It's National Baby Swimming Week!

Swimming from birth is fantastic for your baby in so many different ways and we're not afraid to shout about the amazing benefits that it holds for you and your little one.

We are so excited to celebrate National Baby Swimming Week in Ireland from the 19th to the 25th of October and raise awareness of the benefit Water Babies classes can have for little ones and carers.

However, we are so disappointed that we are not in the pool due to COVID-19 restrictions. Getting active for babies and carers has never been more important. We have made a number of changes to Water Babies lessons, to ensure we are in compliance with COVID 19 Government guidance, and we are very confident that our lessons are a safe place to be.

Besides the obvious safety benefits, baby swimming lessons are one of the best things you can do to bond with your baby, as well as being excellent for their development: they help little ones develop learning skills, boost their confidence, improve their co-ordination and enhance their wellbeing.

The HSE advises that you can take your baby swimming at any time before and after their immunisations – so it’s never too soon to get them in the pool, as long as the water’s warm enough (above 30⁰C for a baby older than 12 weeks or heavier than 12 lbs, and above 32⁰C if they’re younger or smaller).

We advance their physical development.

Sleep, eat, exercise, repeat. Swimming helps regulate all of these essential activities.

Babies and toddlers who swim with us have...

  • Have stronger heart and lung functions.
  • Have better balance and are better at grasping things. 2
  • Are significantly stronger and more co-ordinated. 3
  • Walk earlier than their peers.
  • Have improved appetites and sleeping patterns.

We stimulate their cognitive growth.

Compared to non-swimmers, water babies are top of the class when it comes to cognitive development.

Griffith University of Queensland, Australia found that children that had swum as babies were...

  • 11 months ahead in oral expression. 1
  • 6 months ahead in mathematics. 1
  • 2 months ahead in reading. 1
  • 17 months ahead in story recall. 1
  • 20 months ahead for understanding directions. 1

We nurture their emotional growth.

We provide you with the perfect backdrop to support the bond between you and your little one.

  • Promotes bonding.
  • Boosts confidence. 3
  • Stimulates positive emotions. 3
  • Provides structure.
  • Rewards achievement.

Ready to discover the benefits of baby swimming for yourself?

As part of national baby swimming week campaign, Water Babies parents across Ireland have shared their experience with Water Babies and how their little ones are enjoying the benefits of baby swimming, and can’t wait to get back in the water.

Selma Healy, St Gabriel’s in Limerick 

“Clara is a preemie baby and is small for her age. She started swimming at 6 months. Fast forward to now, she is 15 months old, she gets so excited when we sing the Water Babies songs and on a recent trip to the beach showed everyone her skills splashing in a little pool (in the pool we go kick, kick, kick!). To prepare her for the bath or shower we sing the songs and she is full of smiles and loves her time in any water! In the pool these days she is full of chat and smiles, is super confident and loves her Water Babies buddies. It’s made such an incredible difference to our routine and her first year. I can’t even imagine what she’ll be like over the years in the water. We’ve had the best start possible.”

Barbara Mulhall attends Water Babies classes with her daughter Sarah at The Maldron in Wexford

“Sarah, our precious little girl had open heart surgery when she was three months old and little did we think at one stage that she would be able to go to Water Babies. Sarah started Water Babies at six months and loved it. Mammy and Daddy love the precious time with her in the pool. Because of the lockdown break, Sarah is now 13 months and is more aware of the classes and the underwater swims however it did take a bit of extra time to getting used to being back in the water. It just shows how important consistency is even at a young age. The instructor, Nadine is so good with all the babies in the class and we enjoy going every Saturday. We hope it will give Sarah the start of what is in my mind an essential life skill.”

Veronica Kennefick swims at the Clayton Hotel, Cork City

“ We have two Water Babies – Ivy (10 months and Winter 2 years). Swimming is their life even in this pandemic, swimming with Water Babies gives the girls interaction with kids their own age, adult direction and most of all confidence both in the water and outside in the world. They practice bubbles, tiger arms and kicking their legs in the pool, in the bath but also in their high chairs at the kitchen table daily!! Swimming classes at water babies have been the best investment in our babies’ lives.”

New mum Megan Carroll who had baby Caoilainn in March

“I absolutely love the Water Babies class with my seven month old Caoilainn. I really enjoy the bonding experience we get from it and it also makes me confident that if we ever go swimming in the future, I know how to use the pool safely with her and also that she is learning pool skills. I had my baby a week before the first the lockdown which was really hard for me. All the support you should be receiving is gone and all the baby classes cancelled. For a first time Mam these classes are essential in hearing how other mams do things and also just reassurance that you’re doing things right.

Joining Water Babies was the first mother and baby group we went to so it was great to mix with other mother's and also watching my little one interacts with other babies was so joyful to see. Something I think we all need during this hard and unpredictable time. The more swimming classes we do the more I see her splashing around in the bath and although our class has been cancelled for now, we still do our homework. Especially the - Caoilainn are you ready? Go and then we gently splash the water on her face which teaches her when she needs to hold her breath.”

Tap here to find your nearest class

1 The Early Years Swimming Research Project, Griffith University 

2 Norwegian University of Science and Technology 

3 German Sports College, Cologne