We all know the importance of our Aussie kids learning to swim as early as possible.
However, as many pools have a “one adult per child” rule, makes swimming lessons with twins or more AND being on your own a logistical nightmare. Many of our families do not have the additional support required to do swimming lessons, be it they are single parents or have FIFO partners etc.
Obviously in a perfect situation you would book a lesson when you had ample adults to help. Needless to say, this is not always feasible.
Twinfo has 10 ways to deal with swimming lessons with twins or more when on your own. Not all are practical, and all will depend on your personal circumstances plus the availability, facilities and policies at your local swim school.
Most importantly though, don’t feel guilty if you just can’t physically manage swimming lessons with twins or more on your own. While we acknowledge learning to swim is very important, as we know, sometimes with multiples
10 ways to manage swimming lessons with twins or more when on your own
1. Check with your swim school
Do a ring around of all the swim schools in your area. As each one will no doubt have different rules. Ask at what age they can enter the water on their own for a lesson. Also, some may have a “multiples policy”. This could range from the instructor taking one child for you in a general lesson, the admin staff looking after the other babies for you while you are in the water, special slots put aside for private lessons where the parent gets in the pool with one instructor (and one baby each), free creche for multiples so the parent can take them in the pool one on one etc.
And don’t forget to ask if they do a multiples discount! You will never know if you don’t ask.
2. Ask a friend or family member to go with you
If you can, ask a friend or family member to attend with you. They can either get in the water with you and take one child in the water with them. Or if they are not comfortable with that, they can sit on the side and mind the remaining twin/triplets. This then means you need to book several lessons in a row.
Alternatively, if you cannot find someone to come to the pool with you, see if you can find someone who can look after the remaining babies for you while you take just one of your multiples to the pool for their swimming lesson.
3. Pay for someone to help you
Similar to the point above, if you can’t find a friend or family member to come with you, then consider paying someone to attend with you to help. Obviously, this makes
4. Private lessons with an instructor
Look into private lessons. Some swim schools offer this, but if not, you may have to find a private instructor. In the case of twins, this then allows you to take one baby and the instructor can take the other baby.
5. Wait until they are old enough to go in the pool on their own.
If you just can’t manage it, then don’t worry. Ring around until you can find a swim school who have a policy that the children don’t need an adult to go in with them from 2 years and then just start lessons then.
You can even put money aside from the start and then do double lessons for a while to catch them up a bit more quickly.
6. Alternate weeks
Another suggestion is to alternate the children on a week by week basis. Utilise a friend, neighbour, family member or the pool crèche to mind one while you take the other. Swap each child around each week so they all get a turn in the pool.
The additional advantages of this option is you only have to pay for one lot of swimming lessons each week, and if one child is sick, then they can miss that week and you can take the other!
7. Find a swim centre with an onsite crèche
Some swim schools, particularly those that are in a gym, may have a crèche that you can use to look after any remaining babies while you take one in at a time for lessons. Make sure you check with the crèche, as you may only need to pay for one child, as you are alternating them between lessons.
8. Find someone at a similar time
See if there is an older sibling of someone else doing lessons at the same time who can help. Often there is a bored looking teenager on an i-pad while their younger sibling is having a swimming lesson. They don’t have to leave the pool area, but they can be there to pick up dropped bottles and amuse the babies in the pram while you are in the pool with one of the babies. Offer them a few dollars to help you out while you are in the water.
9. Leave them in the pram while you are in the water with each child
Depending on the layout of the swim school it may be possible for you to safely park your pram poolside and keep and eye on any babies in the pram while you are in the water with the other baby. You can then alternate each child.
10. Team up with another multiple birth family who does have someone who can come along to help.
If you have found solidarity with another multiple birth family who does have the help of a family member (Grandmother etc) who can help, see if you can team up and book swimming lessons at the same time. That way they can help by looking after your babies as well while you alternate the babies in the water.
Hopefully one of these 10 options will be feasible for your situation. For those of you who have (somehow) managed swimming lessons with twins or more on your own, I’m sure you will agree that that magical moment you no longer have to enter the water with them is one worth celebrating!!
I always like to finish a blog on a positive note, however, I do need to make mention of the fact that even if you have managed swimming lessons with twins or more on your own the whole drying them and getting them dressed on your own is an absolute nightmare!!!! That’s a whole other blog!!!