Joining Aqua Babies
You can begin with your baby as early as you are comfortable. We have some babies in the water at less than a month old. Many babies begin their first course between 2 and 6 months old and we find there is a great benefit to starting under 12 months old. We are able to book children onto our first course up to the age of 18 months.
We also have specific toddler classes for children 18 months – 3 years old. These classes use songs, repetition and fun games to introduce older toddlers to the water. Once confident in the pool toddlers are moved over into a suitable mainstream class. The warm water, toys and familiar songs help this age group adjust to the water.
Have a look at which pool or pools suit you and either complete an enquiry form or call us on 01619731931.
We will let you know the next available course start date and whether it is open to book.
Once you have decided on the best course for you we take payment over the phone via SagePay, a secure system for card payments. This way your details are secure and we can process any refunds easily. You can also book future courses more easily via our automatic rebooking system.
When requested, we can split course fees over agreed dates to help with the natural adjustments maternity leave can bring.
Aqua Babies trains and employs qualified baby and pre school swim teachers.
All our teachers hold up to date and relevant STA Baby and Preschool qualifications as a minimum. We also train our teachers for a further 3-6 months and place them under a mentor’s wing for 12 months.
Each teacher holds a recognised life saving first aid qualification. RLSS NRASTC or equivalent. We also train twice a year with an RLSS tutor to ensure these skills are never forgotten.
In addition to this the whole Aqua Babies team are enhanced DBS checked.
Each teacher is both insured via their STA membership and Aqua Babies holds club insurance through Swimsure.
STA – Swim teachers association
RLSS NRASTC – Royal Life Saving Society , National Rescue Award for Swim Teachers and Coaches
Aqua Babies follows government health guidelines which state: ‘The Department of Health recommends that you can take your baby swimming from a very young age. There is no need to wait until they have been vaccinated’
That said we advise parents to start as soon as you are comfortable. If you prefer to wait please let us know the earliest date you would like to book a course and we will contact you as soon as that course is released.
Each course is 9 – 10 weeks long with breaks for school holidays.
Babies wear two special swim nappies. A disposable swim nappy or a washable nappy wrap liner designed for swimming.
On top of this a Splash About New Happy Nappy. This swim nappy has a tight seal around the leg and waist and has been specially designed for baby swim schools. For a good fit you can purchase your Happy Nappy when booking your course and we will fit it for you at you first class. It must be a snug fit to keep everything in!
Children from their first course through to and including Swim School must continue wearing this combination. Experience has shown us that potty trained children can get distracted at class. There is a range of Jammers swim shorts for both boys and girls to help with this in-between age.
We carefully chose our pools based on the suitability of the pool and its temperature.
The Aqua Babies Centre has changing stations in all changing areas (13 in total!) as well as play pens, showers and lockers.
Other pools have a variery of changing areas available. All have Male and Female areas with benches or beds available. Where possible we provide play pens and mats.
Changing rooms are shoe free zones as this helps keep dirty from transferring into the pool.
Changing rooms are food free zones, including snacks and raisins. Many pools have areas for feeding or snacking after class. We like to keep the changing areas clean and crumb free.
The specific set up for each pool can be found on the pools pages
No! All our pools are in depth with water coming to about chest height for an average woman (1.2m)
If you are very nervous in water please let us know when booking so we can ensure you get all the support you need from your teacher.
We have many parents attending as they do not wish their children to be as nervous in water as they are. Our classes are a great way to build your own confidence should you wish to.
It is advisable to feed an hour or so before class, however babies who are breast or bottle fed can have a small feed at any time.
We advise toddlers and pre school children not to eat within 2 hours of class. Our older children work hard in the water and a full tummy can result in them feeling uncomfortable or being sick in the pool.
It is not advisable to bring your baby swimming with anything more than a mild cold.
Swimming should not make a mild cold worse nor will swimming cause a cold. We advise you wrap up warm after class and pop on a hat.
Swimming does not cause inner ear infections, however if your baby has an ear infection please do not swim until it has cleared up as submersions might be uncomfortable. Should your toddler have repetitive ear infections you can purchase ear putty and bandits to enable you to continue swimming. Always taking the advise of your GP or consultant.
Babies or adults experiencing sickness and/or diarrhoea must not swim for two weeks to ensure it has completely cleared and does not spread to other babies. Some infections (such as cryptosporidium) are easily spread in changing rooms and are resistant to chlorine. As symptoms can come and go over a period of time it is essential you refrain from swimming for this period of time.
If your child has any other infection such as chicken pox please contact the office for advise.
If your child has eczema or other skin condition you can still swim. Pools with UV systems (such as The Aqua Babies Centre) have reduced chemical irritants in the water and good shower facilities. Again please take advise from your consultant or GP prior to booking a course.
Although we are unable to refund class fees due to illness we do have a catch up class system whereby you can attend an extra class once better.
Aqua Babies Members
Aqua Babies operates an automatic rebooking system to secure your place on your next course. This occurs in the middle of each term for the subsequent term, allowing time for any queries and transfer requests.
During week 5 we will send you an email with details of your next course. This will include term dates, any holiday weeks and the deadline by which we need to know any changes you’d like to make.
If you would like to carry on with your current pool and day you don’t need to do a thing! You will then be emailed your class time (these can change slightly) before any fees are processed, again giving you time to call us if there’s a problem or change you’d like to discuss.
Should you need to cancel your next course after we have sent all the information and your class time you still can with a small fee of £20
Fee are processed through SagePay secure system on a repeat transaction (Aqua Babies does not hold card details on file). We also automatically process refunds this way.
Classes can have a half hour time change depending on your course level. This is so we can have new customers at the start of your teacher’s sessions. We can then assist parents with new babies a little more. It can also occur when older toddlers need to move to be with a more age appropriate class. Should we need to move you any more than half an hour we will contact you to confirm you can make the new time or look for an alternative. We keep time changes to a minimum wherever possible.
Should you wish to move to an alternative day or pool for your next course please let us know before the rebooking deadline by replying to your email. The transfer details are explained clearly on your rebooking email and we will do our utmost to accommodate the move.
Babies miss class for a wide variety of reasons from illness to family holidays. As we book each baby for a full course we cannot offer refunds for missed classes. We do however offer up to two catch up classes each term. Please read our catch up class terms and conditions carefully and call us as soon as possible to arrange an alternative class.
Please refer to our photography policy in our terms and conditions. It is highly likely taking photos of your baby at class will be absolutely fine. Our own policy is over-ridden by any pool building policy that is stricter than our own.
We offer regular photo shoot sessions at The Aqua Babies Centre.
To book a session you will need to have completed at least two terms swimming with us so we can be sure your baby is comfortable underwater for a number of submersions. Your baby’s confidence, safety and wellbeing are very important to us and we will also have your teacher confirm your baby is ready.
Full photo shoot information can be found on our photo shoot page.
Babies and toddlers can have many reasons for having a wobble in the pool, this can be related to growth spurts and developmental stages as well as changes they are adjusting to at home (starting nursery or new baby coming along!). Your teacher has specific resources and plans to help you through this stage. Your teacher may also call you to have a chat outside of class time to both reassure you and discuss what you can do together in class to ensure your child becomes happy and confident once more.
“I just wanted to say that we really appreciated the (free) Extra Classes. They have made a massive difference in just a few weeks and Oliver is back to being confident and happy swimming, which is amazing. Please also pass on our thanks to Avghi for guiding Oliver through a tricky patch and for being consistently awesome at her job.”
There are two ways we can support you in continuing to swim with your toddler.
We offer six weeks maternity classes giving you six credits for classes missed which can be used to continue your toddler the course after. This way your place is secure.
Should you prefer to miss a term you can return to class mid term where there is space available rather than waiting for the term after to begin.
Once your new baby has arrived you can come to class and bring baby in a car seat on poolside (it’s very warm so light clothing is advised) for the first 6 months.