Baby Swimming Glossary

Welcome to our UK-based Baby Swimming Glossary! If you’re a parent looking to introduce your little one to the wonders of swimming, it’s essential to understand some key terms.

This glossary aims to provide definitions and explanations for phrases you might encounter during baby swimming lessons or when reading related resources.

It covers everything from equipment and safety measures to basic techniques and fun activities.

Remember, each baby is unique, and their swimming journey will be too.

This glossary is a helpful tool to aid your understanding and make the experience enjoyable and safe for both you and your baby.

1. Baby Swim Nappy:

A waterproof, reusable or disposable nappy designed to contain solids while swimming. Unlike regular diapers, these nappies don’t absorb water but are designed to be waterproof and contain solid waste. They can be reusable, where they can be washed and used again, or disposable, where they are thrown away after one use. Their main purpose is to prevent contamination of pool water or other swimming environments.

2. Back Float:

The act of floating on one’s back in the water, a skill taught early to babies for safety and comfort in the water. Back float refers to the ability to lay flat on the water’s surface while facing upwards, a fundamental swimming skill. This skill is crucial for safety, as it allows the swimmer to breathe easily and call for help if necessary. For babies, mastering this skill also fosters comfort and confidence in the water. The back float is often one of the first skills taught in swimming lessons, even for babies.

3. Blow Bubbles:

An early swimming skill where babies are encouraged to blow bubbles in the water to help them get comfortable with submerging their faces. Blowing bubbles is a foundational swimming skill that involves exhaling into the water to produce bubbles. This skill is often introduced early in swimming lessons for babies to help them get comfortable with having their faces in the water and to prepare them for breath control. It’s a fun, non-intimidating way for babies to familiarize themselves with the sensation of water on their faces.

4. Buoyancy Aids:

Floatation devices, such as armbands, swim vests, or noodles, used to assist in keeping swimmers afloat. Buoyancy aids are tools designed to help swimmers stay afloat in the water. These devices, which include armbands, swim vests, and pool noodles, provide extra support to swimmers, making them particularly useful for beginners or those who are not confident swimmers. For babies, buoyancy aids can provide a sense of security in the water, allowing them to focus on developing their swimming skills.

5. CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation): A life-saving technique used in emergencies when a person’s breathing or heartbeat has stopped, including water-related incidents.

6. Doggy Paddle: A simple swimming style often used by beginners, named because it resembles the way a dog swims.

7. Floatation Devices: See Buoyancy Aids.

8. Goggles: Eyewear designed to protect swimmers’ eyes from the water and allow them to see clearly underwater.

9. Hold (or Grip): The different ways to safely and comfortably hold your baby in the water during swimming lessons.

10. Immersion: The act of putting a body part or whole body underwater.

11. Kick: The leg movements used to propel oneself in the water.

12. Lifeguard: A trained professional responsible for overseeing safety at swimming pools or beaches.

13. Paddle: The arm movements used in swimming.

14. Poolside Rescue: A set of procedures and techniques used to assist someone in trouble in the water from the side of the pool.

15. Prone Float: The act of floating face down in the water.

16. Splash: A fun activity where babies are encouraged to hit the water surface with their hands or feet.

17. Submersion: The act of going completely under the water, an advanced skill for baby swimmers.

18. Swim Nappy Cover: A waterproof cover worn over a swim nappy to provide an additional layer of leak protection.

19. Swim Vest: A buoyancy aid worn like a vest, used to help keep babies and toddlers afloat.

20. Tread Water: The act of staying afloat in a vertical position in the water by moving one’s legs and arms.

21. Water Confidence: A term used to describe a swimmer’s comfort level and sense of safety in the water.

22. Water Safety: Knowledge and practices aimed at preventing and responding to water-related emergencies.

23. Woggle (also known as a Noodle): A long, flexible foam tube used as a buoyancy aid during swim lessons.

We hope our Baby Swimming Glossary has been helpful in familiarising you with some common swimming-related terms.

Remember, the key to successful baby swimming is patience, practice, and lots of praise and encouragement.

Never hesitate to ask questions if something is unclear during your baby’s swimming lessons. The more you understand, the better you can support your child’s water confidence and safety. Happy swimming!

Last updated and checked for accuracy 4th June 2023.