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FAQs
FAQs
Please find a list of commonly asked questions below, click to open:

Why teach my baby to swim?
Why start so young?
What should we wear?
What benefits does your course give?
Is my baby safe in the water?
Do parents need to be confident swimmers?
Do the lessons include submersion?
Will my baby learn to swim on his/her own?
Does my baby have to be fully immunised?
When should I feed my child?
What if my child is ill?
Natural Reflexes
Tips and Advice for your first lessons


Why teach my baby to swim?
The JUST SWIM philosophy is to ensure safety and water confidence, encouraging parents to fully utilise the benefits and enjoyment that they can have in the water with their children - whether at classes, on holiday or trips to the pool. Water confidence and the ability to swim from a young age is certainly a gift for life, opening the door for you to enjoy a wide range of water based activities from diving to sailing. We also provide a great social environment for parents and babies, especially for mums as their social life totally changes with the new arrival, to meet and share their precious baby time.

For dads this is an occasion to share something special with their babies. In our lessons not just the babies have fun but parents are usually the ones looking forward to the next lesson as they really enjoy this experience with their babies which will help to develop a stronger and special bond between parents and baby.
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Why start so young?
Introducing your baby to water from an early age helps them avoid the traumatic experience that older children sometimes suffer when introduced to water later on. More importantly we believe that babies who learn key life saving skills from an early age have a much greater regard for water and are safer around it.
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What should we wear?
On attending our swimming classes, it is mandatory to wear a double swimming nappy system for all babies and toddlers until they are toilet-trained. The double nappy system is a disposable swim nappy or a re-usable swim nappy underneath a neoprene nappy (Happy Nappy).  You can purchase the Happy Nappy on-line (
www.borntotoddle.com or www.funswimshop.co.uk for example) or contact JUST SWIM who can arrange to purchase one on your behalf. The top nappy should fit closely enough to form a tight seal around the waist and thighs. Disposable Swim nappies are available from Boots, Mothercare and most supermarkets. Parents will have to wear swimwear and no T-shirt or other street clothing will be permitted in the water.
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What benefits does your course give?
In the first few years of the baby's life they experience a huge development as their brain grows much faster than in later years. With our swimming lessons, we are helping babies to make new brain connections and strengthen their learning through exercise and stimulation. Introducing babies to swimming aids and improves babies and children's development in many areas such as-physically, intellectually, language, emotionally and socially. Weekly classes maintain development - using building blocks of development and progressive practices.

Classes are structured to ensure babies are constantly & continuously stimulated. Water is a natural environment for a baby. Babies feel safe and secure within this environment. Weekly swimming is a very special time for a baby and parent, and further develops the parental bond. Many parents state that their babies' sleeping & feeding can improve.

Starting to swim early can avoid traumatic experiences that some children go through when learning to swim. It familiarises children with deep water and gives them the confidence to swim below the water level. During our lessons, babies interact with adults and other babies & children and experience a fun and happy social environment. Parents & carers also interact and socialise. These unique swimming sessions can develop a special relationship. 

JUST SWIM lessons are FUN. Classes use lots of games, nursery rhymes, toys and big floats. They perform and integral part of all the lessons and JUST SWIM actively encourages learning through play in a safe environment.
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Is my baby safe in the water?
Babies have a natural affinity with the water. They become totally liberated, as water is a free environment for them. We all have an inborn "gag reflex" and the "mammalian dive reflex" but it is generally strongest in babies up to 6 months old, these enable them to hold their breath underwater naturally and keep supplying oxygen to the main organs, which help us to provide a gentle introduction to submersion. They also have primitive swimming stroke actions up to 6 months of age and can propel themselves through the water. JUST SWIM builds upon babies natural reflexes to enable your baby to be completely happy moving in and through the water.
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Do parents need to be confident swimmers?
No, although parents need to be in the pool with the babies, the pool is shallow enough for parents to stand up.  JUST SWIM teachers are fully trained and experienced in helping parents to feel confident in the water. We will assist you with the submersion exercises for your child if you do not want to go underwater, although it is a wonderful experience to share with your child.
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Do the lessons include submersion?
Submersion is an element of our classes, but is not the main focus in our lessons. The exercises are very gentle and just undertaken when both parent and child are ready and happy in the water. We will advise and guide you in the submersion techniques and exercises.
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Will my baby learn to swim on his/her own?
Our classes are small and are held in warm pools. Getting children in the pool early is vital and means that by the time they are 3 years old, they will have learnt to doggy paddle and will most likely have mastered some basic strokes. At the earliest stage, they learn lifesaving skills including floating, turning and swimming to hold on. Through continuous development on the course, they should be able to swim 5m unaided by the age of 2 1/2 - 3 years. We always advise parents that learning to swim takes a lot of practice and patience and every child will accomplish the goals in their own time as it happens with any other learning process. We do not rush or force any baby or parent into any activity they are not ready for.
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Does my baby have to be fully immunised?
It is never too soon to introduce your baby to water. Medical research shows that a baby does not have to have completed the full immunisation course before you take your baby swimming. However if you have any concerns about pre-immunisation, we do advise that you speak to your G.P. or Health Visitor.
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When should I feed my child?
Babies can be fed 20 - 30 minutes before entering the water to allow food to be digested, when it's still liquid. If you are feeding with solids, please allow at least 45 minutes. Babies may be hungrier (and sleepier) after swimming due to all the exercise so they may need a big feed after the swim.
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What if my child is ill?
It is not advisable to take your baby swimming if they have any illness such as a chest infection, measles, sickness/diarrhoea, ear infections, asthma or a cold (first days of the cold). It's best if symptoms have cleared at least 48 hours prior to taking your baby to the pool. If you are concerned about any medical condition, we ask that you always check with your GP before coming to any lessons.
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Natural Reflexes
Babies have a natural ability for swimming, having a different reflex that makes them perfect candidates for swimming. Reflexes are defined as automatic responses to an outside stimulus. Healthy babies are born with extremely sophisticated natural reflexes that protect them from any harm and are very important as they promote their survival. At JUST SWIM we work around these reflexes to turn them into deliberate actions. The ‘gag' reflex is activated when water enters the mouth. The glottis and epiglottis close preventing water from entering the throat and providing a watertight seal to the lungs while your baby is submerged. This is why you often see babies swimming with their mouths open.

The mammalian dive reflex (often confused with the gag reflex) is activated when baby's face enters the water covering their forehead and nose area; submerging the face the body automatically redistributes the blood flow ensuring the main organs such as the brain and heart, receive a constant supply of oxygen. The ‘Diving Reflex' is perfectly natural and slowly lessens from around 9 months of age. The Amphibian Reflex is an involuntary movement of their arms, legs and torso, which help us to introduce turns, rotations and kicking in our lessons.
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Tips and Advice for your first lessons
Very young babies get tired and hungry quicker than older babies, so feeding the babies 20-30 minutes before the lesson is very important. Try to feed them just enough to keep them going during the lesson and keep the rest for after the lesson, as they will be very hungry. Sleeping time is very important too, so for them to have a good nap in the morning before swimming is vital. Parents play a very significant role in the babies' behaviour, so it is very important for all of you to feel relaxed and confident in the water with your babies.

As you may already know, babies can feel our emotions, so being relaxed in the water is essential. Of course, getting you relaxed in the water is part of the course and it takes time for the babies and parents to feel totally relaxed and comfortable in the water. So please don't worry about your baby not really enjoying the lessons at the beginning, because it is very common for little babies to need more time to get used to the water and new environments.

Very young babies are not able to maintain their body temperature as the older babies. At the same time, the signs of coldness are different, small babies will not shiver when they are cold. The sign to look for is a bluish or purplish lip. (Our pools are very warm so this is rarely a problem in our classes but still worth mentioning) During the lesson the instructor will monitor all these signs that will indicate coldness, tiredness, being hungry, etc., and advise you about what to do next. Although some babies love bath time, please note that the pool is not the same as the bath. It is a completely different environment, to which babies have to get used to. The pool is a more impersonal environment, with a lot of people, noise, changes of temperature, etc.

All these factors contribute for the babies to feel more insecure at first needing a little time to adapt to the new situation. From our experience after the 4th week of swimming is when we really start to notice a big change in both babies and parents, observing a major improvement in relaxation and confidence.
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Download a booking form (click here)

Swim sessions from ages six weeks to three years


  If you have any questions about JUST SWIM, then
please email or phone.

The best way to contact JUST SWIM is to send an email at
info@justswimschool.co.uk

You can also call Justine Merryman on 07788 281272
 


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