Jane

Jane Castro is a journalist and media enthusiast. She graduated from the University of Bacolod in the Philippines. She loves skating, scuba diving, and archery on her free time.

I love swimming! I remember as a child swimming in pools or the ocean endlessly. Swimming with blue lips and shivering shoulders was the norm. I want to teach my children to swim and love it as I do. I started them young. Since I am a plus-size woman, it was really difficult for me to get a swimsuit that would complement my body. This was a huge problem as I could not get to teach my kids on my own. After a little research, I came across the Jets One Piece Site that was a perfect place that offered tons of swimwear options at really affordable prices.

The North Penn High School on Valley Forge Road offers swimming lessons after school hours during the school year and in the summer. The school swim team is often finishing up as the mothers come in with their babies. The locker was often crowded. I fumbled my way into the locker room with my stroller for a few weeks not knowing what to do with my baby while I dressed at the end of lessons. He was too small to stand on his own, yet I needed to take off my wet swimsuit. Many of the other mothers also brought strollers, but it made a crowded place even more crowded.

The teachers at the high school were very nice and taught using songs and small toys. The water was cool and some of the babies cried. My son did not like it and often cried during class; I suspect it was because the water was so cold. Sign up was easy and the cost was inexpensive, approximately $53 for 8 weeks. www.npenn.org has registration papers and schedules which vary by age and time of the year. The High School pool also offers Family Recreation and Fitness Nights each month when any community resident can join the fun for $3-$5. This varies from Tuesdays and Thursdays in summer to Fridays during the school year.

Another local option for swimming with your baby is the Whites Road pool in Lansdale borough. They offer morning swim lessons beginning in mid-June. I have not taken classes there, but I hear the water is very cool in the morning hours. I have visited the pool with friends and it is a clean and family-friendly pool with fountains, a children’s pool and an Olympic size pool with a deep end for older children. Visit www.lansdale.org and click on Parks and Recreation for details of hours and costs.

By far, my favorite place for swimming in Lansdale is the North Penn YMCA. They have two large heated pools each staffed with lifeguards. It is generally open 7:00 am -10:00 pm except when there are swim lessons scheduled. They offer swim lessons for babies with a parent and swim lessons for toddlers wearing bubbles. There are pre-natal swim lessons, physical therapy swim lessons and fitness swim lessons for older persons. Free time swimming is plentiful. While there are no slides, the YMCA does offer toys for the children and plenty of opportunities for fun and exercise.

The North Penn YMCA also has large locker rooms for both genders and family locker rooms and wheelchair accessible locker rooms with roll-in showers. I always feel welcome and safe at the YMCA. There are bubbles available for purchase or a member may borrow a bubble for lessons. A year-long family membership is approximately $800 and includes access to the fitness center, both pools, saunas, steam rooms, babysitting, discounts on classes and much more. www.northpennymca.org offers an overview of amenities and is updated regularly with class schedules and sign updates. Individual classes may be purchased separately and a community member can be bought for $35 per year. Classes run in 8-week sessions all year long. Both of my children have enjoyed classes here through the years. The staff is friendly and well trained.

Whatever you choose, have fun! It is a wonderful time to enjoy being active with your babies and toddlers.