We started swimming "lessons" with Olivia three weeks ago, and it hasn't been as successful as I was hoping. Her reaction to the water is to curl up like she's a newborn again for the entire half hour we are in the pool. I thought maybe she was overwhelmed by all of the people and noise, but she usually likes this and can often be lulled to sleep by it. Local baby guru Ann Keppler said it's the temperature of the water and suggested we try water babies because the pool is much warmer. I was reading about them and it also sounds like the other parts of their facilities are also more baby friendly.
For example, at the local park district pool, there's only one changing table in the bathroom and there's always such a crush of people waiting for showers, that little O is freezing before we get one. They have two family bathrooms, but these are usually taken, and by people with kids who can dress themselves even though they are supposed to leave them open for younger kids. Poor Olive is so cold and stressed by the time we leave, and acts funny the rest of the day.
Water babies claim to have changing areas poolside where it's warm. Some of their pools are even saltwater which could be less irritating than chlorine. Their classes also seem to be more geared towards babies whereas the one we've been going to are really for toddlers. Of course, then park district's classes are 1/3 of the price.
What have been your experiences with babies and the water? Has anyone tried water babies? Is it worth about $20 per class?