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Course Info

Parent & Baby Swimming

For parents with babies aged 3 to 12 months

Parent and baby couples are taught how to safely learn and work together, in the shallow end of a warm pool. We help the parents nurture their babys’ natural aptitudes, building confidence and finding joy in a new, stimulating and wondrous environment - laying foundations that last a lifetime.

It’s a truly unique shared experience and a joy for parent and child alike.

Invest in your baby’s future by developing their water confidence and skills from the earliest age in a gentle paced, relaxed, fun and unique environment. This is a perfect way to spend quality time together during their informative years, nurturing your bond and relationship and instilling skills and habits that will last a lifetime.

Learn with Swimtastic

Little Person - Big Benefits
While we use the term ‘swimming’ - it isn’t really - not when they are so young and dependent. It’s more like pre-swimming where we build upon babies’ incredible intuition and natural aptitudes so their confidence, respect and know-how for water becomes second nature. The experience focuses their body and mind on new things - aiding physical and mental development, with many babies (and parents) also benefiting from improved eating and sleeping patterns. It’s simply an all round fantastic experience.

Baby Led Learning
Taking a very young baby into a swimming pool is a big step. We teach parents how to overcome their natural protective urges and to safely work with their baby in the water to foster learning, exploration and confidence. A baby’s experiences at this time can become deep rooted and affect them for life, which is why Swimtastic uses a ‘baby-first’ methodology. Building trust between baby, parent and the water - sometimes slowly - is vital, so that each baby is always comfortable to only to progress once ready, which in turn leads to a lifelong healthy relationship with water.

Hello World of Water
As the amazing and unique world of water is opened up to them, a baby’s senses are flooded with new sensations - water all about them, it’s resistance, feeling buoyant, three-sixty movement or being submerged. We teach parents how to help their baby appreciate and navigate this fantastic new world in a safe way, building confidence and instincts; enriching your baby’s world. For parents seeing and feeling your baby’s joy, is yours. It’s quite magical.

An Incredible Bonding Experience
Parent and Baby Swimming can be a truly unique and affecting experience. As a parent you are very present, mindful and focused, reacting to everything your baby does in the water. The baby is completely reliant on you, whilst seeking to learn about themselves and this new environment. The dynamic between parent and baby during this time is truly special where a profound trust from both parties is required. Many eye-connecting moments in which there is a mutual sense of achievement and joy follow - so many moms and dads remark on the intense bonding. 

The Best Teachers by Sour Side
Naturally our teachers are trained and certified to the highest standards. But more importantly, Swimtastic teachers are kind, friendly and empathic people and have lots of experiences with babies. They listen, they pre-empt, they put parents and babies at ease and they genuinely care about your experience. During class, your instructor is alongside you in the water, providing hands on support and encouragement while getting to know all parents and babies, more and more, week on week. 

Relax & Enjoy
At each lesson we want you and baby to feel completely comfortable and safe so learning to swim is your only concern. Our pools are warm and clean and our teachers are friendly and welcoming. You’ll receive any information you need well in advance of a lesson but we’re always happy to talk, so feel free to contact our office or your class teacher. Classes are small, other babies are of a similar age and things are kept at a relaxed and enjoyable pace. No baby or parent is ever pushed or made to do anything they aren’t comfortable with or ready for. This is a stress free environment where you and your child get to meet other parents and children just like you!

Weekly Progress
Unlike casual parent and baby swim lessons, we go much further than repeating routines in a pool. Our programme is designed for progressive child-led learning, in which babies build upon their learning and abilities constantly, at their own pace, safely imitating parents and peers though trial and error. Progression levels are used so that class material is always suitable to all the parent and baby couples attending. The programme also seamlessly progresses into ‘parent and toddler swimming (ages 1 to 2.5 years ) for baby’s next phase of learning. 

As a Swim School ... 
As independent swim school - we don’t book end swimming tuition with start and end ages. We’ve designed things so your child’s swim journey can flow from ‘parent and baby’ through to our parent, toddler and pre-schooler programmes and then onto our junior academy (ages 5 to 13), laying foundations for olympic gold... :) Our customers are treated as ‘members’ and get priority offers on next term places. Customers have their own online members area, accessible 24/7, which centralises all your families swimming information. We work with families to try keep siblings class times similar. We’ll constantly keep you updated and informed. We are at the other end of a phone line - happy to help with anything. In short we try to make things as seamless for you as possible so you and family can concentrate on enjoyment and learning.

What's Involved...

Classes involve play activities and song, in sequence using toys and props. They’re fun and light-hearted, but professionally designed to develop your little one’s water confidence and skills. 

At the pool
Each weekly session lasts 30 minutes but allow time in your schedule for changing before and after.
Groups are small and capped at 9 parent and child couples.
After your 30-minute session – we ask parent and child couples to vacate the pool to accommodate the next group.

What do I bring?
Swimwear for parent and baby is all that is required. We provide all additional materials and toys. We provide you with a full list of how to prepare well in advance.

Course Breakdown
Each course consists of 9 weekly sessions. Sometimes the 9 weeks are broken by breaks for holidays.
We run 4 courses (4 terms) per calendar year

Follow on Courses
At the end of each term, swimmers will be offered priority places in the following term you are progressing into before bookings open to the public. These offers stay active for 2-5 days during which time you can secure your place through your user account. 

After completing a course a personalised certificate of completion for the little swimmer can be accessed and downloaded from your swimtastic user account.

Booking Information

Swimtastic User Account 
If you are a new customer, we will ask you to set up a user account. A user account is necessary to book a course. Once created you can use it to see course attendance and progression, purchase history, certificates and more.

When booking a new course, we will collect all the details of those attending the course. 

Booking more than 1 course
It’s easy book more than one course. Just go through the process and after you add a course to your cart, you’ll be asked if you’d like to book another.

Follow on Course Offers 
To avail of a priority place offer in the next term you must book it through your user account within the specified time to secure your place.

Swimtastic’s Parent & Baby Curriculum

We encourage and support the parent to work baby into swimming positions, helping them to use their arms and legs, reaching and moving towards toys. We’ll gently introduce the role of the teacher and ease the parent and baby into the group environment. We’ll build trust and confidence in the teacher and then move on to:

  • Building floating ability
  • Strengthening their arms, legs, and core.
  • Develop sensory awareness.
  • Introduce word-based cues to help them develop their understanding of breathing and timing.
  • Progress towards underwater swims for babies that are ready to engage their natural reflexes and breathing.
  • Progress confidence, safety skills and comfort level

Courses Available for Parent & Baby:
Baby Level 1 - the very first stage for beginners.
Baby Level 2 - follow on course to build on level 1.
Baby Level 3 - final baby course preparing for toddler levels.

As skills build with each level of the curriculum it is important that each little student has met certain criteria so that he or she can progress to the next course level safely.

What do our customers say?

My little boy Tom and I have enjoyed Swimtastic for 5 years now. Tom began with when he was just 2. Then, I began the Adult programme. All their teachers are brilliant, professional, and very friendly. The atmosphere is fun, and we learn so much each term. We now swim together as a family. I can’t say enough good about Swimtastic.

Kay, Francis and Tom Gorman, Portlaoise

Myself & my 8-month-old daughter Grace have completed our second term with Swimtastic and cannot recommend them enough. The teachers are excellent and make the babies (and the mammies & daddies) feel so comfortable and confident. I have really seen an improvement with Grace and will be sticking with Swimtastic. I would give them 6 stars if I could.

Orlaith Walsh and Grace, Carlow

This is our fourth year with Swimtastic, and Chloe’s water skills have improved so much as a result. She just wants to know when she is going swimming again. Sue and Amanda work brilliantly with the kids. Nothing is forced, just easy going and great fun. I would recommend these classes to everyone. From day one, a great experience all round.

Stephen Lennon with Chloe, Kildare

Need to know more?


All our courses have been professionally and especially designed by the Swimtastic team. Our courses have the approval of our affiliates; Swim Ireland, STA (UK) and Birthlight.

A family swim club

At Swimtastic we pride ourselves on providing swimming programmes for all ages and abilities.