I love swimming and I love my baby. I ponder combining the two. Lots of people do it, but how? And is it worth it? I went to baby swim class when I was 6 months old and now I’m a retired lifeguard, so that proves it works.
When Baby Bop was taking 3 naps a day. We’d just about get ready to go somewhere, arrive and then it would be time for another nap. Now we’re on 2 naps a day and we fit a little more life in.
Boston University has a baby swim class that works well with our schedule. I email them,
“How do parents manage to get themselves and their babies changed for swim lessons?”
“Hi Jessica, We actually have family locker rooms by the pool specifically for families attending lessons with kids. In those, you’ll find private space to change, as well as changing tables if needed. I hope this helped, and please feel free to reach out with any further questions! Best, FitRec Member Services”
‘Dear FitRec Member Services, I don’t understand how I get my baby and myself dressed at the same time and where my wet, slippery, screaming baby goes while I’m getting dressed. I know I don’t know for sure that my baby will be screaming, but I’d say I’m 90% sure she will be. Thanks, see you soon!’
The first swim lesson I drag my stroller into a family locker room. I feel good knowing I have a safe spot to put my screaming baby. She didn’t scream until the swim lesson was over, so there’s that.
From getting ready to go, to getting there, to getting ready in the locker room, to getting dressed afterward, to getting home: took 3 hours for a 30 minute swim lesson.
The second swim lesson, I notice plenty of the moms are doing it with no stroller. I ask for their secret: a second towel to lay the baby on the floor. I try this. When Baby Bop decides she’s done screaming, she is off and crawling, delighted to find stray hair balls while I put my wet butt back in my underpants. Drying off is a luxury there’s no time for.
Third swim lesson. I swaddle Baby Bop in the towel super tight and lay her on the locker room floor. She doesn’t move a muscle. All the moms start exclaiming,
“Oh she’s so calm!”
“Wow, she just lays there!”
Nope. That’s not correct. She’s calm as long as every part of her body is physically restrained. She proves me right. The minute I loosen the towel to get her dressed she starts to scream.
Fourth swim lesson I feel like a pro. Baby Bop barely screamed and I even dried my butt a little.
The young woman teaching the swim lessons is very good and very serious. She tells us,
“Ok it’s time to float on our backs.”
“Now it’s time to float on our tummies.”
“Ok now we’re going to sing ‘Ring Around the Rosie.’ I looked it up and I learned an additional verse we can sing. If anyone knows any other verses please let me know.”
“Now it’s time for the lazy river.”
I tell Captain, he exclaims,
“Are there college kids floating around drinking?”
“No. It’s not that kind of lazy river.” Although I wouldn’t mind a drink.
Near the end of the lesson the instructor tells us,
“Now you can put your babies underwater, but it’s not required to pass this class.”
Pass this class? Who’s worried about passing this class? I’ll declare us passed if we complete this experience and don’t leave any floaters in the pool.
Me! Modeling my new bathing suit, 1983.