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Tales from Baby Swim Lessons

Tales from Baby Swim Lessons

Baby swim lessons were not what this mommy expected. The prepping, lugging, and changing involved all before you even get into the pool, and knowing that just 40 short minutes later you do it in reverse…take it from me, as someone who just finished up the first set of baby swim classes, they’re no joke!

I grew up in a house that embraced the water. We swam all summer long in my grandparent’s pool, camped by rivers and lakes all throughout New England, and lived on the Connecticut coastline where we canoed and swam in the chilly Atlantic. My husband did not grow up in such a water-loving family, so it was important to us to introduce our son, Cab, to the water from a young age.

I look back at myself, the first-time mommy who patiently waited for when her little boy was old enough to start swim lessons, and I chuckle. I was so clueless when it came to what to expect, but now with the blinders off, the truth is, baby swim lessons can be exhausting. But, we made it, and I’m here to share our experience, and some of the things I learned:

So We’re at the Classes and…

Mistake one started even before we entered the pool. In my excitement, I selected a lesson time in which my local YMCA was at its busiest, causing me to haul my giant bag full of swim gear, my 19 pound baby, and his car seat across what seemed to be the biggest parking lot in the United States. Once walking into the building, mistake one was quickly pushed to the side by mistake two, using the family changing room. I think I would rather be at Grand Central Station at 5pm on a Friday than use the family changing room…take it from me, use the adult locker rooms!

Moms and their babies at baby swim lessonsBy the time we hit our stride we were about four weeks in, and it was the first time my husband was able to join us. By then, I realized I needed to use my stroller, I had paired down my bag o’ gear, and I knew I was inevitably going home in a wet bathing suit (thank goodness for leather seats and a two mile ride). The only mistake that week was not mine, but my husband’s, after telling me he didn’t think there was as much involved as I had made it out to be.

There is a little secret that I found people don’t tell you about swim lessons, a secret shared only once you are part of the “club”, but I am here to let the cat out of the bag…post-swim lesson naps are AMAZING. Cab’s longer-than-normal afternoon naps on Saturdays motivated me to do the full 12 weeks of lessons, because, let’s be real, as a working parent who is sleep deprived, I also like nothing better than a good Saturday nap on the couch (which is exactly what I did with no regrets!).

So long story short, if you’re looking into swim lessons for your baby, remember to pack wisely, laugh at the mishaps, and savor the memories you’re making. And once you’re home, enjoy your well-deserved R&R! Call me crazy, but I loved every minute making those memories with Cab, and have plans to sign us up for the next shrimp class when it comes around.



  1. Allison Query June 14, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    This is so true!
    My biggest mistake so far was forgetting to unpack our giant swim bag of wet towels & bathing suits when we got home from the pool. It was tucked away on my porch for 5 days before I remembered & opened it up. The smell was so gross! Now it’s the first thing I do, even before that post-swim nap!

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      Aili June 15, 2016 at 9:20 am

      Oh man, what a bummer! There is nothing worse than having to do laundry in the first place (at least for me) but to have to deal with stinky towels and bathing suits… double dumbs-down! Good luck with the rest of your lessons!

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