Before Austin was born I knew I wanted to take him to swimming lessons early on. I took Hayden to lessons from 3 months and he loved it! Not only that but it has given him so much confidence in water! I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to do the same for Austin, being the second child you don’t have the same time available to go to baby classes etc. So when we were offered the chance to try swimming with Turtle Tots and the grandparents kindly offered to look after Hayden, I jumped at the chance!
We have not swum with Turtle Tots previously but I had heard good things about them from family and friends who had used them. I must say my experience so far has been very positive.
Swimming with Turtle Tots
Finding out all the details of where to go and what to bring was fully explained beforehand, all the staff at Turtle Tots have been really helpful and friendly.
The pool we are in is situated at the health club part of the Grand hotel in the centre of Bristol (though there are lots of other Turtle Tots locations in Bristol, this class was the most convenient for us). There is parking, which is great but the car park can get quite full at times.
There is plenty of space in the changing rooms and lockers are available for use, so you don’t need to worry about valuables.
The Pool itself is lovely, not too big and not too small! Nice and warm temperature, but not so hot you feel like you’ll pass out!
How are the classes going?
Austin started classes partway through the swimming term. I was a bit apprehensive about this as he was only 8 weeks old and was worried he’d be behind before we’d even started! I needn’t have worried though, after only 3 classes I feel Austin has caught up. Jess our teacher, is great. She is friendly, extremely approachable and great with the babies and mummies/daddies alike!
Austin loves being in the Bath so I was reasonably confident he would enjoy the swimming. Prior to our first class he unfortunately had not had a morning nap despite me trying repeatedly and so was really tired, not a great start. I had fed him just before leaving the house which was about one hour or so prior to the class starting and thought this would be ok.
The first half of the class he seemed to be enjoying it, quite difficult to really tell with young babies mind! but I figured if he wasn’t crying he was happy and liking it! However he then started to get grumpy and started crying, to which no amount of bouncing or cuddling in the water would help. At this point Jess let me know that it was fine to go to the side of pool on the steps and breastfeed if needed. This did the trick, Austin had a quick 5 minute feed which seemed to be all he needed and we rejoined back in with the lesson, happy as larry!!
The beginners/level 1 class has been a gentle introduction to swimming. Getting Austin used to being in the water and moving about. There is absolutely no pressure to dunk baby or do anything you aren’t comfortable with. It was made very clear to me to just go at both mine and Austins own pace. The emphasis is on showing baby mummy doing something first to encourage them to copy. For example me putting my face in the water and blowing bubbles. I have found to be a very relaxed environment during the classes.
They incorporate lots of singing and nursery rhymes in the classes, which makes it fun for the babies and is a great way for them to learn.
So far in class we have done lots of bubble blowing, swimming whilst holding them, humpty dumpty off the wall to start learning swimming safety, swimming on his back, showing them us going under water and more.
As I said before we have had 3 classes so far, and Austin is definitely enjoying it. This last week he put his face in water mimicking myself blowing bubbles at him. His favourite part was probably looking in the mirror during the twinkle twinkle song at the end of the class (so vain! ha ha), though he’s not particularly keen on being on his back!
One of the best things too is that it tires him out and one of the few times he has a decent length sleep during the day is after swimming!
Another lovely benefit of having these lessons with Austin is that I have been able to meet some other mummies!
I am really enjoying having some one on one time with Austin and its lovely to see him enjoying it too! We are off on holiday to Turkey next week so I will be practicing some of the things we do in class. Looking forward to seeing how his swimming develops over the remaining classes.
I will be doing a further update on Austins swimming progress at the end of the term, so stay tuned for that!
If your interested in finding out more about baby/toddler swimming with Turtle Tots you can have a look at
Disclaimer: We received a complimentary swimming term in exchange for this review. But as ever all thoughts and opinions are my own.