Swim FAQs

When can I start swimming with my baby?

Active Baby Company takes babies from 8 weeks old. You can take your baby swimming as early as you feel comfortable once the umbilical cord has healed. The optimum time to start your baby swimming is before they reach 6 months old so that you can utilise their natural reflexes, however, any age is better than not at all.  Our swim lessons last between 25 and 30 minutes, so should not be too long for your babies.


Is it all right to take children swimming before they have completed their course of immunisations?

Yes, babies can be taken swimming at any age. Some swimming pools and health professionals still suggest wrongly that children should not go swimming until they have had some or all of their immunisations. This is a hangover from when polio was common and people were worried about its spread in swimming pools, which were places where large numbers of young people got together during the summer months. (source www.immunisation.nhs.uk) Look at the NHS website to confirm current advice.


What does my baby need to wear in the pool? What is the double/two layer nappy system?

For hygiene reasons all babies must wear swim nappies (not normal disposable nappies).  Like most swimming schools we have a double nappy protection policy for all of our babies which means that your baby must wear two swim nappies. The first nappy can be a disposable swim nappy, available in most supermarkets, but we recommend a re-usable one, as it does end up more cost effective, more reliable, and more environmentally friendly!

On top MUST be a re-usable swim nappy which seals about the legs and waist to prevent any leakage. We recommend Splashabout Happy Nappy. This brand provides a good seal around the legs and waist to prevent “leaks”!

You will not be allowed into the pool without both correct nappies, as nappy leaks will mean cancellation of classes to clean the pool and any charges passed onto you. Further more faecal matter can contain a nasty virus called cryptosporidium which can cause severe sickness and diarrhoea which is why we are so strict on the nappy policy. If your child does fill their nappy whilst swimming please get straight out and clean them up/shower them and put a fresh nappy on and then come back in and join us.

Active Baby Company’s recommended options for swimwear for your child:

  • Option 1: Re-useable (or disposable) under nappy + Baby Snug
  • Option 2: Re-useable (or disposable) under nappy + Happy Nappy + BabyWrap
  • Option 3: Re-useable (or disposable) under nappy + Happy Nappy

Although we use pools which are an average of 30°, whilst your baby is young you may want to provide extra warmth for them with a wetsuit or snug (which is also very useful if you also use public pools as they are usually kept at 28°).

Please note: if you have a wetsuit/wrap you will still need the double layer system of an under nappy and an outer nappy as the wetsuit doesn’t create a seal at the leg.  If you use a snug you will not need the second layer nappy as the snug has a built in nappy which seals at the legs.

Wetsuits and wrap can be purchased direct from us.  Email Denise@activebabycompany.co.uk for full details or purchase direct from Splashabout



Where can I buy swim nappies/wetsuits/suits?

Active Baby Company stocks the Splashabout ranges of swim nappies & snugs and TWF wetsuits. These can be paid for separately, or along with your course fees. You don’t have to purchase from us, but make sure that the swim nappy fits snugly, unfortunately there is no room for growth!


What happens on the day?

Arrive in plenty of time to get you and baby ready, then familiarise yourselves with the pool area no more than 5 minutes before your class is due to start.  Poolside is usually kept warmer than the pool so if you come on poolside too early you will acclimatise to the air temperature and consequently the pool will feel chillier at first.

  • Please sign your name off in the register either in reception or on poolside (depending on venue).
    Ensure baby has double nappy system and a wetsuit or snug if required.
  • Please shower just before entering the pool to help keep the pool clean
  • Be careful when moving around the pool as surfaces can become very slippery.
  • Please do not enter the water before you are told to do so.
  • Let your teacher know of any issues/problems which they need to be aware of at the start of the class.
  • Most of all have fun and enjoy this wonderful time with your baby.
  • Go at your own pace and take the cues from your baby, and as you relax, so will they!


Do I need to be a good swimmer?

Many parents have this worry, but please don’t worry if you can’t swim very well or not at all.  The pools are standing depth and we show you how to be confident with your baby in the water.  If you relax they will take their cues from you and relax too.


What qualifiations does my swimming teacher have

STA Baby & Pre-School, NPLQ Lifeguard and regular CPD

If you look at our About Page you can see each of our teachers and their relevant qualifications


How do I book on to an ABC-Swim course?

To register you and your child onto one of our courses please check our website, call or email us to confirm availability and print off the ABC Swim booking form and post it to us with your payment (our address can be found on the form). If you are not sure which course to book on to, or how to register your interest, please email or call us on 01604 826066 with your baby’s DOB and any experience.


What if I miss a class?

If you miss a class due to illness or during the holidays try to go swimming regularly as babies progress best with regular swimming which increases both your and their confidence. But if you can’t, please don’t worry just join us again the following week. We all learn through repetition so the activities will be covered again in the future. Missed classes cannot be refunded or carried over to the next term


Do I need to bring a change mat?

We do have some change mats at each pool however you may prefer to bring your own. Whilst ABC are happy to provide changing mats at the pool it is your responsibility to ensure they are wiped both before and after use so they are ready for you and the next user.


Can two parents get in the pool?

We know that both parents on occasion are keen to swim with their baby/child and we don’t want to discourage this in any way. However, in some classes we just do not have the capacity to accommodate both parents in the pool during the class. Some of our pools have bather load limits that we cannot exceed and therefore if more than one parent wishes to join the class, please check with your teacher first (even if your class is not full).

In classes where this is an issue, we would suggest parents take it in turns each week to swim with their baby (i.e. one week mum, one week dad).

This will allow everyone in the class to have the opportunity to swim with their baby and have plenty of room to manoeuvre, play, learn, and explore, but more importantly will allow us to safely monitor activity in the pool.


Can I take photos?

While we appreciate that parents are keen to capture their baby/child’s swimming experiences we do ask that common sense is employed in relation to what can be a highly sensitive matter.  Please be aware that mobile phones and video equipment should not be brought into the pool area or changing rooms and photography can only be allowed poolside if authorised by the teacher.

Unfortunately no video or photography is permitted within the Bodysense Leisure Facility at Barcelo Hotel, Daventry or at Billing Aquadrome or Hilton, Collingtree due to these being a member’s only club

Should Active Baby Company be required to take photographs or video footage to promote our business we will always request your permission prior to commencing the shoot.  As per our terms and conditions, Active Baby Company reserves the right to use underwater photographs for publicity purposes.  In each instance we will let you know and endeavour to send you copies of any articles in which your baby might be featured.


How many will be in my class?

For our parent and child classes we try to keep classes between 6 and 8 however some classes are busier and we aim to book in no more than 10 per class.

For our solo swimmers classes we try to book in no more than 7 but again like to stay at 5 or 6. This allows for more intensive teaching of our older children.


What if a class is postponed or cancelled?

All class times and venues are subject to change. However we try our best to keep all classes running. If for any reason we cannot run a class we will inform you as soon as possible via a note on our facebook page and also via email. We will endeavour to reschedule your class for the same day of the week at a near time to your current class but it maybe a different location; Active Baby Company is not responsible for any travel expenses incurred. In this instance if we have been able to re-schedule for the same day of the week which you usually swim and within 2 hours of your normal class time and alternative classes are offered no refunds will be given.

In the event of us having to cancel a class we will issue a credit against your next term’s classes or credit you with the money via a cheque.


What happens in a typical class?

Initially we will teach you techniques on supporting and moving with your child in the water to give you a firm grounding to be able to swim together.

As your child develops we progress further with the basic techniques and moves to encourage you to swim together and develop your confidence. Classes are based on fun and learning whilst being safe. A typical class will last between 25 minutes and 30 minutes; may include songs or rhymes and toys and diving to encourage interaction with baby and develop all of their senses. Safety has a strong focus in our teaching methods and your child will be taught vital life saving techniques, within a safe environment. 
Repetition plays a key role in our teaching as we all learn this way. But our experienced and effective teachers will lead you through activities keeping both you and your child safe.

Up until your child is enrolled in our “Beginners” classes we do require there to be a parent in the pool for each child.


Can I have an underwater photo?

Short answer yes! We don’t currently run our own photo shoots but know of photographers who do. If you would like to join an underwater photo shoot then just let us know and we will give you the contact information.  You can then contact them directly to book onto the next available photo shoot.