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Thursday, April 24, 2014

swim like a fish!

My son was given swimming lessons as a birthday gift this year when he turned four. Perfect gift! My mom said she'll get them for him every winter now, which I think is so great, the excitement lasted longer than if he'd received a new toy.

He was the perfect age at four years old to really understand what they were teaching him. We just recently went on a trip and stayed in a hotel with a pool, I already could see a huge difference in how he swam and how comfortable he was in the water this time after lessons.

We went to Kennebunk's Quest Fitness, they were awesome! 

I can't recommend enough everyone starting swim lessons with your children.

Here are a few things I found that helped us with taking our son to swimming lesson, just a few tips that may be useful to you when you start taking your child:

  • Your own bathing suit that you are comfortable wearing. Most moms I saw had tankinis or full-piece bathing suits. Wear what you're comfortable in. I have to say, I never felt uncomfortable around the other moms. Everyone was so busy watching their own child that nobody seemed to be sizing up the others. LOVED this! 
  • Flip flops for yourself and Crocs or flip flops for your child. This is just healthy, to keep from getting germs. 
  • A wet bag. I have one from cloth diapering, so you could get one from a cloth diaper store. Or just something to keep the wet items in after swimming. 
  • Snacks. I always gave my son a snack on the ride over to swimming to help him keep up his energy when swimming, they work hard! Then we always had some peanut butter crackers, banana, apple, granola bar, etc. for after swimming with some water. 
  • Child's bathing suits. I'd have at least two that fit, just in case you don't get laundry put away in time.  

  • Get dressed before you go. I put on my bathing suit and my son's shorts and rash guard shirt before we left the house. It was a lot easier and less stressful this way. It was hard enough getting out the door in the morning, so having us dressed was a good way to get things started. Then we both wore workout pants or sweatpants over our suits. 
  • Pack your backpack the night before. I would put my clothes on the bottom of the bag. We all know our kiddos get dressed before we do, so this made it easier after swim when he was cold and whining for me to grab his things on top first to dress him before getting myself dressed. Having everything ready to go the night before made it easier in the morning to get us out the door, too. I even packed the snacks and water bottles ahead of time. 
  • Go to the bathroom before heading to the pool. Sounds simple enough, right? But when you're busy, rushing to get into class on time (class is only 30 minutes, you can't be late!), you sometimes forget. I forgot twice, well, one time I asked and he said, "Nope, I don't have to go, Mom." Right. Famous last words. So we got into the pool, then he told me. I was so irritated, despite praising him for telling me instead of peeing in the pool. So then we just made it a rule we had to go before entering the pool. Rookie mistake, I learned, don't make the same mistake!
  • Bring help! I have a younger daughter... so I needed someone there with me to watch her while I swam with my son. My mom met us there most Saturdays since my husband was working most of them. We put her in a stroller because otherwise she wanted to run around the pool or worse, one day she took her clothes off wanting to get in to swim! Mortified. Bring special toys or books or something for the other kiddo, too. 
  • Leave the house way early. Earlier than you would for anything else, because you need to change when you get there, even with your suit on already, it takes time to get undressed, put things away in a locker, use the restroom, then get to the pool to put on the bubble, etc. 

My son loved not only learning to swim, being in the water, hanging out with other kids, but most importantly I think he LOVED the one-on-one time with me. It was undivided attention, where we were literally holding on to each other the entire time. He laughed so much, smiled, said, "Hold on to me, Mommy, don't let go." It was the best moment of my week those six weeks of swim class. He was such a happy little guy during class. It was a great thing for us to do together.

I really recommend you try swim class. Kids love it, it helps them to be safer, and I learned a lot myself about how to help my child in the pool. 

Have fun swimming, fishies!

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