Swim Lessons for Babies

Parent Q&A

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  • Affordable infant swim classes?

    (14 replies)

    Hey BPN! Wondering if anyone has suggestions for infant swim classes/lessons, or even just a drop in option for families at an East bay pool? Ohana aquatics in Oakland was recommended to us but when I looked it up I was a bit shocked at the cost - $129 for a 30 minute group lesson (or is that just the going rate around here?). Wondering if there are other options y’all know about? Thanks!

    The city pool classes are much more affordable, but many of them only do classes in the summer. Last year we took swim classes at the Emeryville pool for something like $60 for the six sessions. That said, the teachers may not be as highly trained as the private swim schools.

    I think that might be per month... we did swim lessons at Ohana and your quote seemed off, so I went to their website and it says group lessons are currently $33/class. We were basically happy with the classes there... but nothing spectacular. Both of my boys had their teachers leave after a couple months, and there was not a replacement teacher, so their classes were abruptly cancelled. Perhaps beware of teacher turnover. Our best experience with swim lessons was at Sherman Swim School in Lafayette. 

    Check out Albany Aquatic Center and Aquatech in Alameda. I believe they both have classes for much cheaper than that (plus free family swim hours if you want to just go on your own time).

    The Oakland YMCA had incredibly affordable options when we lived there pre-pandemic. We've been going to Aquatech, after doing a bunch of research (and getting over my shock at how much they charge) I found Aquatech to be the best value near us - they have a location in Alameda. 

    We did a swim class through Oakland Parks and Rec at Lions Pool in Dimond Park (and there are other locations). It was $25 for residents and $30 for non-residents for 4 hour-long classes, I believe. It was mostly about getting babies comfortable in the water and was super fun! I highly recommend it. https://www.oaklandca.gov/services/register-for-swim-lessons
    Feel free to message me if you have questions!

    There’s no way it costs that much, don’t worry! I think their group lessons are $33 each, perhaps that is for a package?

    I did infant lessons with my first child. While he enjoyed them, I don’t feel like he actually got much out of them. With my second I am getting him used to the water by occasionally taking him to the pool myself and doing a lot of bath time play. When he is three I will start sending him to real lessons- so don’t feel too much pressure yet if you’re worried about the cost!

    I started infant swim mid pandemic and had a hard time finding affordable lessons. I ended up at Patti’s Swim in Castro Valley (I live in Oakland). There are also lessons through Oakland Parks Dept but that isn’t year round. My daughter is now in individual lessons (she’s 3) and I love the school so much that I don’t mind the commute. My colleague did infant classes at AquaTech in Alameda. 

    Hi There, 

    I took my little one to Ohana Aquatics every week (30 min class) for a year straight and it was about $150-160/month for 4-5 classes. Ohana is very strict with their auto billing and no makeup policy so we ended up paying for many classes we never attended. I suggest to also look into YMCA and Aquatech. 

    Good Luck! 

    I don’t know if they started again - but I recommend the Y!

    Infants don't need classes/lessons, they just need fun time in the water being held by someone they trust. This will get them ready for actual lessons when they are around 3.5-4 years old. The El Cerrito pool (outdoors) will have family time starting in the spring. The Richmond Plunge (indoors) has family swim times and parent-tot classes at very reasonable prices.

    We haven’t personally done this yet, but are strongly considering it. Albany aquatic center has 4 weeks of infant classes for a total $90 (resident)/$105 (non resident). 

    The Plunge in Point Richmond is $36 for about 6 sessions! Little Splashers parent-tot class. Registration just opened jan 9: https://www.ci.richmond.ca.us/2140/Richmond-Plunge

    i went with my near 3 year old last year but I think it was better suited for younger babies. My kid at that age had zero interest in doing was the instructor told her to do re:going up and down the ladder, kicking her legs out etc. 

    When my kid was an infant (1.5 years) we enjoyed classes at Aquatech in Alameda. $115 for 4 lessons, but pretty darn hard to get a spot. Call them to get the details on best sign-up times. 

    The East Bay YMCA has swim classes as well but not for infants—3 and up only. 

    I don't know about Ohana aquatics but I'm not sure where you saw that $129 price quote. Their website says $33 for a 30 minute group class. https://www.ohanaaquatics.com/swim-lesson

    We have been going to the "baby and me" swim lesson at Ohana and it is $33/class not $129. They charge monthly so maybe you were looking at the cost for the whole month? It's a fun, casual class! 

  • swimming lessons for 6-month-old?

    (1 reply)

    My son just turned 6 months and I would love for him to get used to the water. He loves his baths. The Y in Marin only offers lessons for preschoolers. Are there any place that offers lessons for younger babies? Thanks.

    My LO start swimming at American Swim Academy in Walnut Creek as they have a Aqua Baby class for 6+ months and he loves it and can dunk under water by the third class. Highly recommend it!

  • Ideas for teaching my baby to swim

    (4 replies)

    I was a swimming instructor to all ages babies to the elderly during my young adult life. I love swimming and I was very much looking forward to teaching my baby to swim but he was born during the pandemic. I am not sure if this question has been asked before but I am wondering if there is any way I can safely access a public swimming area to teach him? Or what options would be available for classes with certified instructors. I don't own a home/ have access to a my own private pool. 

    You can reserve spots in the berkeley public pools like king pool. Or you can come use my house private pool and teach my baby as well ;) (I’m only half joking here, it could be a good arrangement?)

    Maybe you can pair up with the person on this current series of posts looking for someone to come to their private pool in El Cerrito as a swap!

    The El Cerrito pool seems like a good option, I was able to book a section of the pool for family swim, you could even book the kiddie pool/wading area as a section.  Good luck.

    We have been enjoying swimming lessons at Ohana Aquatics (Oakland, off Redwood Rd on Hwy 13). It was recommended by another family and I can see the progress (2nd grader). I don't if instructors are certified, encourage you to check out our site. The lessons are 30-min, which seemed so short to me, but they really pack a lot in. 

  • Baby/ toddler swim lessons

    (6 replies)

    Hi all,

    I'm really interested in finding swim lessons for my 9 month old sometime in the coming months if possible. I wondered if there are places that are currently doing swim lessons with some sort of covid protocols in place, and/or what other parents are doing to get their little ones exposure to swimming at this bizarre time.

    Thanks so much,

    When my daughter was that age we did a parent/child swim class at the Downtown Berkeley Y (you don't have to be a YMCA member) and it was fantastic. 30 min weekly and the pool was REALLY warm. I don't know if they've reopened yet and I don't know what COVID precautions will look like at either place but we are planning to check it out.

    The City of Berkeley Aquatics program just sent an email that they are starting up swim classes again in May (they have 2 outdoor pools). They did mention planning to offer a parent/child class but I didn't see it listed yet on their website when I checked yesterday. I imagine they will post the schedule in the next few weeks. 

    It's not lessons but the Berkeley pools are now open for parents and their children for famliy swim. The West Campus pool is warmer than the King pool. Both pools have a shallow area which is a good place to get used to the water.

    I know my neighbor is taking her 2-y-o to Harriet Plummer swim school next week, so you could try them. We had a great experience with them 10 years ago. A bit of a drive but worth it.

    I just signed up my 9 mo old with Aquatech in Alameda on the recommendation of other parents I have spoken to. We haven't started yet but from what I can gather they have pretty strict Covid protocols and very small class sizes.

    Albany aquatic center is in the process of hiring swim instructors, I believe with the hope to open this summer. They had Tiny tot swim classes for your child's age group. We did the classes with my daughter pre-covid and enjoyed it.

    British swim school of Walnut Creek gives lessons in an outdoor heated pool.

  • Infant Swim Lessons

    (5 replies)

    Hi! I am interested in getting my 4 month old into the water. Has anyone had any wonderful experiences with infant swim lessons in the east bay? 

    We've had good experiences with the Oakland YMCA! It's a little unclear whether 3 or 6 months is the cutoff (the form says one thing; the staff says another -- we started our daughter a little before 6 months). The classes are low-key, the staff is very nice, the water is nice and warm, and (at least for members) it's reasonably priced. 

    Not specifically swim lessons, but I take my 8 month old to the Richmond tot splash. $2/person, and I just walk around the pool with him. I think actual swim lessons start when they are a bit older. I like that the tot splash is so cheap, in case he doesn’t feel like being in the water that day! 

    Piedmont Community Pool. It was 20 years ago. The program was great, and our daughter was captain of the water polo team when she was a senior. 

    In my experience no one needs infant swim "lessons." Just go to your local pool during the family swim times and bounce/play in the water holding your baby. Make sure to do this on a fairly regular basis so that when your child is about 4 years old they are comfortable enough in the water that they can take swimming lessons without you.

    We go the Oakland YMCA on Broadway and it's been great.  Once a week, 30 minutes, other parents and kids - our child has gotten comfortable in water and loves seeing other kids, too!

  • Swimming pool for babies in Berkeley

    (2 replies)

    Hello, we just moved to Berkeley with our 10 month old baby daughter and we are interested in taking her to the pool. Are there any swimming pools that offer classes for babies and parents? Do you recommend any?

    Thank you very much

    [Moderator Note: lots of advice here: Swim Lessons for Babies]

    Hi! We take our 8 month old to the Piedmont Rec Center pool. They have a parent/child swim class on saturdays that we have been attending since he was 6 months. The pool is heated/outdoor and I think it's salt water. Very clean and awesome!

    Downtown Berkeley YMCA has a great pool for little ones, they keep it heated to about 90 degrees. They have rec swim as well as lessons but you have to be a member of the Y. If you're inclined to use the gym at all yourself I think it's worth it,  they have childcare and  tons of great classes for parents and babies. The Kindergym is open for free play almost all the time and has been a lifesaver for me on those cold or wet days when your kid needs to blow off steam.

    Another suggestion is the  Albany Pool at Albany High School. They have parent-tot  lessons and open swim and the water is not too cold. El Cerrito pool is nice in the summer.

  • Infant swimming options in the East Bay

    (5 replies)


    Can anyone recommend some good places for taking my infant for swim lessons? 


    Aquatech in Alameda

    Aquatech in Alameda. Kristin is the best teacher!

    Hi. Infants don't actually need swimming "lessons." They just need to bounce around in the water while you hold them. Check your local public pools for "family swim" times.

    Tim Oliver Swimming (in the Oakland hills) has a no-commitment Parent-Child (i.e., infant/toddler) Sat. morning drop-in class. We're in their Level 1 classes now and so far would recommend them highly. They also have a helpful teaching manual for babies you can download. (The teaching manual is for you, not the baby ;) 


    My wife and I took our daughter to East Oakland Sports Center. I know the 'East Oakland' part doesn't paint a good picture but it's a new/modern building that is in really good condition and the parent/child swim classes are reasonably priced. The drop-in rate is around $8 for an Oakland resident and $10 for a non-resident. You can save some money by buying the month passes as well. I think it's $25/month for the saturday only classes.

  • Looking for a recommendation for a pool that offers baby swim classes in the Berkeley area. We would like to sign up our 9-month old for a nice program. I noticed the Albany Pool and El Cerrito Swim Center, but appreciate any additional feedback. Thank you!

    When my daughter was that age, no infant-parent classes fit into our schedule, so we observed one of the classes once at the El Cerrito pool, then did the same things on our own during public swim hours. It worked out fine.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Swim Class for 9 month old

March 2013

Looking for a fun class to take my daughter to that's not too expensive. Also, are there any saline pools that offer baby swimming? Would love not to expose her to a bunch of chlorine, and it sometimes irritates my allergies as well. Bonus points for something in Oakland! Thanks! water lover

I love Splash swimming School in San Ramon; they also have a facility in Walnut Creek. They have classes for babies starting 6 months old all the way up. I've been taking my 4 year old in san ramon for most than half a year now and am impressed with her progress. Definitely I recommend you give them a try. Monica

Swimming fun time for even young babies?

March 2013

My baby LOVES to be in the water. During bath time, he already sort of kicks and moves his arms around substantially and he doesn't have issues with water splashing in his face. I grew up as a swimmer and am still a Masters swimmer, and I would love to try a ''baby and me'' swim class with him as soon as I can. My mom took me to a ''baby and me'' swim class when I was only ten days old! I feel very comfortable in the water and was a lifeguard for a few years, so I could take him in on my own, too and feel like I know how to be safe, but I'm not sure if they'd let me do that in most places. I looked in the archives, and I've only seen listings or recommendations for classes for kids six months or above. He's currently 14 weeks old. Any ideas? - Swimming mom with a potential swimming baby?

I took a swim class with my daughter when she was 6 months old through the Y and I felt like once I took one mommy and me class there was really no need to take another- other than to meet other people and actually get in the pool with my daughter once a week. I learned to walk backwards with my daughter's head on my shoulder so she could practice kicking on both her belly and her back. I held her up while she 'swam' towards toys in the pool. We sang songs while bobbing up and down. Once I knew what to do with my daughter in the pool I felt comfortable taking her in the pool myself without an instructor. If you already feel comfortable with all of that there is no reason you need to pay for lessons. swimming mama

Infant swim class near El Cerrito

March 2012

Does anyone have current info on infant swim classes? I looked in the archives and saw info about the Albany pool, which would be ideal, but it looks like it's closed? Or at least I can't google my way to any info about it. My son is 5 months and I'd like to introduce him to the water. Thanks! aspiring aquatic

The El Cerrito pool has classes for 6 months and up, I believe. We did the lowest level one with a 20ish month old and the instruction/format was fine. Go to the City's website. Amalia

We take our 11-month-old to the Downtown Berkeley Y. You can join as a program member for a yearly fee (I think it was $45/adult and something like $25/child). There are family locker rooms and the pool is warm but shallow. Our son really likes it. We previously went to the San Rafael JCC's baby swimming class, which was also good, but almost twice as expensive. Baby swimming is fun!

You are in luck! The Albany pool re-opened last month. My twins and I are in their 6 month - 2 year class right now and it is a lot of fun. The kids (8 months old) are getting comfortable in the water and really starting to enjoy it (my son didn't like the water the 1st couple of sessions). The best part is that they are exhausted afterwards and we always take a great nap after class. Kate

The Albany Pool was closed for years as it was being rebuilt, but it's now open and offering infant swim classes -- see http://www.ausdk12.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=92446=d. I haven't actually been there yet but signed my kids up for classes later this spring. The El Cerrito pool also offers infant swim classes, but since it's outdoors (and we live in the Bay Area), it was always freezing during the summer with our oldest which definitely affected his enjoyment and ours. The Albany pool is indoors and supposed to be much warmer! M

Parent and baby swim class in a warm pool?

Dec 2011

Now that the Berkeley Warm Pool is closing, my husband and I want to find a swimming class for us to take with our 8- month-old son. Our son really liked the class at the Warm Pool. Does anyone know of a similar class in the East Bay? My concern with the classes at the Y is that the water temperature is too cold. Any recommendations? Looking to swim with baby!

I haven't done the baby swim class at the Y so I can't speak to the content of the class, but I am familiar with the pools. There are three pools, and the baby classes are in the Shallow Pool, which is very, very warm. Your idea of the temperature may be based on Grace's Pool, which is cooler, or the Lap Pool, which is a lot colder. Many classes for older kids are held in those two pools. Also, the Shallow Pool was renovated in the last year or two, so during the months it was closed, baby classes were probably held in Grace's, so you may have heard a report from that time. My youngest was always very comfortable in the Shallow Pool when he was little, and he hates cold water. Anon

When we took baby and parent toddler swim classes at the downtown berkeley YMCA it was in the Y's warm pool. We found that particular pool at the Y to be a fine temperature. You might want to try it out some time and see if it is warm enough for you once you are in it....or hang out near the pool and ask current parents what they think. The program was great and we still have friends from that era...more than 10 years later! Anon mom

There is a great on line swim class that a friend found. We have been doing with our 9 month old since he was 4 months old. It is very well designed and easy to follow. Just google Uswim by aquatic acheivers (on my iPhone and don't know the link off hand). Then you are not tied to a specific time frame and just need to find a warm enough pool. Good luck Elizabeth

Infant swim class in the Berkeley/Emeryville area

May 2011

After reading the recommendations for infant swim classes at BPN - I am trying to decide between Downtown Berkeley Y, Berkeley High, and Strawberry Canyon Pool. My daughter is 7-months old and loves being outside, which would weigh in favor of Strawberry Canyon, but having swam at the Y and Strawberry Canyon, I know that Strawberry Canyon can feel rather cold sometimes, even during summer. Any insight from someone who has taken their children swimming at both places? How do I keep her warm? How do the classes compare? Any other suggestions/recommendations for classes to help me decide? I am looking for classes within the Berkeley/Emeryville area. Thank you!

You might consider lessons at the Emeryville Community Swimming Pool. The class is open to both residents and non- residents. They have a ''Mom, Dad and Me'' class that is for nine months and older - the spring session is going now, but I think the summer one starts in June if your baby will be old enough by then. We are doing it with our daughter now, and it's been a fun way to get her in the pool and used to the water. The instructor is good, but there is not much instruction going on as you might imagine - the little kids/babies just have fun moving around and playing with the pool toys. It's outdoors, and while some days have been cooler than others, the pool itself has never been uncomfortably chilly. You can always get out of the pool early, and it's no big deal. My daughter loves it, and swim days always result in a big nap too! mama of a little fish

Indoor non-chlorinated pool for swimming w/ babies

April 2011

Looking for an indoor pool where we can swim with our babies and perhaps do swimming lessons. Non-chlorinated preferred. Debra

I'm pretty sure the Richmond Plunge in Point Richmond is non-chlorinated. Plus, it was recently renovated, has a very gradually sloped shallow end (good for babies) and is just beautiful. You could check on line about lessons and schedules. liz

I encourage you to check out the Richmond Plunge (actually located in Pt. Richmond). http://www.richmondplunge.org/index.html

It has been beautifully restored and has a huge space to swim with kids that is shallower than most kids pools (only approx. 2.5 ft at the lowest). I believe they use saline and not chlorine & is all solar heated, but could not find the info. on their website. The only downside is that, in my opinion, it seems a bit cooler inside than it should be, but then maybe when you're not swimming, one can get cold more easily. Good luck....... anon

Infant swim class (for 6-9 months)

April 2010

I'm curious if anyone has recommendations for swim classes for infants (w/ parent, obviously!). My son is 6 months and loves the water, and I'd love to do some introductory swim activities/classes with him this spring/summer. We live in Rockridge, so would be most interested in opps of this type in the Rockridge/Elmwood/Claremont area or surrounding (Oakland/So Berkeley), but would happily drive a bit for a strong rec farther from us. Thanks! Kira

We enjoyed the swim camp at Cal Youth Camps (Strawberry Canyon pool) last summer. A 6-month-old can't do much in the pool, really, but the water was warm and the instructors were friendly. Mary

Berkeley vs. Oakland YMCA for infant swim class

Jan 2010

I'm hoping to hear from anyone who has tried the Oakland and/or Berkeley YMCA for infant swim lessons. I have a 14 month old, and the recommendations seem old. Has anyone tried both? Likes? Dislikes? Thanks! jisun

Berkeley Y for sure. Infants get cold easily, and the Berkeley Y has a warm pool. Of course if you have the kind of kid who doesn't get cold easily, then either way.

Hi - my children have taken swim at both places and by far I would recommend Berkeley over Oakland. The toddler pool is great for the parent/child level and up to young swimmers - the warm pool makes a huge difference. In addition I think the swim instruction is far superior. Happy Swimming

Swimming program for 5 month old

Sept 2009

My 5 month old loves the water and has been ''swimming'' with me a couple of times and really enjoyed it. Are there any swimming programs out there for babies (and their mommies) or is she too young still? We are looking for classes in Albany, El Cerrito, Berkeley, or Marin.

I know I did a swim class with my 6 month old through UC Berkeley's rec programs . we had fun.

Aquatech at the Mariner Square gym in Alameda, CA has an *excellent* baby and parent swimming class. Aquatech Swim School www.aquatechswimschool.com 2227 Mariner Square Loop Alameda, CA 94501-1021 (510) 337-0200 swimming mama

I'm sure lots of people will recommend the Berkeley High School Warm Pool tot classes on Friday afternoon or Saturday morning. I've taken my baby there since 4 months, the class is pretty nice although it is the same every week, and its inexpensive. The actual facility isn't that nice though, the water could be cleaner, the change room is always freezing - but we still go!

Swim class for babies Berkeley/Alameda

June 2009

Does anyone know of a good place to take swim classes for babies. We live in the Alameda/Berkeley area. Our son is 4 months and we would like to start him at 6 months. Thanks Rebecca

We LOVE this place. Aitken's Peninsula Swim School http://www.peninsulaswim.com/ and so does our baby. She is 15 weeks old and has been going since 7 weeks. I haven't heard one child cry since we've been going...not even our little girl. Worth the drive and they have weekend classes. Melissa

Baby swim class in Berkeley/Oakland

March 2009

Can anyone recommend a good swimming class for babies in the Berkeley/Oakland area? Paula

We have a 20 month old who loves the Baby Swim Class at the Berkeley Warm Pool at the Berkeley Downtown Y . It is currently on Fridays 3-4pm and Saturday 10-11am. We took her a few times at 4 months as well. It's great. Carey

We like the classes at the downtown berkeley YMCA . Their website is http://www.baymca.org/files/Downloads/Downtown/pdf_youth-aquatics.pdf Andi

Swimming class for 4-month-old

March 2009

Hello- I have a 4 month old and would love to start him in some ''swimming''/swimming pool classes as soon as possible. I cannot find a place that starts that early. I would love any suggestons! Thank you. Maya

The Berkeley Downtown Y program is great! My son started in the water when he was about that age. We met great parents/kids with whom we are still in contact, and while my son didn't continue swimming training, i.e. special strokes, etc., he is perfectly comfortable in the water, and a very competent swimmer. kim

Cal Rec has swim classes for parent-baby which start at 6 months of age. They are outdoors but by June it was quite nice. Since then we have taken and seen others and really glad we did them at Cal - the student-instructors were fantastic, high teacher-student ratio, very engaging with singing and boucing in the water, and not that pricey.

http://www.recsports.berkeley.edu/youth/yinside.aspx?uid=62670f36-f330-4b4c-89f5-13bf2bdb0f58 Mother Fish

This isn't a class per se, but Berkeley High School has a Parents and Toddlers warm-pool swim class from 3:30-4:30 pm each Friday and 10-11 am (I think) each Saturday. The classes are an hour long, despite what the website says.

The pool is heated to like 85 degrees and the sign says babies who are 5 months and up can participate as long as they wear swim diapers. There is a class leader who does songs, splashing activities, and other things like that with parents and babies in the pool with the intention of helping little ones feel comfortable in the water. It's $6.50 and drop-ins are welcome. I think they do 10 classes for $60, saving a few bucks.

FWIW, they also have warm-pool drop-in hours for people with therapeutic needs/disabilities.

http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/uploadedFiles/Parks_Rec_Waterfront/Level_3__-General/Pool%20Schedule%20Flyer%20BHS%20Winter%202009%20FY%2009.pdf Baby Audrey likes to swim!

Baby swiming classes

July 2008

Does anybody knows where can I take my baby grandson for swiming lessons? He is two months old. Ana

The Albany city pool has a great teacher with a great toddler class for three different ages. My son loves it. Happy swimming! Irina

Infant-parent swim class

April 2008

We're looking for a local place to attend a infant-parent ''swimming'' class with our 6-month old babies. We're gearing up for the summer and would love to have the girls used to time in the water. Does anyone have any advice on local pools that offer such classes? Thanks!

The Downtown Berkeley YMCA offers parent-child swim classes for infants. You can find more information at www.baymca.org. Click on the ''Downtown'' branch. You can reach the program director directly at 510-665-3257. Her name is Julie Martin. Eden

AquaTech has infant and toddler class in Alameda. Their staff is great and the classes really teach you tools on introducing your child to water and help them learn the basics. So fun at this age! You can check them out at www.aquatechswimschool.com. SwimMom

I am taking my 3 year old to Aqua Tech in Alameda. They have classes at the Mariner's Square Athletic Club. He started in the lowest level class which is parent participation and now is on his own. The class sizes are really small (for us no more than 4 pairs and now he is all by himself) and teachers seem to know how to deal with kids well. The pool isn't the warmest I've been in, but it's indoors and they have a nice family changing area. Classes start at 6 months. http://www.aquatechswimschool.com/ Happy Swimming!

My kids both took swim lessons at the pool at the Albany high school when they were babies and then toddlers. The lessons were really fun for them, and I do believe helped to get them used to the water. They are 4- and 6-years-old now and are both little fishes. Here is some info from a previous post on the subject: The address is 1311 Portland Ave.; their phone is 559-6440. Also see:http://www.citynight.com/~ahs/community/swim.html. Liz O.

I'd recommend you first consider whether your baby is comfortable being a little bit cold, since most of the outdoor classes on this side of the tunnel may be foggy and windy. If that's a concern, you could consider classes in Contra Costa County (ie Orinda, Lafayette), and Berkeley or Oakland Y. We had an extremely poor experience with the Piedmont Recreation swim classes , which were highly recommended. In addition to the fog and wind, which we managed to work around, they were very disorganized, and seemed to have a hard time telling us which of the several pools our class was in, and the teacher at our class literally didn't understand infants AT ALL. The class was for 6 months to 3 yrs, and it was really more appropriate for the 2-3 yr age, since they expected all the ''students'' to follow directions. My 9 month old didn't know how to blow bubbles in the water, obviously, and the only thing they did right--letting the kids choose a toy--they screwed up 2 minutes later by taking the toys away. A pre-toddler doesn't get that at all. When I spoke to the director about it, he insisted that swim classes were the same everywhere and that I shouldn't have taken the class since I'm not a Piedmont resident.

The Berkeley Y has a ''warm pool.'' I have had good experiences at the Berkeley Y, and while some teachers are definitely more skilled than others, my daughter has since learned to swim there (in the warm pool. She's not nuts about the slightly deeper, slightly cooler pool).

Aquatech in Alameda (in the indoor pool at Mariner Square athletic club) has excellent classes for babies on up! The pool is pretty warm, plus if a warmbelly wetsuit (buy it there) you babe will be better then in just a regular suit. I highly recommend Aquatech swim school. happy mom of fish

Swim class for mom and 6-month-old

Jan 2008

Hi! I am looking for a swim class for myself and my 6 month old. I basically want a fun way to get my daughter used to water. I would love to hear from folks who have taken classes in the area. I am interested in El Cerrito pool, but wonder if it is too cold since it is outdoors. What about Albany pool? I have heard there is too much chlorine. Is that true? Are there other local pools that offer parent/tot classes? Are these classes run by a teacher or is it just free time with your baby in the pool? Thanks! anon

Berkeley Parks and Rec has ''Parent and Tot'' swim session at the Warm Pool (nice and warm!) at Berkeley High on Friday afternoons (click Aquatics Programs for the current schedule: http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/ContentDisplay.aspx?id=5672). I took my baby there a few times when he was 6-12 months old--most of the babies were that age, although occasionally an older toddler came. That was about a year and a half ago. It was fun. There are supposedly two 1/2-hour sessions, but in reality they treated it as a 1-hour session; in other words, one could come at the beginning and swim through both sessions. One pays for each session individually, so you can go as often or little as you like. They have a few bath toys to play with, and, at least when I went, the ''leader'' led a couple of songs at some point, but otherwise it was free swim. There are ''Tiny Tot Times'' (free swim) at Willard and King Pools as well (regular cold pools); I don't have any experience with these. Bobbin' for babies

There are great parent tot class at AquaTech Swim School in Alameda. Very professional instruction, flexibility and fun! You can check them out at www.aquatechswimschool.com. Enjoy! Anon

Infant swim lessons

June 2006

I am looking for infant swim lesson. My biy will be six months one the 22nd of June. So I'm looking for classes in July/Aug. The only thing I've found on my own is TinyTots swim at the Berkely pools where the mothers are in the pools with thier babies but there is no instructer? I want actual infants lessons. Where we are in the pools with our babies but there is an instructor there teaching us excericses to do with our babies.....SInce I've heard several times I won't be able to get lessons until he was six month old, they must exist! Any reccommendations would be greatly appreciated! shelly

strawberry canyon is a great place to do swim lessons, even if the baby is still under a year.

the pros: it is a beautiful place, with clean lockers, showers, a great wading pool away from the large pool. and a huge pool, great instructors, friendly staff, great atmosphere, lots of space for the lesson, not like at the downtown berkeley YMCA in that tiny pool.. dont get me wrong we did lessons there in the winter but when strawberry canyon has lessons we dont miss them. another pro is that the lessons are m-th at around 6 (there are others but this is the one that we do) so i fell like we have learned more because of the consecutive days. another pro for me is the songs, it is not always the same generic songs, dont get me wrong of course we have to sing a few but there are some great new ones you child will love to enjoy.

the cons: it is outside, so you may need to get your baby a little wet suit type deal, we got ours at http://www.warmbelly.com/ for like $30 or so... we got our last year and it still fits because we got it big... other cons: well it is just mostly the outside thing..., but i enjoy it as well, so its worth the cold and some days it is just great to be in the pool.

this will be our second year, and let me say our 2 and a half year old can tread water and have very good safety near the water skills and loves loves loves the pool. so if i havent convinced you yet go to. http://www.oski.org/html/scra_aquatics_prnt_inf2.htm#sessions to sign up
mom of swim lover

The pool classes offered around Berkeley/Oakland for infants are fun and a good introduction to water, but if you want a real swim lesson, you might have a tough time finding an available spot in the summer when swimming is very popular. Real ''skills acquisition'' classes are also expensive and you pretty much have to drive out of your way to get to them. However, if you really want your infant to swim, la Petite Baleen (www.swimlpb.com) on the Peninsula is the most well-known and respected, just a heck of a drive. I like Little Dippers Swim School (www.Littledipperswimschool.com), as it is fairly close in Pleasant Hill and it is where I take my son. There are 3-4 babies in the class and you and the instructor teach them how to go underwater, float, jump off the edge of the pool, etc. at 6- 12 months old. Some of the infants cry and hate it, others start diving around like fish, it really depends on the infant. But it is $190 for 8 weeks. It also took me 8 months on the waiting list to get a Saturday spot. Fremont Swim School (510-567-SWIM) is also very good for kids, but they only take 1 yr. and older and if you are interested call them now because they also have a waiting list. They are about the same price as Little Dippers and all of these places have a one-time membership fee of about $35 you pay along with your first $190. Sherman Swim School in Lafayette takes infants at 9 months but they charge $140 for 5 private lessons (there is a waiting list, too.) Harriet Plummer Swim School in Lafayette is a fabulous school but they believe that babies should just play in water until they are 3 years old and then begin learning to swim so no infant classes there. Also, you could check on Canyon Swim School in El Sobrante (I didn't because I hate the hellish drive down I-80), and Haufler Aquatics at Holy Names. Good luck, there really are not as many swimming instruction classes actually teaching infants to swim as you might have been led to believe commited to swimming

Swimming classes for baby and Mom

May 2006

Hi I'd like to receive recommendations for swimming classes for my baby starting around June. He will be 8 months old. I'm looking for an inexpensive, quality class not too far from Richmond. Thank you, Kathleen kathleen

Have you checked King pool on Hopkins in Berkeley? they have classes and family swim times. anon

Check out Canyon Swim School in El Sobrante on the San Pablo Dam Rd. (by the intersection with Appian Way). Canyon's pool is warm. The depth is good for a parent walking while floating baby in the water. They are very strict about wearing a swim diaper/suit with elasticized leg opennings to keep any accidents out of the water... but that isn't a bad thing. Rose

Low-cost or Free Infant Swim Classes

April 2006

Hi, I am looking for very inexpensive, sliding-scale, or preferably free mommy and me swim classes for a 6 month old infant in the Berkeley Oakland area. The Y was too pricey. Thanks. Swimmy

Albany school district swimming pool, next to Memorial Park. http://www.enterit.com/ALBANY6640/. Or call: (510) 559-6640. Mary

Infant Submerge Swim Classes

Feb 2005

I recently saw a movie at the Chabot Space and Science Center that had footage of babies swimming underwater with their mothers in a guided class. (Apparently, most babies under 6 months of age have a reflex that prevents them, under non- stress circumstances, from breathing under water.) In the instructor-led class, the mothers would submerge with their babies, let the babies swim for a few seconds, and then lift them out of the water for air. It was absolutely beautiful to watch, and it looked like the babies were having so much fun! I'm wondering if anyone has heard of such a class in the Bay Area? Thoughts or recommendations?

We went to La Petit Baleen in San Bruno from the time my son was three months old and yes, it is a submersion program. I recall they are (or were, at the time) the only swim school in the Bay Area certified in infant and toddler swimming. Warm, indoor pool, great teachers (especially Terri)and lots of other little babies and kids swimming. Be aware however that your pediatrician will probably not recommend swimming for your infant. I ignored my pediatrician (the only advice from her I ever ignored) because of what I saw at this swim place and what the teachers and administrators told me. We had a great experience.

Swim class for 6-month-old

March 2004

I am looking for swimming lessons for my 6 month old baby and am interested in other places besides the YMCA that offer infant swimm lessons. Can you recc anything? Thanks! Justine


  • Berkeley High Pool, City of Berkeley
  • Lions Pool, City of Oakland
  • Little Dipper Swim School in Pleasant Hill

    2003 & Earlier

    Swim classes for 6 month old

    Nov 2002

    Hello. I would like to learn more about infant swim classes. I have a six month old. I have seen the recommendation board, which recommends the Berkeley Y and the Richmond Plunge. Is the Richmond Plunge still open? Can anyone give me info on the quality of these programs? Are there any other programs out there? Thanks. carolyn

    Recommendation received:

  • Oakland YMCA (2)

    Mommy and me class for 6-month-old

    September 2002

    I checked the archive, but didn't see any recommendations for infant swim classes in Oakland or Berkeley. Am looking for a ''Mommy and Me''-type class at an indoor pool open to a 6-month old. Any suggestions? Thanks, Stephanie

    Recommendations received:

  • Albany Pool
  • Oakland YMCA

    The Downtown Berkeley YMCA has a great variety of infant swim classes, Mommy and me types included. Friendly info.
    the Berkeley YMCA has swim classes for 6 mos. and up several mornings a week, including Sat. They also have several ''free swim'' time slots for infants/toddlers. I think the classes are open to non-members. Sonia
    Call the Berkeley and Albany YMCAs - suzanne
    The Berkeley YMCA offers a parent-child swim class. My son and I have been going since he was six months old. I chose this facility because their shallow pool is very warm and I didn't want him to freeze and be uncomfortable in the water. The current session just started a couple of weeks ago, so the next session probably starts end of October or beginning of November. You can join the Y as a community member and just pay an anuual fee if you don't want to do the full membership. We've had a wonderful experience there. Mommy of WaterBaby
    I recommend the swim classes at the Berkeley YMCA. The teacher is friendly and knowledgable, and the pool is perfectly sized and very warm - it's like taking a class in a big bathtub! By contrast, we tried out a swim class at the Dimond Park pool in Oakland during the summer, which was a fun social experience but not at all a class. avirose
    I'm pretty sure that the Y in Berkeley has infant swim lessons. Many communities do. San Leandro has lessons that can begin as early as 10 months. They require the kids to have a swim diaper, but those are easily available (Cotton & Co on College has them, for instance). Dawn
    I recommend Lisa Handwerker (510-841-6126) for swimming instruction. She's a visiting scholar at Berkeley and has been teaching swimming to kids for 6 years. She currently teaches once a week, on Fridays from 3-5 p.m., at the Berkeley YMCA.The pool there is ideal for kids - warm, and shallow. Lisa makes the swimming lessons fun. She matches them to each child's needs, and moves ahead when the child lets her know he wants to go further. Bay

    Swim class for 7-mo-old concord/walnut

    March 2005

    Hi, my baby is now seven months old and I am eager to get her in the pool. Can anyone recommend any infant swim classes in concord/walnut creek area?

    Sherman Swim School in Lafayette is wonderful. Our children will be returning this year. (925) 283-2100

    Warm Pools for Babies

    To Kirin, with a one year old who loves to swim. Canyon Swim School, on San Pablo Dam Road in El Sobrante, has a very warm pool (in the 90's). They do not offer recreational swimming, but they do have a swim class for infants, where you and the baby are in the water with an instructor. They also have excellent lessons for older kids. The phone number is (510) 223-4600. It is very well run by very nice folks. Tony
    the Berkeley YMCA has a warm shallow pool, indoors, primarily for kids. Elizabeth
    The Berkeley YMCA has a *very* warm pool for infants and small children. Look into their infant swim classes, held Saturday mornings and also on a weekday (I don't remember the day, since I work the normal weekday schedule). Fees include the cost of the 8-week class PLUS annual Y membership for the baby. Staff at the Y will tell you that Mom or Dad has to buy a membership too, but I found when I took the classes last summer that I was among the very few parents who actually did that -- no one seemed to check membership cards for the adults. Letitia