Going swimming with Monkey Bear has become one of my favourite activities. There’s something about being in the water together, with all that lovely skin-on-skin contact, that just bonds us even more. And watching his little face as he’s actively learning something new, is just priceless. It’s like when you watch them hit bricks together, or clap their hands for the first time. Sure, it’s a small thing really, but it’s HUGE for you and them because they’re growing & developing and you just feel so happy getting to witness it in action. Well, I do anyway. Even if I’m hanging on with little sleep and have put my shoes on the wrong feet (yes, this happens, and far more often than I’d care to admit here).
I first started taking him swimming when he was just 4 months old. Mainly because we had an upcoming holiday at his 5 month mark and I wanted him to be able to enjoy swimming abroad without it being ‘new’. We initially went to scheduled classes, and I guess we’ve done about 10 in total. But what with my schedule, weekend breaks away, his nap times and sporadic colds & infections, we’ve probably missed as many lessons as we’ve paid & attended (face palm). So, in an attempt to save my sanity (juggling schedules) and my pocket (wasting money on lessons we don’t make it to), I’ve since opted to take him on my own. And it’s working out really well.
Now I don’t advocate to go on your own straight away when your little one is so tiny. I definitely benefited from the security & safety cocoon of a teacher who knew what to do, what to teach him, and what he was capable of (and at what stage). But once you know how to safely hold them in the water, how to give them ‘signals’ for going underwater & such, well it’s nice to get away from the classes and just have your own time. Go along with a friend or partner if it helps you. Stick to shallow water, or water you can stand up to your waist level and no higher. Keep it safe, but take a little rubber ducky with you if you fancy.
I just really want him to get used to the water when he’s young, so he’s not afraid of it as he gets older, and it’s almost second-nature to him without thinking. And it certainly paid off on our holidays – being in a swimming pool abroad with him was just amazing for both me & my hubby to experience. Can’t wait for this year’s hols!
Happy weekend all!