Benefits of Baby Swimming

MyBump2Baby Expert Podcast


The Benefits of Baby Swimming
  • Benefits of Baby Swimming

Today Carla Lett talks with Tamsin from Water Babies Bucks & Bed all about the benefits of baby swimming.

They talk about the benefits, when is the best time to start your baby with swimming lessons, the benefits from starting your little one swimming so young. They touch on what your baby should wear for swimming lessons, information about the classes, class safety and the benefits of swimming for mental health for both parents and babies.

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[00:01:35] Hello, and welcome to MyBump 2 Baby Expert podcast, where we bring experts from all over the UK to answer your questions on everything, pregnancy to preschool.

[00:02:00] Today I am joined by the lovely Tamsin Brewis from Water Babies, and Tamsin is going to be telling us everything we need to know about baby swimming. I hope you enjoy this episode.

[00:02:21] Hello everybody. And welcome to My Bump 2 Baby’s Expert podcast. Today I am joined by the lovely Tamsin franchise owner of Water Babies Bucks & Bed. So hello, Tamsin, how are you? 

[00:02:36] Tamsin: Hi Carla. I’m very well. Very well. Thank you for having me. 

[00:02:40] Carla: Oh, thank you for joining us. Thank you so much. So Tamsin today, we’re going to be talking about the benefits of baby swimming aren’t we. And I’m really looking forward to asking you a lot of questions around this, because there are so many benefits.

[00:02:54] Tamsin: Completely there are, um, there are all the hidden benefits, as well as the, the, the ones that you, you know, the physical ones that you see. So taking your baby swimming. Uh, of course swimming is a life skill and actually getting them in the water early means that they will learn to swim earlier. So that’s the obvious one, but there are so many physical benefits working against the water, mental benefits of actually helping build brain pathways and actually bonding with parents. So yeah, there are loads and loads, um, that we can talk about today. 

[00:03:24] Carla: I’m excited for that. So Tamsin let me get started with the question of, from one of our parents, when is the best time to start your baby with swimming lessons?

[00:03:36] Tamsin: Okay. Well, I would say the best time is really when you, as the parent are ready, your baby can swim from birth, to be honest with you. There’s no reason why you can’t take them swimming from birth. Um, but the factors that define that are really things like pool temperatures. So a tiny baby, um, sort of under three months of age, really needs to go into a pool, which is a hydrotherapy pool or a warm water pool over 32 degrees.

[00:04:02] Once they’ve, they’ve sort of got to three months and around about sort of 12 pounds, six kilos in weight, then they can go into the pools of 30 degrees plus, but it’s really actually dependent on you as the parents, because you need to be ready. You need to feel confident and comfortable about coming swimming with your little one.

[00:04:20] And also you need to feel comfortable that you can juggle, you know, the swim bag with everything else that you’re dealing with as a, as a new parent. So the honest answer about it, I would say babies about three months, but parents when you’re ready. 

[00:04:34] Carla: That’s brilliant and Tamsin, what are the benefits from starting so young then?

[00:04:41] Tamsin: Um, well really starting young, um, you know, lots of people say to us, well can they swim? Can babies swim? Well no, no they can’t swim and they won’t learn to swim on the surface. Your child won’t learn to swim on the surface until they’re about two and a half, two and a half, three. However, by coming swimming with them early, you’re introducing them the worlds of physical activity and making it a family activity actually from a very young.

[00:05:05] So being, you know, your baby has just been in amniotic fluid, so the best for nine months or so, and really it’s almost like transferring them to that same sort of environment it just being a swimming pool. So coming early means that you spend time with your baby on a one-to-one basis. There’s no other interruptions except the swimming teachers or other parents in the classes, but no telephones or computers or anything like that going on.

[00:05:29] So, and that’s, one-to-one time is very, very important. It’s very good in terms of skin to skin contact with your baby. Um, I mean, I ask how many parents actually get in the bath with their babies or shower with their tiny babies, again, something which is really, really good to do with them. Uh, because again, you’re building a very good bonding experience. You’re building, um, from, from very young, you start to build up muscles, um, and, and your baby’s body muscles, um, because they’re working against water. If you think about you’re in water so its resistance that you’re working on. And you’re actually, as I say, getting into the world of physical activity, being, making that part of your family really, um, to go forward. 

[00:06:11] Carla: That’s brilliant. Yeah. I mean, there’s so many things really just making your baby stronger. And like you said, them being in amniotic fluid for so many months, you know, that that’s probably a place they’re quite familiar with isn’t really. They’ve been there mainly. 

[00:06:26] Tamsin: Yeah, completely. It’s, it’s where they’ve been. And if you know, your baby’s brain is, um, is at the stages of developing. So the experiences you give them when they’re tiny are experiences that will actually help to mold and define some of those pathways in the brain. We’re not born with a fear of water, for example. So taking them swimming, um, and you being happy in the water with them is a really positive thing. Why should we, you know, why should they actually go through a phase of actually learning a fear of water? I would say learning a respect of water is a much more important thing to be able to do.

[00:07:01] So doing things with your little ones when they’re tiny is a really nice thing to do. And you are, you know, you’re setting those foundations in place from a, from a very young age really is what you’re doing with them. 

[00:07:12] Carla: Yeah, definitely. Definitely. I know something that was, was on my mind when, when George was little was what nappies do you need to get, because I actually remember, and I’m going to share this because I want other parents to actually kind of not feel embarrassed by it. But I remember taking George in a normal nappy and it swelled massively. It was, it’s like, I don’t know if anyone’s listening that has done this, but I’ve actually put nappies in the washing machine before, and you should see the results it’s awful to deal with. So, so what nappies do you recommend that parents get for their little ones? 

[00:07:49] Tamsin: Right. So, um, I mean the swimming industry, the baby swimming industry has really developed in this area, which is fantastic. The majority of some schools and swimming pools and clubs and so forth. Will now ask for babies to wear what they call swim nappies, which tend to be paper nappies, or a reusable equivalent of a paper nappy. And you can buy those in Boots, Mothercares, the supermarkets and so forth anyway. Um, however, if you’re. Uh, sort of mindset like me about recycling. Um, you know, nappies can be, paper nappies can be a bit of a problem for that. So now you can buy cotton under nappies, um, which are lovely. Um, and, and then on top of those, you, you use what is known as a neoprene nappy known as a happy nappy. Um, and, uh, they are like little neoprene trunks really, but the most important thing about them is that they have a band around the waist and a band around the tops of the legs, which helps to contain everything.

[00:08:49] So if I’m, if I’m, if I’m being graphic here.

[00:08:53] Carla: No that’s fine. 

[00:08:55] Tamsin: Well babies will wee in the swimming pool. Yes, they will. And the nappies won’t stop that, but however, if they poo in the pool, we need it to be contained because otherwise you have to clean the pools down. So that’s really the purpose of the happy nappy, um, is to, to do that. Now, um, Splash About who are, sort of one of the leaders in this field of nappies. Have actually just bought out a nappy called a duo nappy. And actually it has that liner, that sort of cotton liner, um, in built into it. So you, you pay for one product which will last, you certainly for should be about three months, four months anyway. Um, and that will, that’s all you need as your basic starting point really. Um, so, uh, yes, have a look at, you know, Water Babies, um, have got them on our website, um, and Splash About and so forth. Um, are the, the nappies. Um, if you, um, if you then want to go a little bit further, you can get wetsuits for babies when they come swimming and you can get wet suits with the nappies built into them.

[00:09:57] Carla: Oh wow goodness. 

[00:09:59] Tamsin: So you can get things called happy nappy wetsuits. And in fact, there is now a duo nappy wetsuit as well. Um, which has the happy nappy is the base, but it has a covering for the upper part of the body. So covers the chest and the arms. Now babies cannot, uh, find it difficult to regulate their body temperatures be more honest. Until they’re about a year old, 11 months, a year old. So in, uh, particularly in the winter months, um, it’s worth looking at wet suits because they really do the jobs that they’re supposed to do and they keep the babies warm, just like an adult wetsuit will, will, and keep you warm if you’re wearing one.

[00:10:35] Um, and think about it. If you go swimming and you’re standing up in a swimming pool, sometimes you have a draft across your shoulders and so you duck down under the water to keep yourself warm well, babies experience the same thing, really. So that’s where the wet suits come in and are really, really useful, um, and will help to keep their body temperatures. Um, what I would say is that if you decide to use a wet suit, uh, you can put a wet suit onto a dry baby, but if you’ve been in the swimming pool and then you decide to put the wet suit on actually your baby’s body temperature has already dropped. So the wet suit really won’t do anything at all. So it’s better to start with a wet suit on and if you want to take it off, take it off, but not the other way round is how it works. 

[00:11:17] Carla: That’s interesting. And, and, um, with the wetsuits that you guys have an offer, do they start from new born or what age do they start from? 

[00:11:28] Tamsin: They start from newborn. So they start, well, actually newborn and then sort of nought to three months and then they go up, um, and you can get wet suits all the way up for all ages of children, actually. Um, the, the other thing that you can look at, um, so there are, as I say there is, um, a wetsuit which has the nappy built in, or you can buy things called wraps, which actually, um, go over the happy nappy and wrap, wrap around the body. Um, if your baby tends to grow is growing very fast, particularly in lengths. The, the wraps are great for that. Um, but they must be fitted tightly on their bodies like a, like an adult wetsuit, um, so that they, you know, it doesn’t matter if you’ve got a space at the top of the straps, but they need to fit around the body. The other thing that’s, um, is available in the market as well is a fleecy lined wetsuits.

[00:12:18] Carla: Oh, that sounds blooming great. I’d have one of them at home. 

[00:12:22] Tamsin: Well, they are like rash vests that you buy for children or adults wear rash vest when they swim and when they swim in cold water and they have a. Uh, kind of fleecy light liner. They don’t have any neoprene and them, because some, some children are allergic to neoprene so that they cover that problem. Um, and they, um, again, they work in terms of keeping the babies really warm, but they don’t have to fit tightly. They just keep the babies nice, nice and warm. So, um, I, you know, I would say for the tiny babies, the fleecy line ones are absolutely wonderful. They, they, again, they, they do the job that they’re supposed to do, um, and work, they’re very effective in what they do. Certainly. Some, I think some people are on the illusion or think that a sun vest or a sunsuit will work as, as a warm an outer warm net and they don’t, they, they are there purely for the sun. Um, and in, in, if you go swimming or you go on holiday or you’ve got paddling pools out in the summer, those are brilliant because the fabric is very, very finely woven so that they will actually, um, cut out the, the sun’s rays. Any, um, swimwear that you use in the summer, you should check that they are UVA, UVB, um, filters, you know, within the fabric. Uh, because again, they do that job really, really well. 

[00:13:38] Carla: That’s great advice. Brilliant. And if someone didn’t have potentially the money to splash out into a wetsuit straight away, what if they had a little girl or little boy, what should those children, what could those children get from say a supermarket that can they just get a normal swimsuit or? 

[00:13:56] Tamsin: Yes, they can. Um, and what I would say is if you were just going to take your little ones, swimming in the local swimming pool, um, you know, getting the paper nappies, uh, Or as I say, a cotton, uh, equivalent, and then to compare, give you an idea of prices. So a pack of, um, papers swim nappies from supermarkets are about £4.99, £5.99. Sometimes they’re on offer. Um, the cotton, uh, pants are, tend to be anything from £5.99 to £7.99 as just individual little pants. So. You know, if you’re, if you go swimming regularly, they’re going to last you longer. So they’re a better investment factor.

[00:14:34] Um, you’re happy nappies, are about £12, £12.50. The, the over nappies and the majority, I would think every swim school will insist on, on happy nappies being used. Um, the duo nappies I think, are on the market at the moment on the Splash About websites and so forth at about £16.50, £17. But bear in mind, they’ve got the liners built in. So again, Uh, you know, um, they will last, you certainly for 10, 12 weeks. Um, but otherwise, um, you should certainly have at least as your minimum with, with a baby, a paper nappy plus, um, you know, on the baby, really. And if you want to wear a swimsuit on top, you can certainly do that as well.

[00:15:16] Carla: That’s perfect. Thank you so much for that. So in regards to your Water Babies classes, your fantastic classes, how long are those sessions? 

[00:15:27] Tamsin: Um, so, uh, swimming lessons at Water Babies, our lessons are 30 minutes long. So you’re in the water for 30 minutes with your little one, and they are instructor led sessions, um, at water babies. And what we’re aiming to do is give you the parents skills so that you feel confident to go swimming with your little one, um, outside of the lessons as well. Um, now babies learn. They learn incredibly quickly, but small steps is probably the best way to describe it to you. Um, so we will repeat things. Um, we’ll, we’ll teach through play and through through songs, um, we’ll progress, um, activities as well, so that, uh, they’re learning, you know, step-by-step um, but we’re always go back over things. But we’re also teaching the parents as well, because, uh, they, they are our helpers in the water with their little ones. So it’s a learning, learning environment for them as well. Um, so that they move forward. Um, so that’s what you tend to find in formal lessons, some, some lessons, or you may find a more like play, just play sessions or free form play sessions where someone is there just to help if you’d like some help.

[00:16:34] Um, but as I say at Water Babies, we are instructor led and, um, we, we want you to have fun more than anything. It’s no good teaching, if we’re not all having fun together and the babies aren’t having fun because that’s how you learn. And the more enjoyment we get out of the lessons and you get out the lessons more, you’ll learn as we go forward.

[00:16:52] Carla: That’s that’s. Yeah, totally understand that. That’s great. And if you learning at the same time as having fun, brilliant. So in a Water Babies swim class then, is there a certain structure that you guys follow or is every teacher, um, owner of the franchise different? 

[00:17:09] Tamsin: Um, no, we have a program that stretches all across the country. I mean, you can find Water Babies offices, and Water Babies swimming lessons, I think virtually everywhere in the UK just about, I think, you know, the top of Snowdonia no, I don’t think we have quite got that far. 

[00:17:28] Carla: Next year. 

[00:17:28] Tamsin: But we do work to a structure and what we call schemes of work for the different age groups of the children. So, um, and we, the age groups are a guideline, um, and we know what the children should be able to achieve on land if you like at that age group. And then we adapt for, um, the watery environment. Now there are things that children can do in water, for example, that they may not be able to do on land. So if you think about it, something like propulsion in the water of lying on a wobble and kicking their legs. Um, they can lie on the floor and kick their legs, but actually in water that you’ve got the propulsive motion of going forward as well. So we, we know what they can achieve or what they they’re working to as land based on what we do is then adapt for water for water, really.

[00:18:13] Um, and the two work very much hand in hand. Um, so the fundamental skills that you have on land, we have fundamental skills to the water as well, really. So, yes. So you should find that, uh, uh, there are some similar content, different parts of the country. There may be some differences because we’re all individual teachers, we’re all individual people. And we will obviously teach the, uh, you know, we’ll teach as we are as a, as a person, certainly. But the generally the content and the outlines for the lessons are, um, where we’re working to the same sort of structure. Yep certainly. 

[00:18:47] Carla: That’s great. And, and so, um, of course I know they are fully safe for babies, but are the classes fully safe for babies at Water Babies?

[00:18:56] Tamsin: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. Um, we, um, so one of the things we’re very proud of is the training that we give all our instructors. And I think sometimes people think it’s something that you can, you know, watch for a couple of hours and then teach. Um, if I said to you, it probably takes three months to train a Water Babies teacher.

[00:19:15] Carla: Wow.

[00:19:15] Tamsin: From start to finish. It’s a long, a long program. So we, we, we do what is known as a diploma, a level three diploma in, in baby swimming, mother and baby, parent to baby swimming. I should say not mother and baby swimming, cause we have lots and lots of daddies who come and grandparents who come as well. Um, and we do that under the guidance of Swim England the main swimming body here in the UK.

[00:19:37] And we do life-saving qualifications and safeguarding qualifications, um, all, all of those sorts of things, which we renew and update on a regular basis as well. Um, we send our new teachers away, um, to a course where they’re away for seven days, where they do masses of, uh, learning in a swimming pool. And we, uh, we teach them about uh, child development from birth through to the age of five, we talk about things like, um, what we call it in the industry, water wobbles. So when, when children go through the stage of separation from their parents, um, and learn their own identity, which is roundabout the age of one to 18 months, when they’re learning to walk.

[00:20:19] Um, and why that happens, why that happens as a process and why it’s so important that it happens. Um, because it’s all about learning about independence and the child realising that they’re their own little person that is really, really important. So we, we cover lots of things like that, the terrible twos, um, stages, um, when children will plateau, um, Almost like they’ve taken on too much information and they need to, um, absorb that information. So they may not. Um, so you may see it in swimming pools that they’re not progressing for a period of time. And then suddenly everything comes together. Um, and they progress. Um, these are all really normal things and they’re normal in the process of learning, not just in a swimming pool, but on dry land as well.

[00:21:05] Um, and one of the things I would say to any parents. Every single child is different. And every child learns at a different rate and you’ll see some children who, you know, one week they are holding onto the side of the pool and monkey down the side of the pool and a child of an equivalent age. Can’t do that. But then suddenly a couple of weeks later, they can do it. Um, so it’s all about the individual child and working with the individual child. So that’s really important in our teaching of our teachers, that they recognise that and teach what is in front of them. Um, and the expectation is not that the whole class will do X, Y and Z in this space of time. Really. 

[00:21:42] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. No, everyone goes, every child goes at their own speed don’t they? Really? So that makes sense. So what age can children go to Water Babies until? 

[00:21:54] Tamsin: Um, they can go to Water Babies until they’re about, uh, just over five, between five and six, um, that will depend on the, on the area and the swimming pools that we have. Um, to be honest with you, um, if you can imagine quite a lot of children by the time they’re five, they’re going to school well from four. Um, so you’ll find that we’ll be teaching the older children either after school hours or weekend classes. Um, so, uh, but yes, they can, they can, they can progress that far.

[00:22:21] Carla: Yes, that’s fantastic. And what age have you seen children swimming safely on their own if they’ve started the beginning of their, I suppose their life really? 

[00:22:31] Tamsin: Well. If I say to you that I, I have a, um, uh, a six month old, five months old who can float on her own?

[00:22:38] Carla: What? Oh my goodness. Wow. 

[00:22:43] Tamsin: To swim on their own, you really are looking at so, so the children will swim under water and they’ll swim short distances underwater, um, from a young age, generally about 18 months /2 to actually as long as they’re, they’re happy and they’re confident. Um, swimming on their own on the surface. Yes. About 2 and a half. Um, they may not have strokes or perfect strokes. Um, but they may be, um, you know, they can get from A to B. Um, and they, uh, one of the things I think that, um, is, is just its magic. It’s just magic to watch actually is how strong these children are. Um, So if you’ve had it, if you’re, if you swum with Water Babies from tiny and you know, your child can climb out to the swimming pool at 18 months old, thats normal for that child, they don’t know any different.

[00:23:31] And it’s not until you see another child who hasn’t done that, that you suddenly realize actually, my child is my child is brilliant and they are physically very strong. And some of those things you’ll then see in later life to how strong those children are. Um, I was talking to a mum recently of, uh, um, he’s not a little boy anymore. He’s 15 actually. And, um, he, he sails, um, he goes sailing and he loves sailing and he’s doing really well with his sailing. But she said you know, he is phenomenally strong. He can go out in high winds and the, you know, the adult instructors have said to him what, you know, he’s just amazing. He can control the sails and winds that you, you just wouldn’t expect at the age of that he is. Um, and I think a lot of that, she puts it down to him starting so young. I’ll be really honest with you. My daughter, who is now in her twenties, um, she learnt dive so scuba dive at the age of 12 and when she first started, the instructors were saying, you know, you’ll go down and you’ll use up all the air in your tank.

[00:24:36] Um, probably in about five minutes, 10 minutes, and then you’ll be back up to the surface. And that’s quite normal because you’re, you know, you may be panicking. Well, 15 minutes later, the instructor still hasn’t come up with her. And when he comes up, he says, she’s only used half a tank, um, my daughter started at five weeks old. So, you know, she has this phenomenal lung capacity. 

[00:24:56] Carla: That’s incredible. I mean, even, I mean, obviously it’s important to swim all year round, but I think the time that a lot of parents it highlights, how important is, is is those summer months when, you know, you might be going on holiday or you might be going around water and it’s just that nerve wracking feeling, isn’t it like, oh, what if my child fell in? Or what if this happened? What if that happened? I know I get a lot of these kinds of visions in my mind before we’re going on holiday and, and it’s just a worrying being around water, but having the confidence to know that your child is a safe around water must be absolutely amazing at such a young age.

[00:25:33] Tamsin: Yes, absolutely. And I would never, you know, with small children, I would never advocate leaving them on their own near water at all, but teaching them to respect water, um, and understanding, um, that’s, that’s, you know, it’s an environment in which they need to be sensible. At, you know, a child who, um, is frightened of falling into, into a pool or falling into the river is more likely to panic. And the last thing we need them to do is panic, because when you panic in water, that is where you’re more likely to drown. Um, we’ve had these terrible situations over the last couple of years where people have gone swimming because the weather has been so good and, and have drowned, which is just so tragic.

[00:26:13] Um, so teaching children to, you know, if they fell in. To actually react by reaching out and, you know, to hold onto something or floating on their back. Well, if it gives them 20 seconds, it’s 20 seconds more, but actually you’ve got time to, you know, to get in and, and get and get them out. Um, so all of those things we cover safety is a big factor in, in the Water Babies program. And from very early on, we teach safety skills. Um, the children don’t you know, at the age of a year, they don’t realize that their safety skills, but actually, um, their reactions to things they’re naturally, if they’re falling, we’ll turn around and start holding onto the side and doing things like that, which is what we want them to do.

[00:26:54] And, and, uh, and learn that that is important. So as I say, it’s very much about respect and supervising children. Um, and later on with our sort of three year olds, four year olds. Really, we do teach them some basic life skills. So understanding that if you’re going to try and help someone who may have fallen and you lie down in your tummy, um, and, and, you know, or, um, throw a reaching pole to them or, um, identifying the flags on the beach. So, you know, the children can identify where, where it’s safe to swim. So that they can you know, bring those sorts of things up and understand, you know, what that means. And if their parents are saying, well, you can’t swim here because the flag is saying, no, they understand why they can’t swim. So yeah, lots of things like that are covered in the lessons.

[00:27:37] Carla: So there’s so many benefits really, because not only are you bonding with your baby and, and all that, it’s also the safety side as well. And, and that’s something that. You know, um, my mum, we didn’t really go to swimming lessons and I’ve always been a bit scared of water and I would never want that for my child. You know, it’s that, that, that’s just amazing that you cover all that. And also obviously there’s going to be mental health benefits. Isn’t that really? Um, so can you talk a bit about those? 

[00:28:04] Tamsin: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I will say to you, Carla, I had a really bad experience as a child and, and actually that’s what started me down the route of setting up Water Babies and take, because I said my children would never be scared of water. Um, I had a swimming teacher, the age of five, who used to duck you underwater, um, as you were swimming along with a float, because she said, you know, it’s important. You understood. That that’s what happened. And even today now if someone jumped on me in the swimming pool. I think they might, might get it a little bit of a, you know, me reacting to that. So I completely understand where you’re coming from and that’s the last thing in the world I want. Um, I think, um, you know, swimming is, uh, is, uh, is activity, a physical activity and lots of researchers now showing how important it is that, um, that children, but adults as well, do physical activity to help with their mental health.

[00:29:03] And, um, I think, you know, being able to, you know, pregnant mums, um, spending going and sitting in a swimming pool or swimming up and down a swimming pool, very gently. It can really, really help balance you. It can really, really help bring down any anxieties and concerns and worries. Um, and I would say it’s back to that whole thing about bringing swimming in as being part of your fitness, um, attitudes within your family really. Um, so. There is, you know, there’s lots of, there’s a lot of research being done at the moment about pregnant women. If they are very anxious during their pregnancies, there is a high chance that anxiety will be part of their children’s lives as well. So if we can look after and go back to that stage when parents are, you know, when mums are pregnant, I should say, um, and help them in that sort of situation. I think that’s a really important factor. And bringing, you know, when it comes to their children, their babies and they’re new parents for the first time, looking after them and giving them the reassurance and making them feel safe in the pool is as important for the parent, as it is for the child. Um, if you feel safe, then you will relax.

[00:30:12] And one of the things that, again, a lot of research is showing is that if the parents are relaxed in the swimming pool, they create, uh, all the positive, lovely, oxytocin hormones that we need. Um, and that passes through to their children. So again the children will relax and be safe, um, within that swimming pool or feel, feel happy, I should say, within that swimming pool really.

[00:30:34] Um, so any activity, whether it is swimming, walking, jogging, anything like that is very good for your mental health. And we certainly would like to see, um, you know parents doing those activities with their children from a very young age so that the children start that off. Um, I heard a really interesting concept the other day, um, about thinking about your life as being a little bit like the jam jar and, um, for people who suffer from anxiety. And actually, if you fill the jam jar, you put sand in the bottom and fill it with water. If you’re feeling very anxious, if you associate that jam jar with your life, is it becoming full and everything is getting on top of you? Um, whereas actually, if you think about it as the sediment at the bottom is your genetics and what you’re made up of, um, you’ve got that. That’s part of you, but then if you actually think about the water as being all the things around you that make you happy. So your family, your friends, maybe your job, if you really love your job, um, the hobbies that you have. Um, the activities that you do, actually, your jam jar is getting fuller and fuller, of all the really nice positive things in this world.

[00:31:42] Um, and I think, um, you know, I, that’s a good, good way of thinking about for your children, fill that, fill their jam jars with all those lovely, positive things. 

[00:31:51] Carla: That is so nice. And, and finally, um, Tamsin, would you tell us a little bit about the benefits of continuing swimming like through the whole year? Because I know a lot of parents will start it in summer time and then, you know, it gets to winter time and then it gets a bit cold and it’s easy to kind of stop, but what are the benefits of carrying it on all year? 

[00:32:15] Tamsin: Well, so swimming all the way through the year. Um, First it’s the continuity. So it’s repeating and building on what you’ve done before. So there’s continuity, like anything that we do, the more we do it, the better we get at it. Um, and the faster we learn. So that’s, you know, the basics really of doing that. Um, there’s a lot of, um, talk about during the winter months, you know, the children get cold, they might catch colds. Um, they may get colds from the swimming pools, um, wet hair, um, makes, gives them colds. Lots of things like that, which actually they’re all, if I’m honest with you, they’re all myths. Um, we, we all catch colds because we come into contact with someone else who has got a cold or they’ve recently, um, you know, you can catch the cold from a supermarket trolley, for example. Um, and I would say in this world of pandemic, we that’s become very apparent, apparent to us.

[00:33:07] Um, so you know, other viruses work in that way as well. Swimming through the winter months is really good because it gives you routine. It gives you continuity. They help with mental health. Certainly. Um, it also, um, it, it means that you’re, you’re doing a physical activity. Generally the, you know, the swimming pools we use are warm, um, and the changing rooms, um, you know, your indoors, when you get changed, um, wearing a hat when you leave the pool and putting a hat on a baby is a good thing to do because we lose heat from our heads. But that’s just like wrapping up to go outside anyway, fresh air is good for us. Um, so getting out and about is really good for us. Um, even if it’s, you know, uh a, walk out in the countryside again, that’s, that is really important for us. So keeping that continuity going is, is great. It means that we’re doing some physical activity, um, and it means that it keeps our mind happy, happy, and healthy, and our body happy and healthy as well. And that’s the same for babies just as, as is. For us as adults as well. 

[00:34:08] Carla: That’s brilliant. Gosh. Oh, you’ve Tamsin you’ve gone through so much. It’s it’s amazing, honestly. Um, thank you so, so much. Can you tell parents where they can find you and Water Babies?

[00:34:23] Tamsin: Absolutely. Um, so if, if you’d like to know more about water babies lessons, um, and even if you just want to talk to someone who knows something about swimming, um, and I hope you can tell I’m very passionate about this. Um, have a look at our website, which has all the W’s Um, and you’ll find, um, a website where you can put your postcode in and will, and it will link you to your nearest, um, pools and offices. Um, and your starting points. You’ll find us all on social media. So we have a main Water Babies, a Facebook site, um, and, uh, our local offices, um, also have, uh, the pages linked to that and we have, uh, groups for all our mummies and daddies. So for me, um, I’m Water Babies Bucks and Beds, and you’ll find me on Facebook as Water Babies Milton Keynes, North Hampton and Bedfordshire. So I would love you to come and join us. And as I say, any questions, feel free to ask us, that’s what we’re here for. 

[00:35:17] Carla: Well, you certainly know, you know, your stuff Tamsin anyway and you can hear how passionate you are about it, which is absolutely amazing. So thank you so much for coming on today’s podcast. 

[00:35:28] Tamsin: Well, thank you, Carla. It’s been an absolute delight and really, really enjoyed it. Being able to share, um, you know, the subject I am very passionate about. Definitely. 

[00:35:36] Carla: Thank you. Take care. 

[00:35:39] Thank you for listening to My Bump 2 Baby’s Expert podcast. If you would like to find help and support from experts in your local area, head over to and you will also be able to find local pregnancy to preschool groups, classes, businesses, and services in your local area.

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