FAQ's

Have a few questions about our classes? Take a look here for anything you need to know.

FAQs

Our most frequently asked questions and answers.

Swimming before or part way through a course of immunisations is perfectly safe for babies and there is no need to wait until they’ve had their immunisations before getting in the pool.  This is in line with NHS Guidelines

Absolutely.  Lots of our parents have been unable to swim or been nervous of the water and that is often their motivation to come along, because they want their children to be confident swimmers.   Our lovely teachers are here to help any nervous parents and will do all they can to help you feel comfortable and relax in the water.  We will never ask you to do anything you are uncomfortable with.  You are always well within your depth and feet on the floor. Anything you need help with, just ask the teacher.

We love our pool time with our little swimmers it’s such a special time and we understand that it’s lovely to share this magic with your baby’s ‘special people’.  However due to space and our ethos of keeping the class size small we are usually only able to have one adult per child in the pool, however you can change who the adult is from week to week and where there is space loved ones are very welcome to sit poolside and watch with the class.  If there is a reason that you need both parents in the pool, let us know. If we can help you, we will.

We arrange a photo shoot during each term which parents can book to attend. We work with a team of professional photographers who work together to capture shots both at the surface and underwater.  We think our photography team are just fab and they have captured some truly wonderful underwater shots of our awesome little Merbabies over the years we have worked with them. They also offer great value to our customers.

We teach your little ones until they are 5 years old.  If your little swimmer is confident and able enough then they can go into one of our 3-5 year old lessons without a parent – your child wouldn’t be automatically moved on to a child only lesson, only when you both feel completely comfortable and if it’s something you want to do.

Please try not to feed (solids or milk) for 45-60 minutes before going in the pool, just to allow time to digest and avoid any sickness in the pool.  Our little Merbabies work hard at learning and having fun in the pool and will have worked up quite an appetite by the time they get out the pool so it’s best to have some milk and/or a snack to give them afterwards.

Lessons start at the time advertised so you’ll want to be poolside for a minute or two before then at least, just to have a nice hug and get your little one used to the surroundings, and you both feeling calm and relaxed. So arrive in time to get you and little one changed, probably 10-15 mins before your class is due to start, and we’ll see you poolside.

Nappies – All of our Merbabies need to use the double nappy system until they are fully toilet trained.  This means they have to have a neoprene swim nappy (such as a Happy Nappy) as this is what prevents any little accidents from ending up in the water, worn over either a cotton swim nappy liner or a disposable swim nappy.  We sell neoprene nappies which you can order to collect at class or be posted.   

Wetsuits / Wraps – If your baby is under 6 months, unless you are swimming in one of our hydrotherapy pools, then we would recommend a thermal wetsuit or a wrap as this helps keep babies who are a little less mobile to keep warmer.  Beyond 6 months if you want to use a wetsuit, wrap or swimsuit then this is absolutely fine also. You can order these from us online to collect at class or be posted.   

Changing mat – Some of our venues have changing facilities and tables, others don’t – but we always recommend bringing your own. We also sell neoprene changing mats which are really small and light and perfect for going in your swim bag.  They are warm and non-slip and are treated with anti-bacterial charcoal. You can order these from us online to collect at class or be posted.   

We stock a range of Happy Nappies, liners, wetsuits, wraps and changing mats in our Merbabies shop where you can buy online and have your order delivered to your lesson.

**If this is the first time you have used a disposable swim nappy please be aware that they are not watertight so only put one on just before entering the pool, not at home (lots of us at Merbabies learned this the hard way!)

Most importantly your fabulous selves! The essentials you need to remember are :

  • Happy Nappy (and liner / disposable swim nappy)
  • Any other wetsuit / wrap that you may want your baby to wear
  • A changing mat
  • Your own swimsuit!!
  • Towels for both of you
  • Some drinks / snacks / feeds that baby might want afterwards.

Wetsuits / Wraps – If your baby is under 6 months, unless you are swimming in one of our hydrotherapy pools, then we would recommend a thermal wetsuit or a wrap as this helps keep babies who are a little less mobile to keep warmer.  Beyond 6 months if you want to use a wetsuit, wrap or swimsuit then this is absolutely fine also. You can order these from us online to collect at class or be posted.   

Changing mat – Some of our venues have changing facilities and tables, others don’t – but we always recommend bringing your own. We also sell neoprene changing mats which are really small and light and perfect for going in your swim bag.  They are warm and non-slip and are treated with anti-bacterial charcoal. You can order these from us online to collect at class or be posted.   

We stock a range of Happy Nappies, liners, wetsuits, wraps and changing mats in our Merbabies shop where you can buy online and have your order delivered to your lesson.

**If this is the first time you have used a disposable swim nappy please be aware that they are not watertight so only put one on just before entering the pool, not at home (lots of us at Merbabies learned this the hard way!)

We welcome you and your little one along at any time: if there is a space then we are delighted to have you both when you are ready to join.  The structure of our lessons allows you to slot in mid-term perfectly and our classes are small and welcoming.

You know your child better than anyone and we are confident that you will know what’s best here.  If your baby is a bit sniffly or has a runny nose but is otherwise in good spirits then we’d love to have them join us as usual.  If you feel your baby is feeling miserable or has a bad cough or temperature then it’s best to wait until your baby is feeling a bit better before getting in the pool.  If your baby has any infection or a contagious illness (chicken pox, mumps, sickness and diarrhoea etc) then we would ask for you to keep them off until they are fully recovered. And wait at least 48 hours after sickness and diarrhoea. If you are in any doubt at all then your GP or health visitor should be able to offer you some advice.

We understand that with children around things don’t always go exactly to plan.  We really don’t want you to miss out so if you need to miss up to one class per term a let us know and we will always do our best to offer you a suitable catch up class.  If you do need to arrange a catch up class you can complete the request form here.

We swim at lots of different locations so the changing facilities are different from place to place.  When you are booking your lessons our booking system gives information about the changing facilities at your chosen venue. If you have any questions or special requirements pop us a message, we are happy to help.

Some of our pools are walk in with shallow sloping steps, others have ladders. How you get in is entirely up to you.  Our teacher is always in the pool and will happily help you by lifting baby in or out to you, or standing with them at poolside while you climb out.

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