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Hi Mums,
We live in Brisbane/Redlands (bayside) and we would like to start our 6 month old in swim classes as soon as possible. Can anyone recommend any good swim schools in our area? Or what sorts of questions should I ask when I ring to find out about them? And what should I look for in a good swim school? etc.

Thanks for any advice that might come our way.

Ange.
Hi Ange, Its Janeen!! Caleb goes to an Ausswim pool at Loganholme. This is the one milo are the spokespeople for and I think Leisel Jones has just started with them as well. Hayley Lewis has a class around your area and I think Suzie O'Neil has a group starting but I am not too sure of the area. We didnt know a lot but a few questions we asked was the teacher accredited?. Also you want to check for class size numbers, so you dont have 10 kids in one class trying to learn how to swim. Find out if there are different levels ie a beginners class or an age. Its hard with children who have been swimming for years when you are trying to learn. Caleb class has children up to the age of 5 you dont really want children older than that. In this weather you also want a heated pool. You need to be sure that they are not exposed to the clorine for any longer than 30 mins at there age or they could get sick. You could enquire as to what method they are using. ie the just throw them in or a more suttle approach.You could also enquire if they have a few teachers in case you dont like one you can just change your class. I have a friend who took her child years ago and they use to use him as the guinea pig and use him to show the others. Due to this he hates the water and swimming. Caleb loves his classes but he can get very distracted with all the other children to watch. He started around 6 months and can get to the side of the pool and pull himself up. When we comes home he is starving and sleeps for over an hour. His reflux does tend to flare due to swollowing the water. Not the pain just the chux. He is certainly no Ian Thorpe but you never know what the future brings!! Have fun its a great time!
See ya

Janeen
Hi Ange,
I live on the northside of Brisbane and am about to start swim classes with Ella.
What I did was go through the yellow pages and pick out the ones closest to me and contacted them. Questions I asked: how many to a class, how long does mum stay in water with the baby, is the pool undercover & heated, length of each class. I then and went and had a look at the 2 that sounded the best and had a chat to the instructors to see if I felt comfortable with them. That was how I made my decision.

Hope this helps.

Louise, Brisbane Qld. Mum to Ella and Luca

Hi Ange

I don't live int the Brisbane area but i am a Infant Swim instructor and have had my own children in the pool since 6 weeks of age.

Some of the questions you should ask are:

1. Water temputure - babies can get cold quite quickly
2. Auswim Qualified
3. How long are you expected to say in the water with them - where i work we wean mum/dad out of the water by 18 -24 months of age, other don't wean mum out of the water till 3 1/2 - 4 years (this can be a problem if you think you may have another baby)
4. Makeups - what happens when your baby is sick do you lose that class or are you able to make it up at a different time.
5. Size of the class - it is better to have smaller rather than larger classes - we only have six babies at a time.

What to look for in a good swim school
1. Sound horrible but if it is difficult to get a place in a class then it is normally a good school
2. The pool is it clean
3. The instructors how confident are they with babies
4. Facilities for getting you baby dressed and undressed - remembering that you will be wet at the same time
5. Pram Access
6. Do they teach older kids as well eg school age - important if you child ends up wanting to do swimming as a sport,

The best way to access if a swim school is good is to ring them and ask if you can come and look at a class being taucht - if you like the look at it ask if it is possible to have some trial lessons before you pay all that money.

If you have any other question you can email me on durnick@bigpond,com.au

Kelly, ACT, 2year old and 6 month old

Wow! Thanks guys. I never even thought of some of those points you all raised. There is a Hayley Lewis swim school at Carindale and a Sam Reilly one at Chandler but too far for us if we can find one closer. There are a few in the phonebook and I've been told about a couple of those as well. So next week I will make a heap of phonecalls armed with all these questions and hopefully we will hit success.

Thanks. Talk soon to let you know what we decided.

Ange.
Hi,
I am at Sunnybank and they have a new Swim School just opened up here at the K-Mart Shopping centre and it's called the Andrew Bailden's Superfish Swim Schools. Andrew Bailden being the Olympic Swimmer. Anyway, i've been taking my 7 month old daughter there since it first opened 2 months ago and they are fantastic there. Really great people, staff and other mums. Classes only cost $10.50 each or if you go more than once a week, it's $7.50 (i think) for the second class and cheaper if you go more than that. I actually take my bubby up there once a week for lessons then take her by myself just to swim, which only costs $3.50. I do all the stuff again by myself with her as i obviously know what to do. It's great. Good luck with finding the right place for you and your child. there's not alot you need to know, just wear a t-shirt in the pool so your child can learn to grab hold of you. Buy them some togs to wear and you're ready to go. They teach you everything and it's fun and rewarding for you and baby.
Hi,
Sorry, it's me again about the Andrew Bailden Swim School at Sunnybank?? Anyway, i meant to tell you, the water is really great, triple filtered or something, and it's always nice and warm. They have a big heated change area for baby too. There are also only up to 6 babies in a class. After they reach about 18 months though, they go into a new level so there are only ever babies of similar ages to you in that class. the oldest in my class is 14 months so....still a baby really. Again, good luck.
Hi Mel,
Thanks for the tip. Sunnybank is a bit far for us, but we're hoping to find a local swim school that does a good job, too. I never thought about wearing a shirt. I probably would have just worn my old bikini, being the only togs I have and that would have been interesting if he pulled that off. It would have only happened once. I can't wait to get him started as he loves the water and his shower and we have some hand-me-down togs which look really cute on him.

Thanks.

Ange.
Hi Ange,
I'm a big supporter of swimming classes for babies but I have to give you some information to watch out for. We started Camryn in a parents & babies class at 6mths here in Sydney. She took to it like a duck takes to water and our problems began once she'd been participating for 6mths.
When she was a year old and confidently walking I was shocked to see her start to crawl again. I took her to the Dr who said it was okay for a child to regress!!!!! and not to worry about it. A week later I was back at the Drs again demanding an investigation of the problem as she was now so bad she wouldn't respond to people speaking to her and I had to hold her tiny face in my hands to get her to understand what I was saying. Suffice to say she had glue-ear and as a teacher, I've seen the devastating effects this can have on a child's education. Camryn was also doing really well with her language development at that stage & suddenly stopped speaking.
We discovered that putting ear plugs into her ears wasn't going to fix her problem as she was actually snorting the water up and this was effecting her ears as ithey couldn't drain properly. We had 6 courses of antibiotics before she was put onto them for 8wks. We were at the last Dr's visit before getting a referral to an ENT when he said he was happy enough with her progress.
This year we have encountered the same problems and I went and got a 2nd opinion and a referral to the ENT after her 2nd course of antibiotics. My husband is against using antibiotics and can't wait to speak to the ENT this week (he couldn't make the first ENT appt.).
This problem doesn't occur with all children naturally but it is important to watch out for the signs and act as soon as you suspect something is awry. We now are not allowed to continue with the swimming lessons until we can get to the root cause of the glue-ear situation. Hopefully we can re-enrol Camryn next year, although I know I'll be facing stiff opposition from my hubby! I really want to enrol Gabrielle (3mths) when she is 6mths old but her GP has scared my husband off the idea. The GP says he's read a study from the US that states teaching a child under 3yrs of age has no great benefit. Apparently if a child under 3 falls into a pool etc, they all react the same way, whether they've experienced lessons or not. The GP says that a child at 3-4yrs will pick up the same amount of skill over a 2wk intensive swimming course as a child who's had weekly lessons from 6mths.
I know this probably isn't what you wanted to hear but it is important for you to keep your eye out for any unsual signs as problems like these can occur in some cases.
Best of luck with the lessons, I envy the fun you're going to have as I loved doing the lessons with Camryn.
Peta

Peta, NSW, mum of 2 gorgeous girls

Hi Peta,

That's what I'm looking forward to the most. The social activity of it. He already loves the water so we figure we will do it properly and hopefully it will keep him out of trouble.

Thank you for the advice about the ears. I will know from now onto look out for those signs so hopefuly we can prevent that. I wonder if you can use ear drops for babies, like what we use. I still use ear drops when I go swimming. If anyone knows let me know please?! But I think I will ask the chemist next time we go past one.

I also think that if you introduce a child early to water it doesn't become something they will be scared of later on and much harder to teach them and enjoy it.

I have to pull my finger out and ring around this week otherwise I think we might miss the start of the classes.

Thanks.

Ange.
Hi Ange,
I'm glad you're still going ahead with it as it's a wonderful experience. I'm missing it terribly as my hubby wouldn't let me swim with her once we found out I was pregnant with #2! Silly boy, we have a lot more happen to us during pregnancy that would be more worrying than being kicked by a swimming toddler!
Camryn is booked in to have gromits on Oct 8. She's getting them in both ears and they generally last 3mths-3yrs! Our key indicators were she stopped walking & started crawling, her speech is delayed and she cried & tugged at her ears constantly. As long as you are vigilant about it, it should be okay.
Ear drops and plugs were useless as she was actually sniffing the water up through her nose & it was not able to drain out sufficiently, therefore she got the glue ear. After she has the gromits it'll be a must that whenever she goes near water, even for a bath our shower, she'll have to use ear plugs as she isn't allowed to get water in her ears or all our efforts could be in vane.
Enjoy your lessons,
Peta

Peta, NSW, mum of 2 gorgeous girls

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