Water Babies instructors are seeing double in Galway this term as three sets of twins are all attending the same award winning baby and toddler swimming class at Core Fitness in the Clare Galway Hotel.
Aoife and Padraic Hernon from Clarinbridge in Galway have just started Water Babies with their two boys – Oren and Rian aged 12 months; Linda and Andrew Lambert from Abbeyknockmoy in Galway are having great fun with Adam and Cian aged 3 months in the water and Alice Shaughnessy and Anthony Collins from Turloughmore Galway are having a splashing time with Francesca and Allegra Collins aged 4 months.
By all accounts lessons are going very well and all the parents and babies are having a great time at their weekly Water Babies classes. The parents said they were looking forward to being able to do the lessons as a whole family however the lesson is an early start at 9.00am on a Sunday so they all have to be very organised to get out the door and be there on time and that’s not easy with twins!
Lisa Cobbe who runs Water Babies classes in Galway & Sligo with her husband Jamie said “Swimming with your baby is a magical experience for both parent and child, allowing you some special one on one time to focus on each other in the relaxed environment that water provides. In addition to bonding benefits, studies have shown that participating babies have improved sleeping and eating patterns, thanks to the hidden physical workout received during the gentle class.”
While Water Babies lessons are fun for both parent and little one, the course also has an extremely serious added benefit. In most cases it’s the shock of sudden submersion that causes children to panic. We passionately believe that by introducing babies to water as early as possible, they’ll be less likely to experience fear if they do fall in.
“With progressive training, babies can be taught life-saving skills very early on such as turning onto their backs or, following a sudden submersion, swimming to the nearest solid object. In the last few years at least ten tiny Water Babies pupils have saved their own lives, five of whom were just two years old at the time. It’s fantastic what vital skills children can learn, and it’s so important that they do so as soon as possible.”
Water Babies new term commences at the beginning of February. Water Babies is is holding free taster classes onFriday 16 January Core Fitness, Claregalway 10am and 10.30am. Please call Water Babies to book a place. For more information, please visit www.waterbabies.ie
About Water Babies
Since it was co-founded by Paul Thompson in 2002, Water Babies has grown into the world’s largest baby swim school, today teaching more than 41,000 babies every week through a network of family businesses across the UK and Ireland.
Having fun and enjoying the water is the primary aim – so Water Babies rarely feel like they are in a lesson. However because the course is highly structured, most will happily be swimming distances underwater by about 30 months, then naturally start swimming on the surface as their strength increases.
Water Babies in Ireland now has four regional franchises teaching over 3,000 babies & toddlers each week across Dublin, Cork, Galway, Sligo, Wexford, Waterford, Carlow, Kilkenny, Louth, Kildare, Meath, Tipperary and Kerry.
Water Babies was named “Best Activity Provider for Tots & Toddlers” at the first annual Families First Awards which were held in Dublin in May 2012 and then won the award again in 2013. Water Babies was also named ‘Best National Baby & Pre-Schooler Development Activity (0-5years)’ by ‘What’s on 4 Little Ones’ in 2013 and 2014 while Claire Hogan was named “Outstanding Activity Leader for Children in 2014.
Water Babies were winners of the “Best Mum & Baby Activity” at the Maternity & Infant Magazine Awards both in 2013 and 2014..
In 2013, Water Babies raised over €33,000 for Crumlin Children’s Hospital, Temple St Children’s University Hospital and Tallaght Hospital during Water Babies Splashathon which took place in April 2013.
Since 2009, Water Babies has raised almost €100,000 for Ireland’s National children’s hospitals.
Water Babies is the only baby swimming school with its own pool consultancy service, passing on its expertise to pools across the UK and Ireland. Water Babies is also the only swim company to have its own in-house, award-winning underwater baby photography unit. Last year, more than 100,000 individual underwater shots were taken by its skilled photographers.
In June 2012 Water Babies teamed up with The University of Manchester to undertake a research study which will be the first of its kind to examine the physical and psychological impact of structured, taught baby swimming classes on parents, babies and the family unit as a whole.
In June 2014 Water Babies featured on ITV’s Secret Lives of Babies.
What makes Water Babies different?
Babies have natural reflexes that mean they instinctively hold their breath when submerged. However, the Water Babies course actually teaches babies to control their breathing instead of relying on reflexes, thus negating the risk of water inhalation and giving the babies a sense of being fully in control.
The core points of difference between Water Babies classes and mainstream baby swimming lessons are:
- The course is highly structured, including clear progression, aims and objectives and detailed lesson plans
- We teach without the use of flotation devices. This is in order to prevent children developing a false sense of security and because the water naturally supports their body weight
- Children lack the strength or co-ordination to swim on the surface until at least two years. From birth we enable them to swim short distances underneath, allowing them to move freely without constraints of gravity
How qualified are Water Babies teachers?
Our swimming teachers are the only ones who can obtain a nationally recognised diploma in baby swimming, which has been developed in conjunction with England’s national governing body for swimming, the ASA.
- All Water Babies teachers must first complete their mainstream swimming qualifications with the ASA, before commencing the intensive Water Babies training course. All teachers must also be qualified lifesavers, renewed bi-annually and be DBS-checked.
- With the 300+ hours each Water Babies teacher invests to become fully qualified, they could train to be a private pilot… five times over!
- In July 2011 we signed a skills pledge with the Institute of Swimming (IoS) to provide premium education and training in baby and pre-school swimming, which means that the Water Babies programme is now endorsed by the ASA.