Starting your very young child in swim lessons is literally an immersive experience – you get in the water too! You won’t be in the water with them forever. In no time at all they will progress through the lessons and you’ll be close by on the sidelines, watching and cheering.
Congratulations, you’re becoming a Swim Mom (or Dad), and being prepared is part of the journey. Here are some tips on how to navigate the process for your child, you, and everyone’s busy life.
Getting Prepared for Swim Class
There are a few things that parents will need to bring along to make the class easier. Getting everything into a bag can help make it easier to get out of the door on time. These are some of the essential items, but there may be others that you think of that can make the lesson stress-free.
- Swimsuit: some parents find it easier to have their child wear their swimsuit under their street clothes, so it’s less of a hassle to change at the facility.
- Swim diapers: children under the age of three are required to wear two washable, reusable swim pants. Don’t worry, we have a high-quality selection at every SwimWest location to fit the bill. (See our guide to everything to know about swim diapers.)
- Change of clothes: Bring dry clothes or pajamas for after class.
- Towels: both you and your child will need a towel if you’re in the Waterbabies lessons. You may consider bringing an additional one in case it is needed.
- Waterproof bag: all those wet things need to go somewhere, and a clean, dry extra bag is the perfect place (remember to head for the laundry room as soon as you get home).
- Snacks and drinks: swimming uses effort, so it’s important to have something nutritious following classes to perk everyone back up.
- Time: bring some spare time with you for after the lesson. Swimming is fully intensive exercise, and having some time in the schedule to relax and unwind is great for both the child and the parent. Don’t rush to a next appointment straight after swim class if you can possibly help it. And arriving a few minutes early is good too, so everyone is relaxed and no one feels hurried.
Here are some more general tips on How to Stay Organized as a Swim Mom.
Both adults and older children should use the restroom prior to class to prevent any disruptions or accidents. After class, everyone can change into their street clothes and stow their wet swimsuits and towels.
For classes with parents and very young beginners under three years old, everyone will be in the water together. This is a fun time with your child. As your little one progresses and develops skills, you can watch from the pool deck and root for your child. This also allows you to be amazed at the progress of your little swimmer.
When children are sick it’s best if they stay away from class. This is particularly true if your child has a fever, diarrhea, earaches, or any other contagious conditions. Your doctor will be able to let you know when it’s safe for your child to resume swim lessons. Kids will be disappointed, but it’s better for them to get well before mingling with others.
Parents Learn Too!
Many parents who watch their children take on this lifetime skill also decide to up their own game as a swimmer. This is a good thing because adults often aren’t as accomplished in the water as they may believe. As your children develop skills in the water while having fun, it’s ideal to have all the family come up to speed. Water is everywhere, and a family of swimmers will always have ideas for a fun outing.