This post by my husband and Kale’s dad, Ross.
Kale and I have started going to ‘Canada Games Pool’ every Saturday morning at 9am for Waterbabies. I thought of taking Kale to a baby + parent swim class about 3 months ago and quickly found out that organized classes are for babies 6 months and up. Most people do not recommend taking babies to public pools due to increased chances of middle ear infections. Apparently babies younger than 6 months are more likely to get ear infections from swimming than older babies. Good to know, so I waited until Kale was 6 months and joined us up. For just over $40 we get 10 half/hour classes which I think is a pretty good deal.
The City of New Westminster parks & recreation department describes Waterbabies as;
“A parent participation class that provides babies with a gentle, relaxed and fun introduction to water.”
I’d say that’s pretty bang-on. There are approx. 12 duos (parent + baby) in the 9am class and 1 instructor. I’m the one going because;
1. It was my idea (I really wanted to be the one to take him) and I need a bit of exercise these days.
2. Jen & I thought it was a great way for Kale and I to do some father/son bonding and for Jen to get an hour or so to do whatever she wanted without worrying about the boy.
We all follow the instructor into the larger/deeper/colder (25-28°C) pool and jump right into the games. This includes singing various rounds of songs like ‘Wheels on the bus’ while holding baby, bobbing in the water and doing arm motions to the verses. We also do minor submersions. This includes counting 1,2,3, then blowing in Kales face (to get the ‘screwface’ reaction) and then submerging his face while pulling him towards me then up and out of the water. We’ve only just started but he doesn’t like the submersion very much. The first 3 or 4 he will tolerate but after that he has a habit of swallowing pool water then coughing/sputtering/crying it out. Oh well, practice makes perfect. By the end of this Kale gets cold and his lower lip starts quivering. I feel for him but at the same time the quivering lower lip is pretty cute.
After 15 minutes of this we all follow the instructor into the smaller/shallower/warmer pool. Kale looooooooves this! Any crying or quivering lower lip disapears and is replaced with big smiles. We do a few more games in the warm pool then end with supported back floating.
Once class is over we’re free to hang out for a while longer and practice more submersions or just enjoy our time together.
Overall Kale and I have a good time at Waterbabies. The pool has lots of toys (simple rubber rings, plastic floating balls, etc.) for him to grab/bite and because the pool is so big there’s lots of distractions around. We’ve met a couple of the other duos and it’s nice to meet local adults with babies about the same age. Two classes down, 8 more to go.