Please click on a question to view the answer.
Where can I see a list of what classes are currently available?
To see a snapshot of our current lesson availability...click on the words 'CLICK HERE' at the top of this page, or 'Booking Form' at the bottom of this page.
At what age can my baby start swimming lessons?
Babies can start swimming from a few weeks old providing the pool temperature is warm enough. The pools we currently use are suitable for babies from approximately 4 months. Level 1 classes are ideally suited to babies aged around 4 to 12 months...however children up to around 14 months can still join at this Level.
Does my baby need to be immunised?
The current advice from health visitors is that babies do not need to have completed their first immunisations before they go swimming. Please act on your GP's advice or visit www.nhs.uk for more information.
Do parents need to be able to swim?
One parent per baby must be in the water. The parent in the water does not need to be able to swim as the water is shallow enough to stand up in and we can provide buoyancy aids for floating exercises. However, it is important that the parent in the water is not fearful or anxious in water as they can transmit these fears to the baby. Please note: both parents cannot be in the water at the same time. However, many parents alternate being in the water with their baby on a weekly basis.
Do you submerge babies?
Submersion is only undertaken when parent and child are ready. It is a part of each class, but is not the main focus of it. Babies are individuals. Some are happy to be submerged and others can take weeks or even months to get used to it. Some babies have off weeks. However, at TinyFins, we NEVER submerge babies against their will. There will be weeks when your baby makes it clear that he/she does not want to be submerged. We always respect this as our aim is to foster a love of the water environment.
What should my baby wear?
We strongly advise that you purchase a baby wetsuit for babies under 12 months of age. Wetsuits (also called baby warmers) can be obtained from Mothercare, www.mikes-diving.co.uk, www.funswimshop.co.uk, www.splashabout.co.uk and at www.Konfidence.co.uk.
In our swim classes, we insist on the double swim nappy system for ALL babies and toddlers until they are toilet-trained. The double nappy system is a disposable or non-disposable swim nappy plus neoprene nappy or swimming nappy underneath a wet suit or outer neoprene swim nappy. The top wetsuit/neoprene nappy should fit closely enough to form a tight seal around the waist (i.e. neoprene nappy) and thighs. This is to prevent the possibility of leaking nappies which can lead to the very expensive prospect of the swimming pool having to close to be cleaned. Some wetsuits/baby warmers do not form a seal around the babies upper thigh. In this case, a neoprene nappy will need to be worn under the wet suit/babywarmer.
Please note, it your baby wears a UV suit, they will also need 2 close-fitting swim nappies underneath.
Should my toddler wear a swim nappy?
Yes. Toddlers need to wear a swim nappy up to the age of 3. If over 3 years of age, they must have been completely dry for at least 6 months. Re-usable swim nappies, disposable swim nappies and Neoprene swim nappies are available from Mothercare or online at www.funswimshop.co.uk.
If you need more information/pictures etc, re swim nappies, please click on tab 'What to Wear' on our home page.
What else should I bring?
One parent/guardian will need to be in the pool with each baby, so bring your swimsuit. Long hair should be tied back. Please remove any jewellery (bracelets, necklaces, watches etc. that could snag on your baby.
We also advise that you bring, if possible, a hooded towel to wrap your child as soon as you come out of the water. A hat to keep their ears and heads warm on the way home is also advisable.
Toddlers in Juniors,Toddler 2 and Toddler 3 will need goggles. A particularly good pair can be obtained from www.simplyswim.co.uk (Aqua sphere Seal Kid Goggles - clear).
What changing facilities are there?
There is limited space in our changing rooms so we advise that you lay your baby on a change mat on the floor while you change (we will provide change mats). This is the safest way to change them. Please be careful around the pool and changing area as the floors can get wet and slippery. We also ask that you take any soiled nappies home with you rather than leave them in the change room.
Can my partner/the grandparents etc watch the class?
In some locations e.g. Sth Croydon - there is very limited space both for changing and viewing. Therefore at Sth Croydon we ask that you limit viewers to one per baby. Please also note that the Sth Croydon location is also VERY hot and so may be uncomfortable for those who are pregnant or unwell. There is a little more room for viewing at the other locations. Blue shoe covers must be worn over outdoor shoes at all locations as this helps to keep the pool water clean for your baby.
When should I feed my baby?
Babies should be fed at least 1 hour before entering the water to allow food to be digested. Babies may be hungrier (and sleepier) after swimming due to all the exercise, so they may need a big feed after the swim, however please note that food is not allowed in the changing rooms or pool area.
What if my baby has eczema?
There are various swim costumes that can be used for babies with eczema and other skin complaints, which allow a barrier cream to be applied under the costume. For details of these, visitwww.konfidence.co.uk
What if my baby cries during a lesson?
There can be a number of reasons why your baby may cry during the lesson. It can take some babies a while to get used to the sights, sounds and smells of the pool environment. All babies will have an off day or two. Your instructor can advise on the best way to deal with this.
What if my baby is unwell?
You should use your discretion as to whether your baby is well enough to swim. If in doubt, please consult a doctor or health visitor. Sickness and diarrhoea need to be clear for 48 hours before returning to lessons.
Do you offer trial lessons?
Unfortunately, we don't do trial lessons as one lesson is not an indicator of whether or not your baby will enjoy swimming as some babies take two or three weeks (sometimes more) to settle in and enjoy their lessons.
What can we do at home to prepare our baby for lessons?
Get your baby used to playing with water in the bath and the feeling of having water on their face. Encourage them to splash and play with toys and lie on their back in the water with their ears submerged. Splash water on their tummy. Here is a link to some useful exercises to do in the bath...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvZVJtsQHG0 Never leave your baby alone in the bath.
Can I get a picture of my baby swimming?
We will arrange for underwater photographs to to be taken of your child by your instructor during one of the lessons in Level 2. From time to time, we will also try to arrange for some professional photos for all Levels. Your baby will need to have completed at least one term of baby swimming so you will have a chance of getting a few good underwater shots. We will advise you of the details and prices nearer to the date.
Please Note: Unfortunately, we cannot allow unauthorised photography during our lessons due to Child Protection Regulations. Anyone found taking pictures may be asked to leave the class and will forfeit the rest of their terms fees.
When will my baby swim independently?
Every child will progress at their own pace. We aim to introduce children to the water environment in a way that encourages enjoyment of water and teaches water safety skills. During the early Levels, your baby will learn to back float, kick to the surface, turn in the water, hold onto the side, jump in from a sitting position and achieve short underwater swim from instructor to adult and back again. Once your child's strength and co-ordination is more developed...usually as they approach 3 years of age....they will then have the ability to start learning their first front paddle strokes and start to swim a few metres on top of the water.
General Health and Safety tips
Never leave your baby unattended near water. Please take care at the poolside and in changing rooms as there are many hazards such as slippery floors. Please keep your toddlers under control at all times and do not let them run around the poolside. Please do not leave unattended children at poolside while a lesson is in progress.