|Linna, 7 months-old, ready for swimming lessons.|
Linna loves bath time, so I knew she would just THRIVE at swim school. The water temperature at FOSS is 90-degrees, so it's just like a bathtub. Plus, it's warm outside the pool too, so you don't freeze when you get out. The staff and instructors are so welcoming, and they really make you want to be there. Linna is in the Backfloat Baby class, and we have one instructor (Miss Lorrie) and there are two other kids in our class (a six-month-old and a two-year-old). I immediately realized that we had made the right decision putting Linna in this class because the two-year-old in our class, who has never had a swim lesson, was petrified of the water. Linna and the six-month-old were doing light face submersion with smiles on their faces, while the two-year-old wanted nothing to do with it.
Our class is a half-hour long and I'm in the pool the entire time with Linna. They instructor sings songs while we splash the kids with water, dip their ears and mouths in the water, and they teach the kids that the water is fun... not scary. One of the things I love is that at this early age, they teach the kids how to WANT to get into the water from the pool wall, but swim right back to the wall for safety. I know Linna doesn't actually get this concept yet, but it's never too early to start water safety techniques.
When we signed up for this class, the description mentioned that the babies would be "submerged". As a new mom, this freaked me out, but had me excited at the same time. I thought the submersion would be a little scary and something we worked up to, but nope. Today, on the first day, Linna got a taste of a light face submersion. The instructor holds the baby, counts to three, and then dips the baby's face in the water while swimming the baby to mom or dad. The baby doesn't completely go under water, but by putting their face in the water, they naturally close their mouth and hold their breath. It's kind of cool and it was so cute to see the excitement on the other parents' faces! The submersion is completely up to the parent(s), and you can do the submersion at the child's own comfort-level. Linna did the face submersion three times!
By the end of the class, Linna was pretty wiped out, so we showered up, had a bottle and she was OUT! She slept for two hours this morning, and then this afternoon for another hour and a half.
In case you're wondering, FOSS Swim School (at least the one in Chanhassen) isn't a bunch of "nose-in-the-air" stay-at-home moms bringing their kid's to swim class. In my class, there was one working mom with her son, and a dad with his daughter. There was another class going on at the other end of the pool for older kids, and there were a few working moms sitting in the chairs on the side of the pool with their laptops, while their older kids enjoyed their lessons. Since the daytime classes are only a half-hour or so, working parents are able to take off from work for an hour so they can be at their kid's lessons, which I think is wonderful. FOSS also offers classes on weeknights and weekends.
We are so excited for class next week!