Little ones in the swim!

Turtle Tots swimming club at Chadwick Hotel, St Annes.  Lauren Grice with Mila Grice, Elizabeth Smith with Charlie Smith, Linda Olsson with Alexandra Holt and Alex Osborn with Sebastian Osborn and instructor Vicky Hill.
Turtle Tots swimming club at Chadwick Hotel, St Annes. Lauren Grice with Mila Grice, Elizabeth Smith with Charlie Smith, Linda Olsson with Alexandra Holt and Alex Osborn with Sebastian Osborn and instructor Vicky Hill.
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A Lytham mum is hoping to make a big splash with a new venture to create water babies.

Vicky Hill has just started up Turtle Tots swimming sessions, starting in St Annes, for parents and their little ones – from birth up to toddler.

The specially-designed lessons aim to teach mums and dads to swim with their baby above and below the water, teaching water confidence and key life-saving skills in a fun and enjoyable way, with nursery rhymes and singing.

Vicky will also soon be starting aqua-natal yoga classes for pregnant women – developed to provide mums-to-be with an enjoyable and effective way of exercising gently, within the controlled and supportive environment of water.

Vicky, who has two daughters – Lexie, five and Zara, 20 months, said: “I used to work in marketing and events, but after I had my two girls I needed a different career, with two under fives at home.

“I’d started my swimming teaching qualification before I became pregnant with my second daughter, and then when she was about a year old, I decided to go back and finish it and start teaching swimming lessons.

“I love swimming and once I found out about Turtle Tots, it was ideal.”

Vicky, who loves to take her own daughters swimming, said: “Turtle Tots gives me the flexibility to run sessions during term time and during the day – which will suit most parents best too.

“I first took Lexie swimming when she was about five weeks old and Zara when she was a few months, they both loved it straight away.

“Obviously, not all babies are the same and sometimes they might not be so keen. But in general, they really enjoy it.

“It’s a great chance for parents to connect with their child in the water, having fun, singing, there’s lots of physical contact and eye contact. And of course, swimming and being in the water together involves trust on both sides. So Turtle Tots lessons are great for bonding.

“Getting children used to being in water from an early age is a really good thing.

“Teaching them to swim as early as possible is good for safety.

“There is some work under the water, but that’s only part of the sessions.

“Most of what we do is above the water – singing, nursery rhymes, getting baby into the right position in the water so they are comfortable, playing.

“And parents needn’t worry when baby does go under water. Babies have a natural in-built reflex to hold their breath.”

A percentage of the charge for classes will go to Brian House Children’s Hospice, as all Turtle Tots classes donate a percentage to local charity.

Vicky’s classes will initially take place on Friday mornings, at 10am, in the Chadwick Hotel, in St Annes, but she will soon be expanding them across the Fylde coast area.

For more information, visit www.turtletots.com, email vicky.hill@turtletots.com or call 07584 354090.