I started lessons when I was three years old which was young back in the olden days of the early 80s. I was pretty good at it too and soon worked through all my badges. I didn't keep it up to any kind of decent standard as I got older but it was always something I enjoyed and tried to do when I could. I even did the Great Manchester Swim in 2013.
So when I found out I was expecting Monkey, swimming lessons were the one baby group I knew I wanted to do with her. We visited a baby show while I was pregnant and got her signed up to start at Aqua Babies in the September after she was born.
Aqua Babies have lessons at pools all over Manchester. We're really lucky that our lessons are within walking distance of our house. We use a small hydrotherapy pool for our lessons. I'm a confident swimmer but even if you weren't you would be fine there. I can stand up easily and I'm short - very short! The water is lovely and warm so the babies don't get cold. They keep it between 33 and 35 degrees.
Monkey was 10 weeks old when she went to her first lesson. I wasn't sure how she'd be especially as this was probably the time when her allergies were at their worst - she was admitted to hospital three weeks later. She seemed to love it from the start though, a proper little water baby! I think the water helped ease her tummy while she was in so much pain.
Those early lessons were all about getting Monkey used to the water. She's learnt so much since then though! The first time I actually let go of her in the water was terrifying but she was absolutely fine. Now she can swim through hoops, hold onto the side, splash in from the side (she's not always sure about that one) and is up to five second swims.
This morning was our last session before the summer holidays. We're both going to miss it although I'm hoping we'll get lots of swimming in while I'm off work. It was also our last ever session with our lovely teacher Sue. Me and Monkey are really going to miss her. She's been great with Monkey, especially when she was really tiny. We love our swimming lessons!