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Helpful hints to make swimming easier and more fun

Preparing for your first lesson. If it's your first swimming lesson or just your first one with Aquatots you may be wondering how you should prepare and what to bring. Here are some handy tips for you to get the best enjoyment from day 1.

What to Wear

To avoid any toilet accidents in the pool we insist that babies wear TWO SWIM LAYERS - Which we fondly refer to as babies being Double Wrapped.

The first must be a tight fitting disposable or reusable swim nappy held in place by a second layer of a tight fitting swim costume or additional swim nappy. The most cost effective and environmentally friendly option is to purchase the Aqua Wrap swim nappy system which provide the double protection and being reusable avoids the ongoing cost of disposable swim nappies.

Already Potty Trained Great!! If they have been potty trained for a minimum of 6 months, no nappy required!!

Why is a Wetsuit Recommended at some pools? - If a specific pool mentions Wetsuit recommended, please do consider investing in one for your little one.

We are very conscious that a child's swimming experience should be as fun and comfortable as possible and there is nothing worse than feeling cold!! Many of our pools are a very toasty 32 / 33 °C however some of the larger pools can be just degree or two cooler and for our younger swimmers so a wetsuit will ensure they stay nice and warm.

Do make sure it's a wetsuit too, as lovely as the popular sunsuits are, their role is UV protection and not really keeping the heat in!

Why not take a look at our own wetsuits on the Aquatots shop. They are also great for swimming at your local leisure centre or on holiday so well worth the investment.

Do I need a swim hat? – Some of our pool owners do request that children and parents wear swim hats however this is not compulsory at every site. We do however suggest that when your children reach our Child Levels, a swim hat should be worn at all times as it helps keep hair away from their face and makes the fitting of goggles and swim masks much easier. A great variety of hats can be purchased from our online shop.

What to Pack? The Essentials

  • Swimwear for you!!
    You might laugh at this one but we often see parents arrive at pool with all the kit needed for their special little one but sadly forgotten their own cossie or trunks!!
  • Swimwear for your little one
  • Towel for each of you
  • Pool Information Letter
    It's handy to keep the pool letter we sent to you either printed in your car, or download it to your smartphone. That way you've got the address and all the parking details you'll need.

What to Pack? Ideal Extras

  • Shower Gel or Soap
    We do insist swimmers shower before the class to help maintain clean and healthy pools and recommend you have a quick shower after as well, to wash the pool water away
  • Cosy Hat
    Yes, you did read that correctly. After swimming, in the colder months we strongly recommend popping a hat on your child to keep those ears warm, as even after drying they may still have a little water in the ear and added cold and wind won't be very pleasant for them.
  • Not the car seat
    Unless unavoidable we would kindly ask that car seats are left in your car as room at the poolside can often be limited.
  • Change Mat
    We do provide baby change mats at every location but for added hygiene you may wish to purchase your own travel change mat that can be placed on top used only by your baby, Click Here

When should I arrive and how long will I be there?

We recommend arriving 15 minutes before your lesson is due to start, giving enough time for you and baby to be changed. Arriving late not only means you could miss out on some of the lesson fun but can leave baby stressed and anxious from all the rushing about before they are even in the water. 15 minutes is also generally the time it takes for changing and leaving us so with 15 minutes either side of your 30 minute lesson for changing, expect to be with us for an hour of your day in total.

Food & Drink - Feeding baby?

Of course we know swimming is hungry and thirsty work for the best of us but we do have to ensure our facilities stay hygienic and clean for everyone using them. Therefore please refrain from eating in the changing rooms or surrounding the pool. Just keep those snacks ready for when you leave the building.

We do also recommend not feeding your baby immediately before a swimming lesson and ideally leave an hour's gap between feeding and swimming. Of course if swim time falls at exactly the same time as normal feed time we would suggest a very small feed at least half hour before and save the rest for after that 30 min lesson as they are sure to appreciate it then and this avoids any pool accidents hopefully.

What is expected of parents in the first lesson

Nice and easy really. Just a smiling face and being as relaxed as possible. You will be in the safe hands of an experienced Teacher who is going to guide you through every little step. As you and baby get familiar with the programme your baby will be taking your lead so all we ask is you do your best to appear relaxed and smiling so they follow your lead.