Octotots Baby & Toddler

Our Octotots swimming lessons are devised using the most recent research into baby and toddler development to ensure that, as well as learning an essential life-saving skill, our young swimmers are receiving a full sensory experience.

Understanding that every single interaction a baby has in early childhood helps aid and shape their development allows us to deliver a co-ordinated, confidence-building, sensory experience for your child.

Signing up to an Octotots class means much more than teaching your child to swim.

Octotots - Fife Swim Centre’s Baby and Toddler Swimming Classes


Baby (0-18 months)

Our baby classes are suitable from birth to around 18 months. The aim is to introduce your baby to the water, make them feel safe and secure, and give you confidence – as a new parent – to bring your child into the water.

We will explain the different reflexes that babies are born with that help them to adapt in the water, and we will teach you how to safely swim your baby under water.

Once we have established confidence, we start to introduce basic swim holds and moves in the water. As you move through the baby programme, we introduce floats and noodles to aid independent swimming.

As babies and young children learn by repetition, you will soon pick up the routine of our classes. At least one new skill is added each week to ensure progression.

All our classes are baby-led. We encourage carers to recognise cues from their baby and ensure the experience is a joint experience for both parents and babies. You will never be asked to do something you are uncomfortable with, and there will always be a teacher in the water with you to guide you.
Here is a guide to the level you should book for your baby by age:

0-6 months – Baby Level 1

6- 9 months – Baby Level 2

9-12 months – Baby Level 3

12-15 months – Baby Level 4

15-18 months – Baby Level 5

Please note that these ages are just a guide. If you need to go up or down a level to suit your schedule, we can easily accommodate this.

Octotots Toddler

(18 months – 4 years)

Our toddler classes are suitable from around 18 months to 4 years and work towards independent swimming and life-saving skills. As with our baby classes, our toddler classes follow a set structure with regular activities and the ongoing introduction of new skills.

Unlike some other swim schemes, all our toddler classes have a parent/carer in the water with the child. The reason we do this is that we don’t use any armbands or flotation aids that are attached to children. Instead, we allow them to learn how their body moves and feels in the water without artificial support. This means that should the worst happen and your child falls into water, they will not be taken by surprise when they go under water. They will expect this, and the vital seconds saved by not panicking will allow them to get back to the side naturally and instinctively.

We also find that having a parent/carer in the water allows the children to challenge themselves with confidence.

If your child has no previous swimming experience, here is a guide to our toddler levels by age:

18 months-22 months – Toddler Level 1

22 months-24 months – Toddler Level 2

24 months-26 months – Toddler Level 3

26 months-28 months – Toddler Level 4

28 months-36 months – Toddler Level 5

32 months-36 months – Toddler Level 6

3 years-3.5 years – Toddler Level 7

3.5 years -4 years – Toddler Level 8

Those swimmers who have progressed through the baby swim programme may find themselves at different stages in this programme at different ages, depending on what age they started swimming.

These age ranges are just a guide so if you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss.

For more information on our classes and what to expect, please download our Swimmer Information Pack (1.7Mb).

Ready to join our swim programme?

Book your place today!