Water Babies Durham and Darlington

Baby swimming with Water Babies is an exciting, enriching experience for both you and your little one. Not only does it teach vital life skills, but it also enhances the way babies and toddlers learn other skills, too. No one else reaches our high standards of professionalism, and no one else works harder to make sure you and your little one feel happy and safe. And we always incorporate lots of bonding, fun and socialising, so you can be sure that a Water Baby is a happy baby!

Classes across Durham & Darlington are run by Penny & Paul Gordon, who were originally introduced to the concept of baby swimming through taking their first daughter, Abigail, along to Water Babies classes. ‘Swimming was a big part of my life growing up,’ Penny explains ‘so when Abigail was born, I was determined to get her swimming as early as possible.’

Just six months after first dipping her toe in the water with Abigail, Penny took the decision to train as a Water Babies teacher; and when the opportunity came up to take over an existing Water Babies business where she lived, such was her passion for Water Babies that she and Paul didn’t have to think twice!

Ask any Water Babies teacher (and most parents) what their favourite part of our baby swimming lessons is and almost without exception, they’ll all talk about the same thing – progression! ‘There’s nothing quite like watching tiny babies grow into chatty toddlers who are desperate to show off their skills as they swim across the pool,’ Penny smiles.

Penny & Paul are still proud Water Babies parents themselves, having recently welcomed their third daughter, Ella, to the world - and this time round, Paul has had the opportunity to experience Water Babies classes first-hand as a parent. 'I would highly recommend dads to join in whenever they can,' Paul advises, 'as it's a brilliant way to spend precious one-to-one time with your little one.'

When not in the pool with Ella, Paul ensures everything runs smoothly behind the scenes, joined in the office by the wonderfully enthusiastic and friendly Laura, Danielle and Charley. 

They’d love to hear from you, so why not give them a call? You can find them on Facebook at Water Babies (Durham & Darlington), where you'll find a warm welcome waiting for you.

Local news

We're recruiting!

Do you love a challenge and making a difference? We're recruiting to our fabulous team and would love to hear from talented individuals who are passionate about what we do. Could that be you?
We're looking for roles both in and out of the pool so if you'd love to join our team then please get in touch. Our current vacancies are:
Swimming Teacher:
  • 7 to 16 hours per week
  • across Durham and Darlington area
  • full in house training and support provided
  • full Water Babies teaching kit and uniform provided
  • starting rate £15.00ph increasing with experience
Client Services Administrator:
  • 30 hours per week including one weekend day
  • primarily office based in Newton Aycliffe with travel to teaching venues
  • supporting our Water Babies clients from enquiry to graduation
For more information about our current roles including how to apply please head over to our careers page.

Last few spaces to join us this term...

We've got some brand new beginner courses starting this week. Please call us today on 01325 728728 to find out more and secure your place. If you get through to our voicemail please leave us a message with your contact details and class preference and we'll call you back.
  • Monday 4.30pm Hummersknott Academy, Darlington
  • Monday 5.15pm Shotton Primary
  • Saturday 1.00pm Durham Trinity School, Aykley Heads
Let's teach your baby to swim, learn for life with Water Babies! #lovewaterbabies

We're out and about...

Our latest term started recently and we've been out and about meeting our new swimming and capturing those precious #firstswim moments. We've been sharing the photos we have taken for you to our closed Facebook group Water Babies and more... attached to our Facebook page. Please feel free to share yours with us too! #lovewaterbabies

Happy Splashy New Year!

We're really excited to be getting back in the pool this year. There's lots happening this year including our fantastic fundraising event for Tommy's, the baby charity, amongst others and we're hoping to make this year our best yet. If you're not currently swimming with us but have it as one of your New Year's resolutions then please get in touch and we can help.

We're back in the office from Thursday 3rd January so if you have any queries or are looking to come and swim with us in 2019 please give us a call on 01325 728728. We'll look forward to seeing you in the pool soon!

#making2019amazing #happynewyear

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

We'd like to wish all of you a fabulous Christmas and a Happy Splashy New Year! We've loved having you all swim with us over the last year and especially during our last week where all of our pools became fantastically festive and fun.

Our office is now closed until Thursday 3rd January for staff holidays. We'll look forward to seeing you in the New Year for lots more splashtastic fun. Don't forget you can still get in touch with us via our Facebook page over the holidays: www.facebook.com/waterbabiesdurhamanddarlington

Signing off for 2018 and looking forward to seeing you all in 2019!

#merrychristmas #happynewyear

12 days of Bubba

Have you seen our 12 days of Bubba competition over on our Facebook page? Each day for 12 days we'll be running a giveaway with our final winner being announced on Christmas Eve. Check out our page daily to see how you can get involved and be in with a chance to win one of our fab cuddly Bubba toys.


#12daysofchristmas #12daysofbubba

Water Babies and more...

Have you seen our local Water Babies Durham & Darlington closed Facebook group? We've recently launched this to help build a local Water Babies community for you all. We'll be sharing hints, tips, news and the odd photograph or video here and there from our classes. You're welcome to share your own photos, achievements or useful articles with us too. We love to hear all about what your little ones get up to outside of classes too.
If you'd like to join our lovely community please follow this link and answer the question so we can accept you easily. We look forward to seeing you in there!

Welcome to the team!

The lovely Milly has settled right into our team and I'm sure you'll agree if you've met her that she's a perfect match for us. Milly will be involved in all things marketing from social media to sales, photography to press releases and much much more. Welcome to the team Milly!

New cafe at The Pioneering Care Centre

The Pioneering Care Centre have recently rebranded their cafe. The Garden Kitchen cafe is has a lovely fresh new feel and their cakes look delicious. Why not relax with a well earned coffee and a chat with your little ones after your classes?

We've moved...

We've outgrown our old office so have moved into our lovely new office on Aycliffe Business Park. If you'd like to pop in and say hello or collect products please give us a call first so we can pull out whatever you need. Our number has stayed the same 01325 728728 but our new address is Flexspace Incubation Centre, Durham Way South, Newton Aycliffe, DL5 6XP. We're usually in here between Monday to Friday 9.15 until 5.15pm and the occasional Saturday too.

Water Babies Durham & Darlington provides water safety sessions to almost 1,000 babies and children

We were so proud to provide water safety sessions to almost 1,000 local babies and children in June to support the Royal Life Saving Society's annual Drowning Prevention Week. It was the perfect opportunity for us to highlight why we do what we do and educate those most at risk. Tragically drowning is the second highest cause of accidental death in the UK.

Our mission has always been “to give babies and children the best possible chance of surviving should they ever fall into water”. We chose this week to highlight the skills we teach across all of our levels and how they can help save your baby’s life. Our older toddlers even had an opportunity to practise some simple rescue techniques to “save” their fellow classmates.

We ran free water safety sessions to those who had not previously attended Water Babies to give them the fundamentals of water confidence and safety skills from our programme. High five to the RLSS for another successful #drowningpreventionweek campaign!

Proud to be supporting #drowningpreventionweek in conjunction with the RLSS UK, Swim England and the RNLI.

Toddler classes - 12 months +

We have new classes available for older babies and toddlers starting this term. Each new Chapter brings different options for those of you wishing to join our classes. For our latest availability and a handpicked class that's right for you and your child please give us a call on 01325 728728 or drop us an email to splash@waterbabies.co.uk.

Why choose Water Babies?

With so many swimming schools starting to offer baby and pre-school sessions it can be hard to decide who to book with. We believe teaching your baby or toddler to swim is an essential life skill, you never know when it might save their life, so it needs some careful consideration. In our latest series over on our Water Babies Durham & Darlington Facebook page we’ll be exploring the main reasons why our parents trust Water Babies for their little one's swimming journey. Head on over and search #12reasonstochoosewaterbabies

New Bubba clothing range released.

We've released our new and exclusive Bubba the baby whale clothing range. From Happy Nappies and wetsuits, to float jackets and sunhats, we’ve got your little one covered.
Ella is loving her new snuggly Bubba onesie too. The softest onesie she owns and is looking forward to putting it on after classes today.
Laura could hardly contain herself when our first order arrived in the office yesterday. You can catch her opening it on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/waterbabiesdurhamanddarlington

2018 and it's our Birthday...

Wow, can you believe 16 years ago Paul and Jess Thompson started Water Babies just down the road from us in Ilkley, Yorkshire. How far we have come since that day, now teaching almost 50,000 babies and children to swim across the UK every week and now the World! I wonder if Paul and Jess initially expected baby swimming and Water Babies to become so huge?

Looking to return?

Have you previously swam with us but taken a break? Have your circumstances changed? Did you opt out but have changed your mind? Do you want to get your little one back in the pool and confident for Summer?

We have limited availability for our November term starting soon, call 01325 728728 or email splash@waterbabies.co.uk and we'll check our latest availability for you and find you a place.

Water Babies Franchisee wins National Award!

The lovely and incredibly supportive Franchisee Tamsin Brewis has won a National Award for Female Franchisee of the Year with the BFA (British Franchise Association). Tamsin is following in the footsteps of the whole Water Babies Franchise who were succesful in winning Gold for Franchise of the Year last year.

Tamsin is incredibly knowledgeable in the area of baby swimming and the running of her Water Babies business and recently had her efforts recognised internally by the Water Babies Network when they nominated her as Water Babies Franchisee of the Year 2016/17. Tamsin is always there to support her fellow Franchisees and the Network as a whole and it was a joy to show our recognition at our latest conference by presenting her with our own award.

All at Water Babies Durham & Darlington congratulate you on your win Tamsin, very well deserved!

Water Babies on the telly!

Our co-founder, Paul Thompson was recently on ITV's This Morning  with Eamonn and Ruth. He was invited in to discuss the controversial method of ISR (Infant Survival Rescue). ISR is an aggressive method of teaching water safety skills and not the approach we use at Water Babies. If you'd like to find out more about what we do please give us a call in the office on 01325 728728.

Did you know?..

  • At Water Babies we teach babies and children vital life saving and swimming skills.
  • Your baby can start with Water Babies from birth and stay with us until they're 5 years old, learning fabulous skills, building strength and stamina and having fun.
  • Water Babies only use lovely warm hydrotherapy and warm water pools, lovely for baby and you!
  • Water Babies teachers train to the highest level possible in teaching baby swimming and really are world class.
  • Water Babies Durham & Darlington have 12 different venues across the County Durham, Darlington and North Yorkshire area.
  • Water Babies teach 7 days a week, perfect for busy Mummies and Daddies!
  • Water Babies have 17 different Chapters (or levels) and they follow the Nationally recognised Swim England learn to swim programme.

Water Babies are bound to have a class for you and your little one, please call 01325 728728 or drop us an email to splash@waterbabies.co.uk if you're keen to join one of our award winning classes.

Local Water Baby wins National Little Heroes Award!

One of our brave Darlington Water Babies, has won 1 of 10 National Little Heroes awards! The lovely Harriet Holland who has a beaming smile for her teacher Danielle every week even throughout her many operations was nominated by her teacher and was chosen from a number of well deserving entries.

Well done on scooping your National Little Heroes award Harriet! We're all very proud of you, and especially Danielle.

Follow us on Instagram @waterbabiesdurham with Penny and #waterbabiesella

Did you know we have an Instagram page too? You can follow us behind the scenes and catch up on Ella's journey there too. Ella had her first dip in the pool at the Pioneering Care Centre in Newton Aycliffe at just 7 days old with Daddy.

Proud Dad, Paul has been enjoying his time in the water and experiencing the thrill of seeing Ella's first underwater swims, "I would highly recommend Dad's to join in where they can and if you can fit baby swimming into your schedules, it's a totally brill time to spend with your little ones." Paul.

You can see the start of Ella's Water Babies journey in pictures here. She's since moved to the Royal County Durham Marriott with Daddy and although we can't take photo's there she is loving it!

We are the UK's fastest growing charitable event!

Incredible news that Tommy's and Water Babies' joint fundraising event Splashathon blew the competition out of the water and was named the UK's fastest growing charity event! Massive thanks to all who took the plunge and made this event such a fabulous success last year, we're looking forward to planning the next one already!

Find out more about Tommy's and Splashathon here.

Name... Ready... SNAP!

All of our fabulous beginner's packages include a space at our professional underwater photo shoot. The next shoots are scheduled for:
Sunday 10th February 2019 - The Education Village, Darlington
Sunday 12th May 2019 - The Education Village, Darlington
For more information take a peek at our photos page!
There are also spaces for toddlers or older babies on our shoot give the office a ring on 01325 728 728 for more information.

Did you know we have 17 different levels or Chapters as we like to call them?

When most people think of Water Babies they think of tiny babies in the water. It's true our Chapter 1's are tailored to babies from birth to around 12 months but there's so much more to Water Babies.

We have a specialised and structured swimming programme that we developed with our extensive teacher network experience and Swim England (the governing body for teaching swimming). This means that swimming with us you can be confident that your baby or child will develop their swimming and confidence at their pace whilst being challenged each week.

Our Chapter 1 classes start off with our world class instructors giving you the confidence to to teach your baby to swim. Helping you with the best swimming position, showing you how to help them fall in safely, practicing gentle underwater swims and teaching them to hold their breath.

There are so many skills, fun and games in between to list here but by the time your little one has got to Chapter 17 they'll be at Swim England Stage 3 level. Amazing given most 4 and 5 year olds haven't even started Stage 1. This means they'll be swimming confidently and independently across our pools, surprising us with their techniques from backstroke to butterfly, diving in to the water safely and picking up treasure from the bottom. We're really proud of how much our Water Babies achieve each term and celebrate with a cloth badge.

Come along and join in the fun: email splash@waterbabies.co.uk or give us a call on 01325 728728, if you get our answer phone, sorry! Leave us a message and we'll get back to you.

Don't worry if your little one is already over 12 months, although its best to start at Chapter 1 you can start at any Chapter subject to availability. Give us a call and we'll find the best class for you.

Our gift vouchers are perfect for any occassion - give an experience that lasts a lifetime, any time!

Are you looking for that thoughtful Christening or birthday gift? Have you run out of ideas for a family who has everything? Why not give them the gift of swimming? Our classes are fun, sociable and informative but most of all teach babies essential life saving and swimming skills.
We offer gift vouchers that you can purchase in multiples of £5, £10 or £20 or you could even purchase a course of lessons. We sell the toys used in our classes too so if you'd like baby to have something to open you could add some toys to your gift.
For more information on what we offer please give us a ring in the office on 01325 728 728 or email splash@waterbabies.co.uk

Have you seen our links?

A lot of these companies are run by our very own Water Babies Mummies. Why not give them a try next time you're looking for ideas for gifts, something to do or even looking at capturing those special memories. We are an advocate of local businesses and run a Friday Shares thread each week on our Facebook page. Why not head on over this week and give your business a shout and help yourself to some free marketing!
If you've got a local business and think we can collaborate with each other hen please get in touch with Penny on 01325 728 728 or penny.gordon@waterbabies.co.uk.

Oliver Joyeux makes a splash at 3 days old!

The youngest ever Water Baby nationally was 1 day old Phoenix but one of our local babies was pretty close. Baby Oliver joined our classes at just 3 days old showing it's never too young to start. He had lots of fun with Mummy and Daddy at our lovely warm hydrotherapy pool in Darlington Education Village. Check out their story here.
We use a number of hydrotherapy pools across the region that are suitable for babies from birth. If you'd like more information then please give us a ring on 01325 728 728.