Goldfish Swim School: What to Expect from Infant Swim Classes


If you have a baby or toddler under two and are considering swim lessons, you might wonder what to expect from the experience. Will your little one master the backstroke? Well, no. Will they practice critical water safety and swimming fundamentals, all while having fun and learning to love the water? Yes! My son started swim lessons just before the COVID-19 shutdown at 8-ish months. After a three-month hiatus, he splashed back into the pool the week before his first birthday.

If you’re debating swim lessons for your baby or young toddler, here’s a bit of what you can expect from Goldfish Swim School:

Classes begin at four months. Yes, you can bring a baby that small in the water to start learning lifesaving skills! While they won’t be entering swim competitions, they will begin the process of muscle memory.

You will join your baby in the pool. For infant classes up to about 2 years, mom or dad will be in the pool with their baby. So yes, mama, you will be slithering your postpartum body into a swimsuit. Be sure you find one that is comfortable and will stay securely put with your little monkey hanging off of you. There are five changing huts currently open, so you can change out of your dripping suit, or you can bring extra towels for your car.

a mom and her baby taking in the pool taking swim lessons

The classes are only 30 minutes, so arrive on time! Plan to arrive already dressed a few minutes before your lesson time, so you don’t miss a moment.

Your baby will learn important water safety triggers. Through the guise of fun games, your teacher will create important triggers in your baby’s mind to act quickly and safely if he falls in the pool.

Your baby will learn progressive swimming fundamentals. With the aid of songs and toys, your baby will practice the building blocks of swimming and floating. Teachers emphasize consistent forward progress, and your baby won’t move onto the next building block until they’ve mastered the previous one consistently over a period of a few weeks.

You may have to help baby – a lot. Depending on how little your baby is, you may be making their little arms and legs go through the motions for them. Even at this stage, you’re building vital muscle memory. Don’t be discouraged if a baby six months older than yours is crushing it while your baby isn’t yet picking up on verbal cues – they are learning!

Your baby will have a blast. I’ve spoken with other moms who send children of all ages to Goldfish Swim School, and we all agree – the teachers and staff have a bit of magic in them. Expect lots of smiles, giggles, and delighted splashes. Beyond the fundamentals of water safety and swimming motions, swim lessons are a special bonding experience for you and your baby as they learn a new skill in the safety of your arms.

Goldfish Swim School is such a special place, and our lessons have been a rewarding experience. One last fun fact before I go: for my fellow longtime St. Louisans, the school is located in the former Miss Sheri’s in Warson Woods! If your grandparents dragged you there in the 90s, like mine, you’ll be shocked by the transformation. Every detail has been considered to make Goldfish safe, bright, clean, and fun for your little fishies. We are so impressed and look forward to many more memories made in the water!

If you’re curious about how Goldfish is keeping swimmers, families, and staff healthy during COVID, read this post from contributing writer Jessie!