Course Information

There are many benefits and hardly any risks associated with early baby swimming if you take the gentle approach. That’s what you will learn here. The underlying philosophy of the approach to aquatic teaching is that swimming comes naturally to babies.

Parents are shown how to help their babies move on their own in the water offering physical support, heaps of encouragement and constant praise.

A feeling of love and security in the water is the best and most efficient foundation for the skills that we teach to enable babies and children to swim and become safe in water. We aim to do this using various holds, word association, safety techniques such as holding on, floating on the back, surfacing after submersion and interactive games to include skills learnt but also to add an element of fun!

Our emphasis is not on teaching your baby to swim in a formal way but on encouraging free movement in the water. This will lead to swimming as and when babies and toddlers are physically and emotionally ready. We promote water safety and water confidence. Babies and children love and respond to repetition whether it is through songs or activities, we use both to give emphasis to our water safety skills thus encouraging water confidence.


Frequently Asked Questions

When can I take my baby swimming?

You can take your baby swimming whenever you feel comfortable to do so but most parents prefer to wait until baby has completed their six weeks vaccinations. Should you wish baby to start earlier please talk to your health visitor.

Will my baby need all his vaccinations?

It is not necessary to have all vaccinations before taking your baby swimming, however it is important to use a baby swimming approved school.

The following is an extract from the NHS Direct website:

Babies can be taken swimming at any age. It doesn’t matter if they haven’t yet completed their course of immunisations. The management of some leisure facilities suggest that babies shouldn’t go swimming until they have had all of their jabs. This advice dates back to the time when polio was common, and people were concerned it would spread in busy places like public swimming pools.
Sometimes babies experience side effects after the MMR vaccine. These are generally quite mild, and should not prevent you taking your baby swimming. Babies who are feverish, or who get a mild form of mumps in the weeks after the vaccine, may not feel up to swimming for a few days.
Will my baby swallow or breathe in water?

Your baby’s natural 'gag' reflex prevents water entering the lungs or stomach. It doesn't sound very nice but is a perfectly natural phenomenon. This is why you often see photos of babies 'swimming' under the water. This is entirely natural to a baby and what you are seeing is simply the reflex automatically closing the larynx and oesophagus to prevent water being swallowed or breathed in.

This reflex can last anywhere up until 6 to 18 months and if children start swimming lessons early enough, this natural reflex can become a learned reflex.

123 Baby Swim recommends that you always keep babies and children under responsible, qualified supervision whilst teaching babies to go under water.

Will my baby be scared?

Babies are naturally comfortable around water. If they are introduced to water from a young age they maintain this confidence in water as they grow older. Our baby swimming classes gently introduce babies to water with lots of fun thrown in!

Why should I take my baby swimming?

Swimming is an incredibly healthy activity and it is recognised that the physical development gained by exercise in water is excellent, along with social skills learned within a group session. The emotional development of bonding with your baby makes it extremely worthwhile for both of you.

Will my baby get cold?

Our pool water temperature is maintained to 32 degrees C. Many parents buy a baby wetsuit to help maintain body temperature however, these do provide a degree of flotation so we also recommend babies and children get the opportunity to swim without their a suit so they can enjoy the different sensations that come with swimming.

We strongly advise that you and baby get dried and changed as soon as finish your lesson. Due to the warm temperature of the pool water you will feel noticeably cooler on leaving the water. Should you wish to shower or bathe it is recommended this should be in the comfort of your own home where baby’s surroundings are familiar allowing you both to enjoy this time together.

When shouldn't I take my baby swimming?

You should not take your baby swimming immediately after eating. It is best to allow at least an hour or two for digestion. If your baby has an upset stomach it is best not to go swimming for at least 24 hours after baby has recovered. Allow your baby to recover from a cold, cough or nasal congestion before attending a session again.

What else will I need to take my baby swimming?

Apart from swimwear and a towel it is essential to have a good swim nappy. There are different makes on the market that are suitable. Please note that your used nappies must be taken away with you as we have no facilities to dispose of them.

Do parents need to be confident swimmers ?

No, although parents need to be in the pool with the babies, our pool is shallow enough to stand up in. Our teachers are fully trained to help parents feel confident in the water.

What changing facilities are there ?

There are changing rooms at our pool but space is limited. A change mat is essential to lay baby on the floor as this is the safest place to change them. Please be careful around the pool and changing area as the floors can get wet and slippery.

Can I get a picture of my child swimming ?

Written permission is required for all photography. Personal photographic equipment is forbidden at any 123babyswim sessions, we thank you for your understanding.

If you have any additional questions, please contact us so that we can help answer your queries.


Lessons are available 4 days a week

To BOOK your course call us on 01375 892444

or email us at

Find us at

Ye Olde Plough House Motel, Brentwood Road (A128), Bulphan, Essex. RM14 3SR


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