's Guide to Starting Right


If you’re new to baby swimming classes, it can feel a little overwhelming – especially as there’s a range of different advice. To help save you time, here’s a list of the most popular questions we receive from parents.


1. Can I Join My Child in Swimming Lessons If I Can’t Swim?

Absolutely, yes. You don’t need to be a swimmer to support your baby in their swimming lessons. The sessions typically take place in the shallow end of the pool, where the water is waist-deep. This setup allows you to stand comfortably and securely hold your child. Your role is to provide emotional support and security, making your baby feel safe and relaxed in the water.


2. How Long Should We Enroll in Baby Swimming Classes?

Swim programs are generally divided into age-based or skill-based progressions. In age-based programs, children move up as they reach certain ages, whereas skill-based programs allow children to advance once they’ve mastered specific skills. Most baby swimming classes are age-based, but it’s a good idea to verify the structure with your chosen swim school.


3. Will Chlorine in the Pool Irritate My Baby’s Skin?

While chlorine is essential for keeping pool water sanitary, it can sometimes irritate sensitive skin. To minimise this risk, look for swim schools that utilise ultraviolet (UV) light purification systems (we use these at State Swim). These systems reduce the need for chlorine, making the water gentler on your baby’s skin. Additionally, rinsing your child with fresh water after swimming can help prevent skin irritation. If your baby has specific skin concerns, consult with your paediatrician and discuss any precautions with your swim school beforehand.


4. What Should the Pool Water Temperature Be?

Maintaining the right water temperature is crucial for babies, who can’t regulate their body temperature as well as older children and adults. Ideally, the pool should be heated to about 32°C (90°F), ensuring it’s comfortable and safe for your little one. Before enrolling, check with the swim school to ensure their pools are maintained at this baby-friendly temperature.


5. Can My Baby Eat Before Swimming?

A light meal up to an hour before swimming is generally fine and can keep your baby content during their lesson. However, it’s best to avoid large meals or solid foods close to class time. Remember, swimming can stimulate your baby’s appetite, so having some snacks ready for after the lesson is a good idea.


6. Can Grandparents Accompany My Child to Lessons?

Certainly! Baby swimming classes can be a wonderful bonding experience for grandparents and grandchildren alike. Just like parents, it’s important for any accompanying grandparent to feel comfortable and confident in the water to ensure a positive experience for the baby.


7. What If My Baby Has an Accident in the Pool?

Accidents happen, and that’s exactly what swim diapers are designed for. Make sure the swim diaper fits snugly around your baby’s waist and thighs to prevent leaks. Following the swim diaper’s instructions will help keep the pool clean for everyone.


8. Do Classes Continue During School Holidays?

Swim schools vary in their schedules. Some offer year-round lessons without breaks, while others may pause during school holidays. Consistent attendance is key to retaining skills, so a year-round program might be preferable. Always check the swim school’s policies on missed classes and catch-up sessions, especially for times when your child might be ill. At State Swim, we swim all year round.


9. Will My Baby Be Submerged Underwater?

Yes, submersion is part of the learning process in baby swimming classes, but it’s done gently and gradually. Instructors use a specific approach involving eye contact, verbal cues, and a gentle puff of air to help your baby prepare for and safely experience going underwater. If you have concerns, don’t hesitate to discuss them with your instructor before the class.


10. Is It Normal for My Child to Cry During Lessons?

It’s not uncommon for babies to cry during swimming lessons, which can be distressing for parents. However, this reaction is often temporary. Babies might cry for various reasons, from being in a new environment to simply having an off day. Engage with the activities and utilise toys or games as distractions if needed. Your instructor can also provide strategies to help soothe and comfort your baby.


Ready to book your baby’s first swimming lesson?

State Swim has been growing stronger, safer swimmers for more than 50 years. Let us help your family get to know the water by booking your Waterbabies 1 class (for babies aged 6 months to 18 months) or your Waterbabies 2 class (for age 19 months to 30 months).

Book now!
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