Baby and parent swimming lessons

SWIMBiES are our swimming lessons for children ages 3 months to school age, providing a fun syllabus to help guide you and your child to build water confidence that lasts a lifetime.

As a parent, grandparent or guardian, you can join your little one in the pool to share their first splashes. Our baby and infant swimming lessons are led by experienced and qualified teachers who are there to guide you and your little one every step of the way.

Better is the largest provider of swimming lessons across the UK, so you can easily find a SWIMBiES class near you.

Benefits of parent and baby swim classes

Babies have a natural affinity with the water. That’s why we have developed classes which offer a fun and safe environment for you to experience learning to swim together.

Our SWIMBiES swimming lessons have a strong emphasis on your child’s enjoyment, aiming to help you:

  • Build water confidence for you and your baby
  • Bond with your little one through exercise
  • Develop your child’s coordination, muscle strength and motor skills
  • Understand safety exercises to ensure both you and your baby are protected
  • Try games and songs to help your child learn

To us, a child's emotional development is just as important as their physical development in the water. This is why our SWIMBiES programme features plenty of bonding time as well as developing eight essential Baby & Toddler swimming skills:

Swimming confidence

Our programme for parent and toddler swimming lessons

Over 8,500 pupils enjoy our SWIMBiES programme each week.Find a class that is suitable for your little ones:

Dippers (3 to 12 months)

Dippers baby swimming sessions give you time to bond with your child while we teach you and your child water basics. Entry at three months to cruising (approx. 12-18 months).

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baby learning to swim

Splashers (13 months to 2 years)

Following on from Dippers, Splashers infant swimming sessions are a great way to grow your child's water confidence with you right beside them. Entry after completing Dippers or children walking (approx. 12 to 18 months) to two years.

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toddler learning to swim

Paddlers (2 to 4 years)

Moving on from Splashers, Paddlers sessions build on the fundamentals and prepare them for swimming independently. These infant swim lessons are designed for those who have completed Splashers or for children aged three to four years old.

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Pre-School – ages 3 to 5 years

Our Pre-School swimming lessons focus on developing your child’s confidence in the water and introducing them to the key skills they’ll need to swim on their own safely. Lessons are available with and without parents in the water.

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swimbies pool session

Infant and Baby Swimming Lessons Tips

Before the lesson

Before taking the plunge, think carefully about whether you, as a parent, and your child are ready for the class. You can do this by asking yourself these questions:

  • How long the journey will take you and how you’re going to get to the class?
  • Is there somewhere you can park your buggy? Do you need change for parking and lockers?
  • How long will it take you to change yourself and your child?
  • What is the best time to attend a lesson with feeds and naps in mind?
  • Is there somewhere at the pool or leisure centre where you feel comfortable for feeding after the lesson?

What to Expect During Class

Once you’ve met your teacher, you’ll get in the water with your infant. You’ll need to get low in the water so that it’s at eye level with your child.

Your teacher will then explain how to hold your child correctly and get started with the class.

These lessons last approximately 30 minutes. However, sometimes your baby or toddler may not be happy to participate in the whole lesson. Don’t panic, this is not unusual and can be down to a change in routine, being unsettled or ‘grizzly’ or just having an ‘off’ day.

At the end of class, your teacher may give you tasks to complete during bath time at home to increase water confidence or enhance skills through repetition.

We also encourage socialising with other parents, as this is a great way to expand your social circle and make new, like-minded friends.

After the Lesson

Once you’ve completed your lesson, here are some things to bear in mind: 

• Ensure a towel for your child is within easy reach after the lesson, as they feel the cold much more than we do.

• Your child is likely to be hungry and tired after the lesson, so ensure you pack a feed or snack.

• Encourage family swimming outside lesson time so that not all swimming sessions are structured. Recreational swimming can provide an opportunity for children to try out skills at their own pace, without the need to feel like they have to perform when asked

Why choose parent and baby swimming lessons with Better?

Our expertise

We continuously develop our programme to include the latest techniques to help build confidence and life skills in the water.

Experienced teachers  

We have a skilful and passionate team of trained and qualified baby swim specialists to help everyone learn, stay safe in the water, and have fun during classes.

Tailored programme

We assess your child's ability and adapt our lessons to suit their needs, nurture confidence and encourage fun in the water.


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Parent and Baby Swim Class FAQs

How to dress for baby swimming lessons?

If it’s your first time bringing your baby swimming, don’t worry, all you need to bring is comfortable swimwear for yourself, suitable swimwear for your little one, a couple of swimming nappies and an extra towel in case of any accidents.

We want you and your little one to feel comfortable in our lessons. It is important that your little one is wearing swimwear that will help keep them warm in the water.

We recommend...
For our DIPPERS and SPLASHERS up to 2 years a neoprene baby wrap over the top of a swimming nappy for extra warmth in lessons.
For Paddlers and Pre School children aged 2-5 years we recommend a neoprene short sleeve wetsuit to allow free movement of arms and legs and an extra layer of warmth.

How much are baby swimming lessons at Better?

Prices for our baby and parent swim lessons start from £10, depending on your location.

When should you start swimming lessons for a baby?

Swimming is an essential life skill and is useful to learn from a young age to keep your child safe, happy and healthy. Our baby and parent swimming lessons start from three months, but it’s up to you when you choose to start. So, whether you’re interested in baby swimming or teaching your 3 year old how to swim before they start school, we’re here when you’re ready.

Do I need any special equipment?

All floats and equipment used in our infant swim lessons will be provided by the centre but there are a few things you need to bring.

All children must wear an appropriate swimming nappy (not a normal nappy). These can be bought in either disposable or reusable versions.

A neoprene reusable swimming nappy should be worn over the top of a disposable swimming nappy to prevent any leaks in the pool.

We also recommend towels for both yourself and your and child (bring the child’s towel to poolside for the end of the lesson)

Who can attend and who needs to enter the water?

Unlike other mother and baby swimming sessions, at Better, any guardian/carer for the child is welcome to attend the lesson.

Each lesson is for one adult and one child. Mums, dads, grandparents, nannies, will all be made to feel welcome, so don’t just think a class will be full of mummies.

If you are a non-swimmer or a weak swimmer this won’t stop you taking part; however, you should let your teacher know before the start of the class.

Do I have to sing?

We encourage all adults to join in. Teachers will lead the singing, and children don’t mind how out of tune you are as long as you have a smile on your face.

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