Baby’s first swim lesson at Goldfish… What to expect!

What should I expect with baby’s first swim lesson at Goldfish Swim School? This was a question I was asking myself before arriving for our first swim lesson at Goldfish. To be honest, I was unsure about signing my one-year-old up for swimming lessons. I had been exposing her to water for some time and she seemed fairly comfortable, I wasn’t sure how she would do in a structured swimming class. I just couldn’t envision how a swimming class for a one-year-old could go smoothly.

It took only one swimming lesson at Goldfish Swim School, for me to realize that all of my concerns were for naught. From arrivals to goodbyes, Goldfish does baby swimming lessons well! Along with a water-loving kiddo, I now have a better understanding of what is expected of me and her, both upon arrival to the facility and once in the water. The strategies used by our instructor to engage the babies and support learning in the water were impressive.

Read on for our experience and for a better understanding of what to expect when attending baby’s first swimming lesson at Goldfish Swim School.

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What you will need: A bathing suits for both parent and child, a reusable swim diaper, a towel and your babe. Goldfish requests your child wear a bathing suit and a reusable swim diaper before entering the pool. If the stores have already pulled their summer inventory off of the shelves and you are unable to find a reusable swim diaper, don’t worry; Goldfish sells the diapers on site in their swim shop.

What to expect upon arrival: We arrived 15 minutes early to sign in at the front desk. At that time we were reminded of our instructors name, given our lane assignment and an overview of the facility. We had time to change in one of the many family-sized dressing rooms and explore the waiting area, which overlooks the entire pool. The waiting area has a beach vibe with deck chairs and tables with tiki hut umbrellas. For those who don’t want to get in the water, this is a great place from which to watch lessons. It’s also safe for siblings who aren’t taking lessons as it is separated from the pool by floor-to-ceiling glass windows and has many activities to keep kids entertained. Activities in the waiting area included: chalkboards, books, interactive toys and two aquariums containing fish and turtles. Our little one loved the aquariums, while a few older children next to us were having a blast drawing on the chalkboards. After a few minutes of gazing at the turtles, an employee came out and gave us a “five minutes until the lesson” reminder, which gave us plenty of time to head over to the pool entrance.

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What to expect in the lesson: We participated in the Mini 2 swimming class which is recommended for children aged 15 to 24 months. The student to instructor ratio for these classes are no larger than 6:1. At our lesson, we were joined by three other students. In this age group, it is expected for one parent to be in the water with their child and participate in the lesson. Don’t worry, the pool is heated to a comfortable 90 degrees, which is sure to provide a shiver-free swimming experience. If both parents want to be a part of the lesson, they are welcome to switch at any time. The lesson is 30 minutes long and teaches children a blend of water acclimation, swimming skills and swimming safety.

Our instructor was well prepared and kept the lesson moving. At the start of class, she grabbed everyone’s attention by singing an opening song with hand puppets. After the song, the instructor introduced props to support baby’s learning in the water. Along with the props, the instructor provided clear, helpful directions to parents on how to best support their children. Pictured below on the left, is a barbell flotation device. The barbell was used to support baby under her arms in a floating position and encourage kicking in the water. Then, plastic balls were scattered throughout the pool. The balls were used to motivate baby to reach out in the water, much like a swimming stroke. Pictured to the right are pouring cups. The cups were used to pour water on baby to help acclimate her to the water. Dad started by pouring water on her body and gradually working up to pour water on her head. As you can see, she was very happy with the gentle progression of water and tolerated the activity well.  The props were switched out frequently to support different skills and maintain baby’s attention.

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The class ended with each baby taking turns going down the slide (pictured below). This provides an opportunity for the child to naturally dip underwater. We weren’t quite ready to let go and have baby girl go completely underwater but she loved the slide nonetheless. Maybe next time!

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I was happily impressed that in addition to introducing baby girl to the basics of swimming, the lesson also emphasized water safety. Wall holds, turning back to the wall after falling in and how to climb out of the pool were introduced, and baby girl was assisted through each skill by her Dad and her instructor.

I am SO glad to have baby girl involved in swimming lessons at Goldfish Swim School. Her comfort and safety awareness around water is very important to my husband and me. To be honest, her abilities in the water were progressing beyond what we could teach her at a young age and Goldfish can now continue to guide her water abilities further.

The Details: We attended lessons at the Goldfish Swim School in Dublin, Ohio. Check out the link for locations, address/telephone details and how to sign up for lessons.

Disclaimer: We were provided free swimming lessons by Goldfish Swim School in exchange for collaborating blog posts. All thoughts and opinions are my own.