How soon can I bring my child swimming?

Babies can come swimming with us from birth. The Fish Tank has been designed with babies and young children in mind and is heated to the perfect temperature for you to join as soon as you’re ready.

Does my baby need their vaccinations/injections before they start?

There’s no need for your baby to have had their vaccinations or injections before they join, even the NHS agrees. You can check the latest guidance from them here. There are so many benefits to baby swimming that health professionals now actively encourage swimming from as soon as you’re ready.

Where are The Happy Swim Company lessons held?

The Happy Swim Company lessons run exclusively from The Fish Tank on Aycliffe Business Park. The Fish Tank is a purpose-built swimming and activity centre designed specifically for baby and preschool swimming lessons. With a heated pool, plentiful baby changing and amenities including luxury complimentary toiletries, clean and hygienic throughout, a knowledgeable and supportive team, it really is the perfect baby and toddler swimming venue.

How warm is the pool?

The Happy Swim Company hold our lessons exclusively at The Fish Tank. The temperature is set at a minimum and consistent 32 degrees C, perfect for babies from birth and the ideal learning temperature for babies and young children.

What does my baby need to wear in the pool?

The Fish Tank and The Happy Swim company have a double-nappy policy in place for all children not yet confidently potty-trained. We consider confidently potty-trained to be dry during the day for at least six-months. From our years of experience teaching babies and toddlers to swim it’s usually the most recently potty-trained that can have an accident in the pool as the warm water and excitement in the pool cause them to relax and forget to let you know they need the toilet.

Save your blushes and theirs and get them covered with a double nappy. The Fish Tank have all the latest jazzy or plain patterns and sizes in stock and can help you find the right combination and fit.

A double nappy is usually enough for your baby to be comfortable in the pool. They don’t need an additional wetsuit as The Fish Tank pool is a toasty 32 degrees C as a minimum.

Why not pre-order your combination now via The Fish Tank online shop and we’ll have it ready for your lesson? Be sure to let us know which class you’re booked into in the comments so we can match your order to your first lesson.

What is a double nappy?

A double nappy consists of two washable and reusable nappies. An adjustable Swim Nappy that goes on first and a soft, neoprene Happy Nappy that goes over the top. The Happy Nappy has wide bands that seal around your baby or toddler’s tummy and legs, stopping anything from leaking into the pool that could spoil yours or other’s lessons.

We insist upon the Splashabout range as they are tried and tested to contain 99.9% of faecal leaks. The Fish Tank are official Splashabout stockists and have the full range for you to choose from all at great prices and even better the Happiness Engineers can help you find the right size and combination.

Why not pre-order your combination now via The Fish Tank online shop and we’ll have it ready for your lesson? Be sure to let us know which class you’re booked into in the comments so we can match your order to your first lesson.


What do I need to take my baby swimming for the first time?

You probably need less than you may think. There are lots of things out there to enhance or distract from your baby’s first swimming experience but all they really need is their swimwear (double nappy for our lessons and venue), a towel and you!

The Fish Tank offer complimentary MooGoo toiletries in their showers and washrooms for you and your baby or toddler to use. We receive lots of thanks from our customers about these as they’re lovely on your skin and hair and are completely natural so perfect for babies or those with sensitive skin or scalps.

You can add a changing mat to your swim bag to assist with changing or getting your baby into and out of the pool, and toys or floats as they grow. The Fish Tank has a full range of swimwear, towels, toys and swimming accessories so they’ll always have everything you may need or want to enjoy your swim.

I can’t swim, can I still bring my baby or toddler to classes?

Yes of course, you can join without being a swimmer yourself. Parents often bring their babies or toddlers swimming when they can’t swim themselves as they don’t want to pass on their own worries or fears.

The Fish Tank pool is 1.2m deep throughout so it is ideal for non-swimmers as well as children. You will be able to stand up at all times and our supportive and experienced teachers can ensure you are always reassured. In our experience you will find your own confidence grows alongside your little one with their regular lessons.

If you’re looking for additional teaching for yourself, we offer tailored adult swimming lessons.

What lesson levels do you have?

At The Happy Swim Company our lessons start from birth (Happy Baby) and grow with your child through their developmental stages and ages right through to our Learn to Swim lessons (Happy Swim). We have specific classes for your baby or child to join our lessons at their current ability level and age:

Happy Baby (0-8 months) – newborn to rolling

Happy Baby (6-14 months) – crawling to cruising

Happy Toddler (12-24 months) – walking independently

Happy Toddler (2-3 years) – for more adventurous toddlers

Happy Splash (3-4.5 years) – starting to swim short distances

Happy Splash (4.5+ years) – preschool aged children developing their swimming technique with support from carers

Happy Swim (from 4+ years) – independent learn to swim lessons for children happy to be in the water on their own without fixed floatation aids such as armbands.

Happy Adult (from 14 years) – our adult swimming lessons are tailored to your goals. Whether you’re looking for the confidence to get in the pool with your baby or child or are looking to brush up on your technique, let us know and we’ll develop a programme to help achieve your goals. Our adult lessons are held as group lessons but with plenty of time for individual teaching.

For more information and details of our latest availability on our secure online booking platform.


What does my child need to wear in the pool?

For our Happy Swim levels, we ask that your child wears appropriate and well-fitting swimwear. Swimming costumes, trunks, shorts and rash vests are all fine to wear in our lessons. Please be mindful that some styles that are more fashion or beach orientated can cause difficulties with learning so we wouldn’t recommend those.

If they are used to wearing goggles, then they can bring them too. The Fish Tank have a shop where you can purchase swimwear and accessories all year round if they need a new costume or pair of goggles.

We ask those children with long hair to tie it up for their lesson or wear a swim hat.

For our Happy Baby, Happy Toddler and Happy Splash levels see “What does my baby need to wear in the pool?” above.

How soon will my child be able to swim?

It is a common question. Just like all babies learn to talk or walk at different times, all children will learn to swim at different times and to varying abilities. Although we can’t guarantee it, in our lessons we have seen children progress at a quicker pace than previously experienced.

We have put this down to having to our winning formula; the perfect venue, warm, clean and inviting; passionate teachers who are nurturing, qualified and experienced; a fun and progressive programme; small classes with minimal distractions.

Happy venue + Happy teachers + Happy parents = Happy Swimmers.

How do I book lessons at The Happy Swim Company?

Our baby, toddler and children’s swimming lessons are available to book online here. Find your ideal class using our level guide and book online now or add your name to the waiting list for one of our classes, ready for when a space becomes available or your baby is born if you’re super organised.

How much are lessons with The Happy Swim Company?

Our prices are all available to view on our website on the “Our prices” page. Our lessons run all year round so we have a simple monthly payment that stays the same however many lessons there are in a month.

We’re all booked in, what time should we arrive for our lesson?

We recommend arriving 15 minutes before your lesson to allow for checking in and getting ready.

At the moment, (to comply with The Fish Tank Covid measures and cleaning regime) we are asking our older children and parents to arrive as swim ready as possible. All babies or toddlers wearing double nappies to swim are welcome to use the changing before the session (recommended as the swim nappies are non-absorbent).

Everyone has full access to the changing rooms, showers and hairdryers etc after the lesson as usual.

Do you allow spectators?

Yes, we allow spectators at our lessons. We want you to share in your little one’s swimming journey wherever you can.

For our Happy Baby, Happy Toddler and Happy Splash lessons, you will have one adult in the water with your baby or toddler and there is space poolside for one more adult to enjoy the experience. In fact, we recommend it for those swapping who is in the water each week, as you will benefit from seeing what has been taught ready for your turn.

For our Happy Swim lessons, you can choose to have one adult spectate from poolside. We find it can help keep your little one on track in the pool, and they love to show you their skills. Or alternatively, you can enjoy a hot drink in the on-site coffee shop instead and we will keep you up to date with their skills via our online parent portal.


Can we take photographs in lessons?

Yes, we hire The Fish Tank exclusively for our lessons, so we are able to allow you to take photographs of your own family during lessons as long as all of your fellow classmates agree. You can give permission for this when signing up, check the box to say you agree.