We started taking young Rose swimming from five weeks old. People get quite shocked when we tell her how old she is, but it’s fantastic, I would highly recommend it.
Swimming has always been important to me. As a child we would go every Sunday night as a family and to meet friends at the pool. My dad would park at the furthest end of the car park possible, be it rain, shine or snow, and we would all complain loudly whilst trudging back to the community pool and he would chuckle with evil glee.
The welcome was poor; they took your coins with something close to a glare, the changing rooms were grubby with suspicious new life forms growing in the cracks between some of the tiles, and there were frequent clear outs of the pool when someone spotted a poo drifting around the bottom, but it was our pool and we loved it. We played British Bull Dog, learned to dive, clambered on one another and retrieved bricks from the bottom.
Growing up the frequent swimming stopped. The old Rec Centre was pulled down and they built a new one on a different site, but we never went.
When I got pregnant for the second time I was anxious, my first pregnancy had ended in a traumatic miscarriage and I was terrified of doing anything to vigorous.
My mum and I joined a new gym; Virgin Active. How different to our old pool! You’re welcomed with a greeting by name, there’s a lovely coffee lounge with squashy sofas, and a stunning clean pool with mood lighting and a jacuzzi. I spent my pregnancy swimming several times a week and even though it got slower and harder I always felt like I was at least keeping a vague level of fitness.
Word of warning, post birth you bleed. You bleed, you bleed, you bleed some more. Consequently it took until my girl was five weeks old before I was able to get in the water. I am still leaking profusely from the boobs but I’m all wet anyway so nobody will notice, and a bit of booby juice never hurt anyone! Plus it’s a nice gentle way to start getting my pre-baby body back.
My plan is for Miss Rose to be used to the water, be confident in the water, and a strong swimmer. She loves it already, she loves her bath and usually falls asleep in the shower. So try it. If you wait until they are old enough to be scared you risk tantrums and terrors that turn a fun family activity into a battle which provides no pleasure to anyone involved.
Watching her float in the water is wonderful. We support her head and let her body float and just gazes up at the lights, it’s beautiful. I am so excited for when she learns to kick and splash, she will have so much fun. I have such happy memories of swimming as a child and I can’t remember a time when we didn’t swim. She will have that too, but in a pool with no poo drifting around in it… assuming her swim nappies hold up!
It’s scary the first time you take something so fragile and tiny into that scary mass of water, and she may well screech at first because it’s new, but persevere, for us it’s been magic and I’ve got a gorgeous little water baby!
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Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!