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I first came to know the existence of BSC through a friend, when Chloe was 16 months old. The next day, I called them up and registered Chloe for their “Baby & me” class. I was lucky enough to get a spot as they limited the session to only 8 babies at a time and each baby must be accompanied by a parent/ caretaker. Since she was an infant, Chloe has been very accustomed to water and the pool. But there was never anything technical or skill based involved. It was just pure leisure and play. So I didn’t know exactly what to expect from a baby/ infant swimming class, I just liked the idea of exposing Chloe toa rich sensorial environment.
With great enthusiasm, I packed all the required items for the class. Swim diapers, check. Swim suit, check. Sun block, check. Towels and spare clothing, check. Snacks and milk (in case she gets hungry after), check. Physically and mentally prepared, I brought Chloe to her very first swimming class. On our arrival, we met two other babies who had been in the program for at least 6 months and you could see how confident and familiar they were with the environment while Chloe looked rather puzzled.
The session began with a welcoming Hello song. And as soon as it ended, the two parents beside me dipped their young toddlers right into the pool, head down! I was startled and froze at that moment, thinking how on earth am I going to do that? The instructor could sense my fear and start with the basics (The challenges of having mixed abilities in one sitting). I regained some composure when I was instructed to scoop some water using a cup to pour on top of Chloe’s head after a count of 3. This provides them a head start to holding their breath underwater and to eventually learn to swim.
These are some of the techniques taught during the lesson (with lots of nursery rhyme sing-a-longs):
- Blow bubbles (Taught her to blow out instead of breathing in while underwater)
- Confidently hold her breath underwater for a period of time by bobbing up and down, head down
- Jump into the pool (Lays the foundation for diving and also teaches baby how to safely enter the pool)
- Learn the forward motions of swimming while being passed from one side to another underwater.
- Learns to self balance while floating and to float from the back.
Fast forward to eight months later, Chloe can now do most of the skills above with great confidence. The BSC has operated since the year 2000 and the youngest they have successfully trained to able to swim independently was 3.5 years old (always an adult’s presence by the side). Regardless of whether Chloe will achieve that ability at that age or not, Mummy is very happy with her progress.
You can find out more about BSC at https://bruneiswim.weebly.com/