We had the pleasure of bringing the girls to the summer term of Swim Cubs swimming classes.
Swim Cubs is a relatively new Irish business run by two lovely Mama Bears Jane and Helen. The ethos of the company is to provide a gentle, baby led approach to swimming and water safety. In their own words- "our mission is to give our bear cubs the best introduction to swimming by ensuring they have a baby-led, positive, fun experience with Swim Cubs to inspire a lifelong love of the water."
We attended the Cherrywood classes on Sunday mornings for a 10 week term. Ava did the 9-9.30 Toddler Cubs class and Arya did the 9.30-10 Baby Cubs class. It was important to us to find a Sunday morning class so that Audrey could be there with the girls. As a stay at home mama I often find that a lot of the baby and child classes are during the week and Audrey (and many other working parents) aren’t able to join in. As well as that, logistically I wouldn't have been able to bring both girls unless both of us were there. So Audrey would go in the water and I'd get the girls dressed before and after. It was a pretty good system! The water is lovely and warm- which is so important when choosing a class, especially for babies. Some pools that classes are held in are just the standard temperature for pools, which is far too cold for babies in my opinion.
The only flaw in our system was that we didn't plan for nap time... Rookie mistake. Arya normally naps around 9.30 or so, so by the time she was ready to go in and swim, she was cranky and was like ‘why the hell are you dunking me under water mom?’ We managed to do a couple of the classes, but by the 6th week or so, she would end up crying her little heart out by the middle of the class! And it was made worse if she saw me by the side of the pool because then she would just end up wanting me to feed her.
So the advice I would give is to plan your class time around your little cubs feeding and sleeping schedule. No one likes to do a big activity when they are tired or hungry!
Swimming is a lovely bonding activity to do with your kids. And learning water safety is SO important. We did classes with Ava from the time she was 2 months old, and you can absolutely see how confident it has made her. She is a wonderful little swimmer.
These classes through the summer were so much fun. Ava had a wonderful time... it was extra fun because one of her friends Daisy was in her class too. And Arya had her little pal Luca in her class. Friends who swim together stay together!
Swim Cubs offer classes in Sandymount , Cherrywood, Loughlinstown, Donaghmede, Islandbridge, Blackrock, Glenageary & Bray. I'm sure it won't be long until they are nationwide! For anyone choosing the classes in Cherrywood, just beware that there is no parking directly outside of the pool, so there is about a 5 minute walk to the pool. We brought the sling in case Ava didn't want to walk. It's in an apartment complex, in a private pool.
Another thing I wanted to mention is their policy on making up a class. With many activities, if you miss a class then it's just money down the drain. Swim Cubs however allow you to make up 2 classes per term in another pool/time that might suit you. This is great- as any of you with kids know, sometimes it's impossible to attend every single class in a schedule. Kids get sick, we have nights of no sleep and life can just get in the way. This is something that has put me off booking classes in the past. So I really love this policy!
Here's what I would look out for when deciding on a class.
- temperature of the pool
- time of the class
- if you can bring all of the kids at once
- can family members watch the class
- do they allow you to make up a missed class
All in all, I can't recommend Swim Cubs enough. They are a really lovely company and you will certainly enjoy the time spent in the water with your little cubs. Happy splashing:)