Thurlstone, Sheffield S36, UK

*This post features a gifted lesson from Lilypad Swim*

Lilypad Swim is an independent swim school based in Thurlstone, South Yorkshire, founded by their senior teacher Anna Bushell and her passion to supply a fully tailored swim class for children.

Mum holding baby wearing swimsuits.

Our swim school journey.
We started taking our daughter to swimming lessons with Turtletots when she was two weeks old - That’s right, she was a mere 14 days old! I’ve spoken about it before, but in hindsight this was probably a bit too early for us as she slept the whole way through the first month or so of lessons. That being said I do think our eagerness to get her into water has helped with her confidence in the pool, as well as bath time which is a bonus. She was the youngest in the class by quite a bit as the other babies were 4 months+ and you could see how much more interactive they were & how heightened their emotions were at being in the water. We stopped our lessons with Turtletots at around 10 weeks old & have since been taking our daughter to our local pool however this has only been on a handful of occasions so I was really looking forward to getting her back in the pool as I believe it offers so many benefits, for both her & myself.

Benefits of taking your baby swimming from an early age.
1. Encourages water safety.
2. Boosts confidence for both parents & babies.
3. Improves muscle strength.
4. Encourages bonding & interaction between parent & baby.
5. Strengthens baby’s heart, lungs & brain development.
6. Helps improve balance & coordination.
7. Essential life skill.

Mum and baby at swimming baths wearing swimsuits.

Lilypad Swim.
Lilypad Swim was founded by senior teacher Anna Bushell to offer bespoke, flexible swimming lessons for children as young as a couple of weeks old, right up until they’re around 8 years old. She wanted to offer classes that are tailored to the ability to each child, which means during each lesson there could be a 2 week old baby, a 2 year old toddler & a 4 year old child - I was surprised (and admittedly a little dubious at first) by how the classes weren’t divided into age categories as this is something we were accustomed to during our first group of swimming lessons, but it really worked. All of our children were doing similar activities based on their abilities & it never felt like my daughter was getting left behind, with her being the youngest in the group!

It’s also worth mentioning that each swimming lesson has a maximum of four children attending which I think is brilliant as it ensures each child gets the level of care & attention they deserve. Our previous lessons had classes of six, which was absolutely fine, however it’s always nicer to have a smaller class & have a little more attention fixed onto each child. Helen, who was our swimming teacher on the day put so much focus and attention into my daughter, it was really lovely & something I think is massively important when it comes to trust in the water.

My favourite part of the lesson was towards the end when Amelia swam underwater. I was a little nervous at first as she’s done it before when she was around 6 weeks old & she cried her little heart out. But I needn't have worried… Fast forward six months & she handled it like an absolute boss! I was such a proud mama!

Baby coming up from underwater.
 Mum and baby in swimming baths

Lilypad Swim run lessons throughout the week from Monday to Friday, if you’d like to book in, or receive more information you can enquire here.

Have you taken your little ones swimming? At what age did you start?



  1. I wished my parents would have done this with me, I'm a terrible swimmer. Water safety is so important no matter where we live.


  2. What a fun event, Claire!! And how happy does Amelia look :)
    She definitely had a great time!
    Swimming is such an important skill to develop from very early age.
    Nadia xo

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