Baby Swimming and Aqua Sensory ®

Develop, Learn and Explore

Our baby swimming and Aqua Sensory® sessions provide a unique programme providing children with a rich mixture of sensory exploration and early developmental opportunities.  They combine traditional dry land activities like music, massage, signing, discovery play and movement into a natural multi-sensory environment – the swimming pool.

Unlike traditional swim programmes where the focus is for the child to ‘learn to swim’, our baby, toddler and pre-school sessions with Aqua Sensory® have no such pressures.  The programme has been carefully written to develop many skills that underpin the Early Years Framework to provide a foundation for school.  But the focus is very much on the child having fun and playing.  Outcomes, such as a love of the water, will simple follow.

AS Benefits not just Physical

It’s for parents to learn too

Since January 2017 our primary Aqua Sensory® home has been the lovely warm, low chemical pool in Woolland. Aqua Sensory® creates space for you and your child to relax, explore and learn together at your own pace.  It has been designed as an educational development programme not only for your child but also as a supportive programme for you as parent.  The benefits will not just be physical.  The programme sets out to provide a powerful combination of enrichment for family bonding, develop deep connections and have long lasting positive outcomes such as increased self-esteem and confidence. The whole programme is designed to be much more that just a swim or sensory class for you to attend.

The mixture of a sensory exploration in water, parent focus and support combined with unrestricted movement is the perfect recipe for your developing child.

Tuesday 10.40am Woolland   Baby Starfishes and Little Starfishes including Aqua Sensory®   babies up to around 0 – 8 months as well as our lovely 9 month to 2 year olds  Book your space here

Tuesday 11.20am Woolland  Stanley Starters including Aqua Sensory®  for our little swimmers 2-4 years old looking for a bit more independence  Book your space here

Friday 10.00am Woolland     Baby Starfishes including Aqua Sensory® babies up to around 0 – 8 months Book your space here

Friday 10.40am Woolland Little Starfishes including Aqua Sensory® for our 9 month to 2 year olds. Book your space here

Friday 11.20am Woolland  Stanley’s Starters including Aqua Sensory® for 24 months to around age 4  Book your space here

And also at Gorcombe, near Blandford ……….

Thursday 11.20am.  We also have a super space for our ‘developing independence’ swimmers Stanley Starters age 2-4 years with their grown up at the lovely pool at Gorcombe Farm near Blandford. Book your space here

Little StarfishesFor your information here is an extract from our FAQs specifically about baby swimming

At what age can I start swimming with my baby?

The optimum age for a baby is between 6 weeks and 6 months of age. However, as our teachers are qualified to teach all ages, you can start your baby/child at any age. Very young babies should only stay in the water for 10/15 minutes on their first few visits.

The water at Milton Abbey is too cool for small babies and only children aged 2 plus should really be enrolled for lessons there.  We would recommend lessons at Woolland initially where the water is generally warmer by a degree or so.  Our Aqua Sensory classes available at Woolland are perfect for small babies from birth.

What does my baby need to wear in the water?

It is compulsory for all non potty trained children to wear a double swim nappy system. This consists of a disposable or a washable swim nappy, which is widely available from supermarkets and baby shops, with a ‘Happy Nappy’ or ‘Nappicova’ over the top.  The nappy cover must provide a snug fit. You will not be allowed into the water without both correct nappies as nappy leaks into the water will result in cancelling classes for 24 hours to clean the pool.  All used nappies must be taken home with you please after the lesson.

Does my baby need immunisations before swimming?

Babies can go swimming at any age; they do not have had to complete their course of immunisation. Care should always be taken when disposing of nappies and these should never be left at any of our pools, but taken home and disposed of. Further research on this can be seen on the NHS website

At what age can children have lessons without a parent in the water?

Usually a child will have solo lessons at around 3.5 years of age, although this is dependent on the child, parent and teacher who will decide this together. We will aim to make this transition as smooth as possible and will begin to ‘wean’ the parent away over a number of lessons from aged 3 onwards.

To find out more about joining our Aqua Sensory®, Little Starfishes and Stanley’s Swimmers lessons please contact

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