As some of you know, I am a qualified swimming teacher, pre-school is my specialty! So entering the pool as a parent and not as the teacher was quite daunting. (What if she doesn’t like it?! How do I manage a screaming baby, do I stay in, get out, what – I can help other people when I’m normally teaching but this is my own baby?! What costume should I buy her, I’ve seen so many!? How do I get changed in the changing rooms without other people looking at my baby bod – because I’m too tired to even try and think about dieting?! Am I going to expect too much from her?! Is my back fat going to stick out of the back of my costume?! What if I don’t agree with what the teacher is saying – even though the teacher was Tom, Edie’s Dad?! What if she poo’s in pool?!) Yes, all those questions were running frantically through my brain on the weeks leading up to the first lesson.
Morning of the first lesson, 22nd July 2019, Edie is 11 weeks and 5 days old (Cute! Where’s my newborn gone?!) I’m up at the crack of dawn (as always) and about to embark of the mission of getting up and out the house for 11am (that is an achievement, we all know what baby time is right?!) So, I’m prepared, I’ve been thinking about it for the past couple of weeks, I put my swimming costume on to save the hassle of getting ready when I get there… but I’m terrified of leaking milky boobs (Breastfeeding has it down sides!) so I pop my breast pads in my swimming costume and will take them out before I get in the pool. I’m packing 100’s of everything, I need a suitcase. In Edie’s bag I honestly had one swimming costume, one short and rash vest set and one wetsuit, happy nappy, three towels, 5 swim nappies, 5 normal nappies, baby soap, wipes and the kitchen sink (jokes!). (I only needed, one outfit for the pool, happy nappy, one towel (but two is handy – one for getting out the pool and one for drying off), one swim nappy (and an extra just in case), one normal nappy (and an extra just in case) and wipes. Showering is too much like hard work, so ditch the soap and just give them a bath when you get home!)
So, in the pool we go, we were having so much fun, then, she cried. Fabulous. What did I do… Stepped to the side and gave her a cuddle. Was that the right thing to do? I still don’t know, but it felt right at the time. She continued to cry so I thought I’d just walk with the group activity, whilst still snuggling. Edie was all swimmed out, so tired, she could barely keep her eyes open and her little friend Emily fell asleep in the pool in her Mummy’s arms, aww!
Oh, and the breast pads, I absolutely forgot about those in my swimming costume, they’ve soaked up all the pool water, brilliant! How embarrassing! How do I get these into the bin without the other mums noticing?! Take forever to get changed and be on your own in the changing rooms is how! Oops, haha! I’d like to say that was only time I did this, but I’d be lying, I think I’ve only ever remembered to take them out three times in the 8 lessons we have attended!
All in all, it was a great first lesson, Edie loved the water, she just got tired towards the end. She continued to cry towards the end of the next few lessons as well, but it eventually gets better. And its normal, so don’t feel at a loss if your child is the only one crying, the other children in the class will of cried when they started or will do so in the weeks you aren’t there to witness it!
The answers to my questions in the first paragraph…
1. She did like it, I was very lucky. But I have taught children who haven’t liked it, for a long time! Be patient and play. A swimming lesson, at first, doesn’t have to be in the water, it can be playing with the toys on the poolside or on the steps, learning respect for the water and keeping safe should be a childs very first understanding. Don’t force it, your child will rebel (no ifs or buts about it!)
2. A crying baby… do what works for you and them. Stay in, get out, stand to the side, keep joining in, whatever, no judgements here! I’d do whatever I thought Edie needed, always.
3. Costume; I’ve had Edie in her shorts and rash vest set, its cute and she seems comfortable, and she’s warm enough. I tried her wetsuit but she just couldn’t move that great (However, definitely recommend these if the waters a little on the cooler side or your little one is little!)
4. The body is something every woman is concerned about! Baby or not! Tom said his Dad bod has been in full swing since Edie came along too! So guys, we got you in this! Don’t worry! There’s always someone with insecurities too, no ones looking at you, they are too worried about getting dressed quick enough to feed their tired and hungry babies! (Large towels do the trick if you want to cover up though!)
5. I surprised myself, being a teacher myself, I thought I’d expect a lot from Edie but I didn’t. I am happy to go at her pace, and this should be the same for your class teacher. Child led is the way to be!
6. My back fat did stick out the back of my costume, but I wore a tshirt to cover it up – in the future we will use these tshirts for the children to hold on to anyway, so its a great excuse to wear one!
7. Tom didn’t finish the first lesson with the goodbye song, so he got told off for that. However, generally we are on the same page in terms of teaching, after all, he provided me with most of my training!
8. Poo! She didn’t poo but if she did, her swim nappy plus happy nappy should be substantial enough to keep it in. However, I’d go and change it, just in case.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my very first blog entry, I could of wrote more, but whilst I’ve been writing, I’ve also been keeping my eye on Edie through the monitor and she’s stirring a bit, so I think we might be up for a feed soon! I’ll write again for you all soon. Jess x