Questions we regularly get asked

When can I start swimming with my baby?

There is no hard and fast rule about when it is recommended to start swimming. For mothers, we believe it the right time to start is when they feel that they are ready after their six week post natal check. We also advise mothers to consult a health professional for further advice. For all babies under 3 months we recommend starting them in a hydrotherapy pool that is over 32 degrees, children over 3 months can start in 30 degree pools.

Early exposure to water is strongly recommended as it encourages the desire to swim, whilst reducing the chances of a child developing aquaphobia. Young babies possess a natural ability to hold their breath underwater, known as the “mammalian diving response”. It is a reflex action and it is therefore wise to encourage this early on and make swimming and safe “water-play” part of your child’s normal life activities.

Will my child be able to swim?

Children under three years old lack the muscle power, co-ordination and the motor-skills to hold their head above the water surface and breathe, therefore, they are too young to learn the more structured swimming and breathing techniques required to master swimming strokes.

Aquakiddies/Babies classes are designed to harness a baby’s natural ability to hold their breath whilst underwater and to promote freestyle strokes. Aquakiddies/Babies classes are designed to teach your baby to be “water-safe”.

Is Aquakiddies/babies classes open to children with special needs?

Yes, we have had many babies and toddlers in Aquakiddies/babies classes over the years with special needs. The water is a great equaliser, many have made great progress in the water. Physio therapists and Occupational therapists encourage swimming, especially in hydrotherapy pools for babies and toddlers with down syndrome, cerebral palsy, babies with hip harnesses and with any delayed motor skills. The combinations of warm water and weightless exercise encourages muscle use and development.

We would advise you to speak with us directly so we can put to rest any concerns you may have and give you some tips and advice to ensure it is a enjoyable experience for you and your child.

For all known medical conditions you must always seek clearance from a qualified medical pracitioners prior to attending Aquakiddies/babies classes.

Must my baby have completed all immunisations before joining Aquakiddies/Babies ?

We do not require babies to have been immunised before attending classes. This is based on the recommendations of the HSE.  They say “Yes. It is perfectly safe for babies to start swimming from birth before having their immunisations. The diseases babies are  vaccinated against are not carried in water. Babies can be taken swimming at any time regardless of where they are with their immunisation schedule. ” See link below for details.

NHS Direct website ( and the STA (

There is no evidence to support the view that immunisation is essential before swimming. A study carried out in Cologne in 1997 showed that there was no greater incidence of infection in babies that swam compared to babies that did not visit swimming pools. The chlorine or ozone in modern swimming pools makes the likelihood of transmitting infections such as polio or tetanus extremely unlikely, therefore the immunisation status of your baby is not a major factor. However, if you feel you need further reassurance, ask the opinion of your health visitor or GP.

Do I need to book?

Yes! Our class sizes are strictly limited to a maximum of 12 children (plus one parent or carer). It is not possible for you to turn up at a class and pay the instructor. You can go to our online form or Call/Email us if you would like to book onto our course. Bookings and payments are dealt with by our Head Office and not via the pool where you will attend the classes. Payment for the course must be received at least one week before the first class.

Why do Aquakiddies/Babies courses last only 5 weeks?

We have found that for a parent to commit to a longer period the child will invariably miss some lessons due to illness or other commitments. As the classes are paid for in advance and are non-refundable, courses longer than 5 weeks would lead to the parent paying for unattended classes.

Another advantage is that we are able to run many 5 week courses throughout each year – providing more choice to the parent.

Can I bring my other children along?

We do not advise parents to bring other children unsupervised. We request that all parents / guardians realise that we are dedicated to teaching and that Aquababies cannot take responsibility for any other children, siblings, parents /guardians , grandparents in the water, they should not enter the pool unless they are part of our course.

Are Aquakiddies/Babies Teachers Qualified?

Aquakiddies/Babies teachers are all STA and Swim Ireland certified and have been taught and examined personally by our leading expert, Julie-ann James. All Aquakiddies/Babies instructors are fully qualified swimming instructors

All instructors hold current first aid qualifications and are fully insured to teach babies and young children.

What should my baby wear?

Children not yet potty trained must wear a swimming nappy that is snug around the thighs and tummy. We are looking to avoid any accidents in the pool. These can either be disposable or reusable. We do advise you to use a happy nappy over the swim nappy, to ensure no leaks. Most pools require babies to wear swimming costumes also.

What do I need to take to the class?

  • Happy Nappy
  • Aquanappy
  • Nappy bag, clean nappy & creams etc. Some Mums like to take a changing mat too.
  • A snack (or warm bottle if you are bottle-feeding) for after the swim .
  • A towel, preferably one with a hood or a towelling dressing gown
  • Swim Cap
  • Swimwear and towel for you

What shall I do if my baby is unwell?

If your baby is suffering from a heavy cold or mild viral illness they should miss the lesson. Where a child is suffering from an ear infection, the infection should be completely cleared before resuming classes.

Can I do a make up class if I miss a class?

Yes, as long as you notify us before your scheduled class.

  • In order to avail of a make up class, you must Call or Email before your scheduled class.
  • Make up classes can only be booked 1 week in advance and can be used anytime while you are enrolled on your current course.
  • Missed make up classes cannot be made up if you do not inform us you can not make the class.
  • Make up Classes with specific teachers is not guaranteed.
  • Make up classes cannot be used to extend your course. You can only avail of a make up class while you are on a course, once your course has finished you cannot avail of a make up class.


Can I get my money back for lesson missed?

Unfortunately not, as our costs remain the same if you miss a class or not.

Should I take my child swimming between classes?

Yes, it’s a good idea to take your child swimming between classes. However, don’t overdo it. One extra swimming session a week is sufficient during a course. If you are in between courses, we recommend that you take your child to a pool at least three times over any five week period to ensure they remember the skills they have learnt.

Can I get a refund before my course starts if my plans change?

Yes. There is a full, no-quibble refund if you cancel one week before classes start. After this, a €20 administration charge may be made. We do ask you let us know as soon as possible so that we may offer your place to someone else.

Can I take more than one child in the water?

No, the ratio is strictly one adult to one child.

Do I need to be able to swim?

No. The pools are all within your depth and your feet will be firmly on the floor.

Can anyone take my child swimming?

Yes, any adult can take your child to our classes. We are very Dad friendly and nannies, grandparents, friends and carers are all welcome at our classes. A mixture of people can take your child if you cannot make every lesson.

Can I adapt the class exercises when I take my child swimming?

Our classes and teaching methods are designed so you may continue with the lessons and exercises when you take your child swimming. Never add to or modify any exercise that you have learned in our class environment when you are on your own. That way, you will not only ensure the health, safety and well-being of your child but also reinforce the lessons learned during class.

Remember… keep the emphasis on playing and training at the same time. The experience should be enjoyable for you and your baby!