Zoe absolutely loves bath time
Since she was born she has enjoyed herself, but the last several weeks she has started loving it and splashes, kicks, plays with the water, plays with toys, etc. I know having her in the bathtub will be even more fun for her with more room to play around, but our tub is cast iron and even though she is a super champ at sitting up now, I still am a little nervous about her taking a spill in the water, and, well, cast iron isn't too forgiving.
I have always wanted to have her take swim lessons, and the damn kid has so much energy, so I figured starting them sooner rather than later is a good idea. I did some research on lessons in the area for little ones and found a program that offers an hour of drop in time for babies and parents to stop by and to get the little ones comfortable in the water. Chris' mom bought her a couple editions of it for Christmas, and this past weekend we took her for the first time
The class started right at nap time, so I brought along the pacifier in hopes that it would help her be calm, despite her being a little tired. And it worked very well.
She was SUPER into watching everyone. While we waited for the big kids to finish before it was baby time Zoe just could not stop staring at all of them playing in the pool. And when it was our turn she had just about no reaction to getting into the water because she was so fascinated with everyone else. It was pretty cute
It was a much looser program than I had anticipated and it was mostly all the parents hanging out and playing with the kiddos (6 months - 3 years) with several instructors making their way through the pool and answering questions, playing with the kids, giving advice, etc. I'm always one to dive right in so I asked how to get her comfortable enough to really get her going in the pool adventure. They suggested that I slowly get her in deeper and deeper until you tackle the dunking adventure. So that's just what I did. I held her and went in into the chin, then the mouth, then the nose, then the eyes
And about 40 minutes into the class I dunked her
She was a little worried about it and certainly coughed up some water, but I think she took it like a champ. And most important, she was totally recovered and watching and playing with her duckies in about 17 seconds. So I did it a couple more times :) (bad mommy! :) But I really want her comfortable in water from a young age. I think not teaching kids to swim is really a disservice to them - both for their enjoyment and for their own safety. My step dad could swim before he could walk and I remember my parents having me in swim lessons from a very young age and my step dad teaching me further when I was around 11 or so.
There were aspects of this program that I liked and disliked - I wish it was a little more formal and taught the babies how to hold their breath, etc. (I know there's only so much you can teach a 7 month old), but having the freedom to just play with her in the water was also a lot of fun. One of the other moms that was there I had met in another baby class and I was talking to her and she told me about a groupon that was being offered at another local pool that offered more formal lessons (I had looked into it before, but it was a tad pricey), so Chris snatched it up and I think we might do a combination of these free time classes and then the more formal ones as well.
Possibly the best part though? Zoe slept like a champ that night. She also napped really well. And I will take any extra sleep we can get!
I love our little water baby :)