A fun mommy and me activity: Swimming in the city
Being a new mom in the city, I am constantly looking for new experiences to explore with my daughter, Emma. She has always loved bath time so I have been looking forward to starting mommy and me swim lessons. The Huntington YMCA offers a few classes during the week, but we opted for a weekend session so that my husband could join in on the fun. The shrimp program is for children 6-18 months and is a basic introduction to the aquatic environment. We couldn’t wait to see what our little fish was made of!
Getting your ducks in a row
When you walk up to the Y, there is an elevator to the right of the main stairs. That takes you to the welcome desk where you sign a waiver (each time you attend class) and grab free towels; one less thing to pack AND less laundry= mom win! The desk operator will direct you to the elevators that take you down to the pool level where there is a designated area for stroller parking before you go into the family locker room. To make your life a little easier, I would suggest having your swimsuit on as well as having your child in a swim diaper (required by all children under 3 years old) and a swimsuit before you arrive. There are signs in the locker room that direct you to the pool.
In the pool
Once we walked into the pool area, Cayla, our swim instructor, warmly greeted us and we joined the other parents in the lovely warm water (83 degrees to be exact). We started out by singing a welcome song and then Cayla instructed us to drip water over our baby’s head and ears while we encouraged them to splash around. As expected, not all of the babies loved this at first but it was a gentle way to get them comfortable in the water and eventually won everyone over.
The session continued with songs like, If you’re happy and you know it and Humpty Dumpty with matching actions like, “reach and pull”, “kick your feet”, and “blow bubbles”. Emma really took to the class and enjoyed all of the songs, but her favorite activity was when Cayla passed out small rubber ducks that we would toss and “swim” towards. Let’s be honest, swim toys quickly became chew toys! Cayla followed the cues of the children; If she sensed a meltdown coming on she would redirect the class, and as a new mom I really appreciated her kindness and patience with the little ones. The thirty-minute session wrapped up with a goodbye song.
Turns out, Emma is a little fish!
Overall, Emma and I had some wonderful mommy and me time. The Huntington YMCA offers a great starter session for babies with a well-organized and age-appropriate class that’s just the right length, I would highly recommend them to new parents in Boston. It was also a really nice way to meet other parents! Check out their website, www.ymcaboston.org/huntington to view all class offerings.
Kerri-Ann Foley, Director of Aquatics
316 Huntington Avenue Boston, MA 02115
Parking: metered on the street
Stroller Access: yes
What to bring: swim diaper, swimsuits