Monday, November 23, 2009

Baby Class Reviews: YMCA Lakeview Swim Class: Shrimp and Kippers

I will be rating baby classes on a 5 star (*) scale.  I will also review price, age, size, length, cleanliness, space, parking, open play toys, instructor, content, Henry’s opinion, mom’s opinion, other moms, music, make-ups and activity.  Some of the classes are exclusive to Chicago, and some are national/international chains.  For a stay-at-home mom in the winter, baby classes are part of a survival guide.  A baby class introduces you to other moms with babies of the same age, and gets you out of the house.  Plus, baby gets to interact with others his age, which is great for his socialization and development.

YMCA Lakeview
3333 N. Marshfield Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 248-3333

**** FOUR STARS ****

Price:   $132 (non-member) for 6 week session; $66 for member. 

Age:  6-12 months

Size:  Small.  Around 5-10 moms/babies 

Length:  30 minutes

Convenience:  If you don’t currently have a YMCA card, you have to show up in person to sign up for a class.  Once you have a card, you can sign-up online.  Staff is very helpful and friendly. 

Cleanliness:  Kind of clean.  Everyone must soap shower before entering the pool.  The family locker room is clean and simple.  The pool and poolside are very clean.  The pool toys aren’t washed between classes, but the chlorine probably serves as an antibacterial guard.  Some of the pool toys are a little mildewy, but they just got new ones recently.  (Scale: Super, Very, Kind of, Not at all) 

Space:  The pool room/floor is heated – hooray!  Pool is very clean.  The swipe card entrance door to the family locker room is broken.  But the locker room has private changing stalls and lockers (bring your own lock).  The showers are satisfactory.  They provide soap.   

Parking:  Relatively easy street parking (pay box, up to 2 hours for $2).  YMCA parking lot – $5. 

Open Play Toys:  Bath toys:  duckies, noodles and balls.

Instructor:  Woman with flower swim cap – I don’t remember her name!  She is a little nutty and has a satisfactory singing voice.  She likes to tell jokes … a lot of jokes. 

Content:  Caregivers and babies learn how to get in and out of the pool.  We stand in a circle and let babies splash, show them how to blow bubbles and put them on their backs.  We don’t generally put their faces in the water.  H once dunked his head under on his own.  Babies learn to kick and reach for balls.  We throw duckies across the pool and help them swim across.  We collect balls by colors.  We sing songs like:  The hokey pokey.  The first few classes were the same, but at class #4 we started using noodles and mixing it up a bit more.

Henry’s Opinion:  H loves the water.  He’s a natural.  He splashes and kicks and generally is content in the water.  He even likes the shower, which a lot of kids hate. 

Mom’s Opinion:  It’s a good work out lifting and holding H in the pool.  The timing of the classes isn’t ideal, I have to wake Henry up early from his nap to get there on time.  It’s also a lot of work to get Henry dressed in his swim diaper and swim suit and then out of it and into his clothes after class, while also dressing/undressing myself.  The chlorine and multiple showers/baths dries out H’s skin, but it’s not severe, and it’s all worth it! 

Other Moms:  The other moms are very friendly.  Although, there isn’t much socializing going on because we have to concentrate on keeping the babies heads out of the water. 

Music:  B: No background music, just singing, but we don’t go to swim class for the music. 

Make-ups:  1 make-up per session allowed.  Email or call (773) 248-3333.

Activity:  Tons of activity.  Swimming is great exercise for both of us.

Bonus:  YMCA has open swim hours that you can attend.

See Other Baby Class Reviews

1 comment:

  1. Love this idea, thanks for the info. I am looking for parent toddler swim classes for Spring.