Welcome to our Tiny Swimmer parent and baby swimming lessons information page, The first Part of your swimming experience at Hannah Jones Swim Academy. The lessons take place in term time Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings at our own custom built facility at Parkhall Business Village, Stoke on Trent. Our pool is just over two years old but the staff have years and years of experience working with children in and out of the water and are continually training and keeping up to date with the latest theories and teaching approaches for babies. The water is 31 degrees and we use the latest filtration systems and ultra violet light to clean the water 24hrs a day.
We welcome babies from 12 weeks old through to 3 years, working towards building water confidence and skills through games, song and play, teaching parents how to support and hold your little one and installing confidence in the water from the beginning.
Please use specific swim nappies – available in most big supermarkets or chemists, (or if you have forgotten your swim nappy we have them to purchase at our reception desk) – and then you must have a good fitting neoprene swim nappy on top with elasticated legs and waist and a suitable swimsuit, trunks or wetsuit as required. The fit of the neoprene nappy is most important so please do not buy them a larger size than they require as the fit around the legs and waist need to be tight to contain anything in their nappy from entering the pool.
Do not use an ordinary nappy as they soak up the pool water, then they split open and would contaminate the swimming pool. It is worth noting that you should only change your baby into a swim nappy at the pool just before their swim session starts.
Make sure you have everything you need before you leave the house. For example, towels and nappies (swim and regular) and take a hat for your baby to wear when leaving the facilities.
Some parents also get their own swimming costume on under their clothes too. And don’t forget some milk or snacks for your child as they’ll be hungry after their lesson!
Ideally, you should leave 30 minutes from a milk feed before taking your baby swimming; an hour for older babies on solid food. Having said that, it is not always possible to plan when your baby is hungry, so do not fret too much over this.
Get yourself changed first
It’s sensible to wrap them in a big, warm towel whilst you get yourself sorted first. You can sort them out when you’re dry and dressed.
If you’re taking your newborn baby swimming, a large towel with a hood to swaddle them in will do fine.
But if you’re taking an older baby who will shrug or wriggle a towel off, go for a dressing gown or a poncho towel. You can slip poncho towels over their heads to keep them on.
Keep the dressing gown or poncho at the poolside.
That means you can peel off their top layer as soon as you get out of the water. They’ll be happy and warm in their poncho or gown with their swim nappy underneath for five minutes until you’re sorted.
Both Male and Female changing facilities are available, there is plenty of room for spectators on our viewing gallery. If spectators enter the poolside area they must ask at reception for shoe covers or remove their shoes.
We do not allow pushchairs into the changing rooms or the poolside, so please leave them in the car where possible or in our reception area. Car seats can be used and stored in the changing rooms when not in use. This will make life much easier and keep our changing facilities cleaner for you and your baby.
Changing mats are provided in the changing rooms, please change your baby on the floor as this is the safest place as they cannot roll off the floor.
We have our own parking spaces in front of our entrance door and to the left side of the building, disabled spaces can also be used.
Our facilities address:
Hannah Jones Swim Academy
Parkhall Business Village
As you enter the business village, drive to the very top of the road and turn right, and you will find us there on the right hand side.
When your Tiny Swimmer isn’t well
Please Never bring your child to their swimming lesson if they or you have had sickness or diarrhoea, chicken pox, a bad cold or an ear infection.
You should always check with your doctor if you have any concerns or if your child has a medical condition before swimming.
If your child or yourself have any medical conditions that we need to be aware of please make our staff aware upon your arrival.
Benefits of Baby Swimming
Swimming is one of the best loved family activities. It is the largest participation sport in the UK and many children say it is their favourite family pastime. So, one of the benefits of baby swimming is that it starts building water confidence early.
Swimming helps to improve coordination and balance. Because much of your baby’s body is supported by water, the main focus for them is on maintaining balance. On the whole, babies who swim have a much better balance out of the pool.
Swimming helps to build muscles. Working and strengthening all of their muscles effectively helps to make them stronger.
Swimming provides quality bonding time. We always have less time than we would like with our kids; it is an unfortunate effect of being so busy. Time in the pool is one of the few times when your child has your undivided attention for the duration, so make the most of it.
Swimming strengthens your baby on the inside. While swimming will help to develop their muscles and joints, it also improves the strength of their heart and lungs, and helps to develop their brain.
Swimming can improve their sleeping pattern. While it isn’t going to make them sleep through the night every night, the extra exercise will help to make your baby sleepier.
Swimming can improve a baby’s appetite. Lots of gentle exercise and warm water helps to make a baby hungry, so make sure you have some sort of snack or milk for after they finish.
Swimming builds water confidence. Many parents pass on an uneasiness of water to their children because they themselves are not confident swimmers. Going in the water with your baby will not only make them more assured about being in and around water, it can build your confidence too!
* Note: you won’t be expected to swim as the adult in one of these lessons, so it doesn’t matter if you are a confident swimmer or not. Your role is really just to help your child feel at ease and relaxed, and provide physical support to comfort and reassure them.
And finally – enjoy it! Attending baby swimming lessons with your child is a great bonding experience for both of you
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How old does my child need to be to attend tiny swimmers?
A: Our programme is suitable for children aged 3 months to 3 years old.
Q: Does my baby need to have their vaccinations before they attend swimming for the first time?
A: The Department of Health recommends that you can take your baby swimming from a very young age. There is no need to wait until they have been vaccinated.
The NHS state: You can take your baby swimming at any age, both before and after they have been vaccinated. It doesn't matter if they haven't completed their course of vaccinations yet. Some leisure facilities may suggest that babies shouldn't go swimming until they have had all of their jabs.
However, this advice probably dates back to when polio was common and people were concerned it could spread in busy places like public swimming pools. However according to the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC), there hasn’t been a case of polio since 1993 when a UK traveller acquired polio in India.
Q: What equipment do I need to take to a Tiny Swimmer session?
A: Buoyancy aids are not required as the baby will be supported by the parent from the beginning. You can take a favourite bath toy with you as this will give the baby something they recognise to help with confidence. Suitable swimming clothing and towel are essential.
Q: What should my baby wear?
A: Your baby should wear some purpose made swim pants or swim suit or wetsuit with well-fitting legs . An aqua nappy is also compulsory to be worn. We require a double nappy system, a swim nappy disposable with a neoprene swim nappy with elasticated legs and waist.
Q: Do I (the adult) need to swim with my baby in the water at a Tiny Swimmers session?
A: As the pool is no deeper than 1.35m it is not a requirement for you to be able to swim, but it is beneficial for you to be water confident as it is a necessity for you to support your child.