Category Archives: Baby Swimming

9 months and living it up!

This past month has been wonderful. The highs have most definitely FAR outweighed the lows. And this is the first month that I can honestly say that the lows were so few and far between, I can barely recall them. This is it, I have motherhood waxed! Ja right, who am I kidding?

When I look back at the past 9 months, not only have I seen so much growth and development in Matthew, but also in myself as a new mom. Being a mother is so much bigger than anything I could have ever imagined. It’s astonishing how unselfish you become, just so naturally.  Even though my ‘me’ time (what’s that again?) is just about non existent, and I am forced to let that umpteenth cup of coffee go cold; there is nowhere I’d rather be than there with my baby when he needs me. My baby comes first, whether he needs a feed or just a cuddle, he is my priority. And I wouldn’t change that for anything.

Matthew has had a month of great activity. He is officially crawling on all fours having graduated from the injured soldier; and boy, can he move. He’s also started pulling himself up onto just about anything he can reach. The couch and chairs are firm favourites. As one can imagine, with all the climbing and moving, comes a lot of bumps and bruises. His knees are now in a constant state of ‘bruise.’ He loves it though and his sense of adventure is admirable.

Swimming is going very well, he loves the water and his confidence is magnificent. He knows the command for his underwater swim and prepares himself by closing his eyes and holding his breath. This still fascinates me. It’s great to see him making such progress. Water safety is so important and the fact that Matt is being taught to hold onto the side of the pool is vital.

Our smiler is coming on in leaps and bounds, and is a very social chap indeed. We have just started attending classes at our local children’s centre which is run by Newham Council. They have been a fantastic way of helping Matthew mingle with other babies and explore different environments. The classes are so popular, we have to ensure we arrive early to get a spot. We have no excuse really- they take place literally in the school next door- but somehow we are still rushing around last minute. Getting nappy changed, packing his baby bag, (that deserves its own blog post!) amongst many other incidentals.

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Our sweet water baby

At only 11 and a half weeks, our swimming adventure had begun. And what an adventure it’s been so far. As I update this blog post, we are about to begin chapter 3 of our water babies journey, and our little fishy couldn’t be more chuffed about it. I just mention the phrase ‘splish- splash’ and Matthews eyes widen and his smile grows. He absolutely loves the water! Whether it’s coming out of the tap while I wash my hands, if the bath is running or he has his feet in the Indian Ocean; Matt loves water and literally beams at the sight of it. I could put it down to the fact the babies, from being in utero, are naturally inclined to like water, but I do believe that encouraging him to ‘swim’ at such an early age,  gives them the water confidence that hopefully stays with them into adulthood.

Our lessons have been wonderful and the fabulous friends that Matthew and I have made are great! We started our lessons on Friday mornings at 9:30am at the Crown Plaza Hotel at the Royal Docks. The venue is truly lovely. The pool is always in immaculate and the changing facilities are good too, with ample lockers and just enough space for the members of our group to change comfortably.

Katie, our friendly and knowledgeable instructor has been amazing. Always encouraging and welcoming, gently helping our babies reach those swimming milestones. Each 30 minute session is structured and jam packed with activities for our babes to complete. Starting slowly and gradually building up to more underwater swims. I know that sounds crazy right- a baby under 3 months old- doing underwater swims? They can and they do! Much to many mamas and papas (horror at first) and then delight!

At first, some of the underwater swims gave Matt a bit of a shock, but once he started recognising the phrase, “Matthew, Ready, Go!” he prepares himself by closing his eyes and holding his breath before he goes under. It’s rather astonishing actually. We practise this in the bath every day. Did I mention that he loves the bath?

The water in the pool is a balmy 32 degrees, warm enough for the grown ups, and just fine for the babies when they are wrapped up in their wetsuits. For our lessons, we need to be organised. I try to ensure his bag is packed and ready to go the night before. The items included in our bags are: baby wetsuit, happy nappy, at least 2 waterproof nappies, a warm change of clothes  for mum and Matt (season depending), a hat, towels, underwear (don’t forget your panties mama!) I also pack a few goodies for Matt to play with while I am changing.

Each lesson, I see his water confidence growing, he loves splashing about, and being thrown up in the air, and one of his best things to do is surf (using the kicking board) while mama creates waves!

I’m so glad that Matt has the opportunity to learn to swim, and safety techniques like holding onto the side of the pool. We will certainly be continuing as long as we can.