Got a question?
Got a question?
Here’s our most FAQs
Why should I take my little one swimming?
Our classes encourage little ones to develop a lifelong love of the water – a true gift for life. As well as building water confidence, safety awareness and key swimming skills, you will spend precious time with your little one eye to eye, skin to skin, relaxing together and enjoying the freedom that the water provides moving in ways not possible on the land. Our classes are sociable too. Many Aqua Beans’ parents make good friends with others and share together the journey of parenthood.
What age can I take my baby swimming?
The best answer is when you and your baby are ready. The Department of Health and the NHS both state that you do not need to wait until your baby has received their vaccinations to swim (although we do recommend that you speak to your GP or Health Visitor if you have any specific medical concerns).
We believe that introducing your little one to the water from an early age avoids the anxiety that older children can experience and allows them to develop important water skills from a very young age (with some Aqua Beans being able to swim from as young as two years old). Our Newborn Harmony programme starts from 6+ weeks and our Baby Beans programme from 8+ weeks.
I am not confident in the water – should we still come?
Absolutely yes! Our lessons promote a supportive and nurturing environment both for grown-ups and little ones. The small class sizes and fully trained and experienced teachers mean that all activities and exercises can be adapted to suit the individual ability of each and every person in the class. If fact, you’ll probably find that your own confidence in the water starts to blossom after just a few classes.
If you are still not sure about going in the water, please do not worry. Chat to us – let us know – there is so much we can do to help.
My child has not swum before – can they still join?
Yes of course – we welcome everybody! No prior experience is necessary and you can join the programme at any level. The small class sizes means that the teacher is easily able to adapt all our activities and exercises to suit the individual ability of each and every person in the class so you will never be left behind.
Plus it is never too late to learn to swim. Swimming is an essential life skill – there is no better time than the present!
What qualifications does my teacher hold?
We have very high standards at Aqua Beans – we demand only the best from our teachers. Each teacher has at least the following qualifications to ensure that you and your little one are in the best hands possible:
- Swimming Teachers Association (STA) Baby and Pre-School Teaching Qualification
- STA Safety Award for Teaching (pool rescue, first aid, CPR techniques, poolside emergencies) or National Rescue Award for Swimming Teachers and Coaches (RLSS UK)
- STA Safeguarding Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults Course
- Enhanced DBS Checks (previously known as CRB)
- Membership with STA
In addition, each teacher goes through a comprehensive internal training programme before he or she commences teaching with us to ensure that you only get the best of the best.
Will my baby go underwater?
It is totally up to you and your baby. Our classes introduce underwater swims in a gentle and child-led way. We teach you how to read your baby’s body language to ensure that any underwater swims are your baby’s choice. However, if you or your little one are not comfortable with an underwater swim then it will NEVER be forced upon you. We believe it is far more important to nurture, engage and encourage your child to build confidence so that they become ready to take that next big step in their own time.
What if I miss a class?
Please don’t worry – we understand that life can sometimes get in the way. To ensure that you don’t miss out, we offer free catch up classes (subject to availability) – get in touch to find out more.
Little ones often catch colds and, unless they have a bad cough, temperature or are particularly poorly, then it is fine to bring them along (we often find swimming perks them up!) However, if you or your child have been suffering with a more significant illness such as an ear infection, chest infection, chicken pox, impetigo, sickness, diarrhoea or conjunctivitis then please stay home. We ask that you do not swim for at least 48 hours after any sickness and/or diarrhoea symptoms have passed (or two weeks in the rare occurrence of Cryptosporidiosis).
If in any doubt, then please speak to your GP before coming along.
What should my child wear in the pool?
We request that all children who are not fully toilet trained wear a double nappy system (to minimise the risk of little accidents which may result in having to evacuate and close the pool). This consists of:
- A disposable swim nappy or a reusable nappy wrap and liner (worn underneath). Please avoid using a normal disposable nappy as this will absorb the pool water and be extremely uncomfortable for you child.
- A neoprene nappy (worn on top). This is a snug fitting nappy which should provide a good seal around the thighs and tummy.
As well as the double nappy system, you are also welcome to dress your child in any other pool attire (whether for extra warmth or purely for fashion!) such as baby wraps, wetsuits, warmers, costumes, shorts etc etc!
Check out our online shop for pool attire.
What should I bring to the lesson?
Although it’s tempting to bring a lot of kit, please trust us that it will be easier for you to keep things to a minimum. This is what we suggest:
- A disposable swim nappy or a reusable nappy wrap and liner (worn underneath)
- A neoprene nappy (worn on top)
- Baby wrap, wetsuit or warmer (optional)
- Change mat (for babies)
- Towels (for you and little one)
- Swimming costume for you (probably easiest if you come wearing this under your clothes – in which case don’t forget your undies!)
- Goggles (for the grown-ups)
- Hair band to tie back long hair (if required)
Try to keep everything in one bag if you can as it will make things much easier for you when you arrive for your lesson.
What time should I arrive for my lesson?
Please arrive 10 – 15 minutes before your lesson to give yourself plenty of time to get changed to make sure the ‘changing room experience’ is as relaxed as possible and not rushed or stressful. Once you are ready, join us on the poolside to give your little one a chance to acclimatise to the environment. Please do not to arrive more than 15 minutes in advance as other swimmers from previous lessons will still be changing and things will get very busy!
How many people can come to the lesson?
Only one adult (16+ years) can be in the water with your little one at any one time although you can change which adult swims (please ensure that you inform us of any medical conditions). However, most of our pools allow spectators to watch from the poolside so we are more than happy for you to bring along a family member or friend to share in your child’s magical journey. If, for any reason, the pool does not allow spectators then we will let you know in your joining pack.
When should I feed my child?
If your baby is teeny tiny then it is likely that they will want milk on demand so, please go ahead and feed them when they need it (after all, a hungry baby will not enjoy their lesson!) If your baby is eating solids, then try to feed them at least one hour before your lesson as this will reduce the chance of regurgitation in the pool.
Your little one is likely to be hungry after the lesson. Although most of our pools do not allow food in the changing rooms, a snack before the car journey home may satisfy that hungry tummy!
Can I take photographs of my child?
Swimming is such a special experience and many parents want to capture the memory to look back on in years to come. Therefore, if you ask permission from the teacher (who will check with the other class members), then, in most cases (and subject to the pool rules), we may allow you to take a few snaps at the end of the lesson.