Parents of multiples know all too well that there are many rewards of having twins and triplets - and lots of challenges. Constantly having to juggle the needs and wants of more than one child, along with their toys, gear, and snacks can be overwhelming. An activity like swimming lessons that might seem appealing with just one child might sound daunting or downright impossible with two or three in the same age group. But, you don’t have to rule out swim class or the benefits of swimming lessons that come with it. We have plenty of families with multiples at our school, and here’s what we recommend to them.
Lean on Family and Friends
The hardest stage of swimming lessons with twins or triplets when only one parent is able to attend lessons is the Parent & Baby level when the children outnumber the number of parents. In this stage, asking partners, family, and friends for help in the pool will be key in successfully navigating this level. It’s a great bonding experience between the adult and baby, and everyone is sure to have a good time too.
Schedule One-on-One Time
Another way to make a “parent and baby” class work for parents of multiples is to schedule child care for the other siblings while you take one child to swim class. If you have a babysitter or nanny, you can bring them with you to class and they could watch your other babies while you’re in the pool with one. Or if you have someone who can watch the other children outside of the school, you can make swimming lessons your special one-on-one time with each child.
What about the Preemie and Toddler Stages?
Another key consideration to keep in mind is whether your babies were born prematurely, as many multiples are. If this was the case for your children, you need to wait until your pediatrician approves swim class for them. Oftentimes, doctors say preemies and swimming are a good fit around six weeks of age or older, but it varies so you’ll need to check with your doctor to make sure your little ones are at a stable point developmentally before heading into the pool.
Then, once your kids outgrow the Parent & Baby swim classes, your twins or triplets could join a group class together (based on availability). At this point, we have one instructor for three or four kids at a time, so you could pull up a chair and watch all of your children learn to swim together. We’ve heard that this stage is a favorite for parents of multiples.
There are many options for you and your children if you’re interested in enrolling them in swimming lessons. We’d love to talk to you about them, so please contact us anytime.