Water Babies Yorkshire Central and West

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 Yorkshire Central & West are run by Janice Walker and Arran MacDonald. As a founding member of the Water Babies team, Janice was involved in just about every part of the company before deciding that running her own franchise had to be infinitely easier than helping to run everyone else’s.

It’s a brave person who joins his partner in work as well as play, but Arran proved to be just that man when he left the security of the computing industry for the rigorous demands of working with Janice!

Ella and Beck and are the friendly voices in the office, while a team of highly qualified teachers completes the Water Babies crew. They’d love to hear from you, so why not give them a call, or join in the conversations on the Water Babies Yorkshire Central & West Facebook page.

Local news


Hello from Water Babies Yorkshire (Central)

Thank you for visiting our local page. We are really looking forward to meeting you and your little one and having lots of fun together! Beck and Ella are the friendly voices in the office, as well as taking time out to teach, while our team of highly qualified teachers; Sarah P, Sarah C, Leanne, Rebecca & Amy – as well as Janice and Arran - completes the Water Babies crew. We’d love to hear from you, so why not give us a call? Or see what we're up to on our Facebook page.


Spring Term Coming Soon!

We will soon be opening bookings for the spring term, which starts mid-February 2018.

Contact us now to be on our list and we will be back in touch in January to book you on.

Just send an email to horseyhorsey@waterbabies.co.uk,

PM us from our Facebook page www.facebook.com/WaterBabiesYorkshireCentral

or just call us for a chat on 01943 862802.


·:*¨¨*:·. SUMMER TERM CHAPTER 1 ·:*¨¨*:·.

We have opened bookings for our Summer Term! The Chapter 1 classes are suitable for babies from birth to 12 months and we have availability across the Yorkshire & Rochdale area.

Classes start week commencing 15th May and finish week commencing 24th July.

Call us today to reserve your space on 01943 862802 and we can find a suitable class for you.

Don't miss out! Happy Splashing!


Our waiting list for the spring term is now open!

Our spring term will be starting w/c 13th February and will run until w/c 8th May 2017. If you'd like to be added onto the waiting list for the UK's leading baby swim school, please call us on 01943 862802 or email: horseyhorsey@waterbabies.co.uk. We haven't finalised our Chapter 1 schedule yet, but we will start to book places from January onwards.

Please do note that babies for our Chapter 1 classes must be under 12 months to start.

Our new Swim Towels make the perfect gift

Are you looking for great Christmas gift ideas? What about a Water Babies swim towel!

With generous hoods to keep little ones warm and cosy as they dry, our snuggly baby towels and toddler ponchos are made from a 100% heavyweight cotton towelling for fuss-free drying – no more changing room blues! And with special spaces for their Water Babies chapter badges, it means they’re a great way to show off their swimming achievements, too!

What better excuse to snuggle up with your little one this Christmas! To visit our shop, please click here.

Congratulations to Thea Dempsey

We're delighted to announce that 4-year-old Thea Dempsey from Whitley, has been awarded a coveted Water Babies Little Hero award. Thea, who swam at Temple Moor in Leeds with her teacher, Arran MacDonald, overcame her fear of the water to swim 100m for charity.

Thea had been swimming with Water Babies near Wakefield since she was 3 months old. Lessons were running smoothly with Thea thoroughly enjoying herself, when, 3 months in, she suddenly became terribly anxious. Dad Ryan explains: “Thea would cry for the duration of the class, she would panic and cling onto me.” Arran explains: “We call this the water wobbles and it’s a really common developmental phase. Children do come out of it and often our most confident swimmers are the ones who’ve been through the water wobbles!” Arran advised Ryan to continue with the lessons, but to let Thea determine when she was ready to go back in the water.

After a number of sessions, Thea did indeed overcome her anxieties, to the extent that it's now a battle to keep her out of the water! This year, Thea decided she wanted to take part in our bi-annual Splashathon event to raise money for pregnancy charity Tommy’s. Her proud parents decided that she could try and swim 50 metres in their local pool, even though Thea insisted she would be able to do more.

On the day Thea woke up feeling unwell, but all the more determined to complete her challenge. To the surprise of both her parents and pool centre staff, Thea managed to swim 4 lengths of the 25 metre pool and raised a whopping £300 for Tommy’s. Ryan says: “I am extremely proud of Thea, not only because of the money she raised, but the way in which she understood why she was doing it.”

Splashy congrats, Thea - enjoy your prize!

A great reason to start swimming with Water Babies

Thanks to his Water Babies swimming lessons, 2 year old Noah Griffiths from Darlington, remained calm and in control, putting his swimming lessons into practice, when the pedalo he was riding on in Malaga overturned and trapped him underneath.

Katy, Noah's mum, says: “I expected Noah to be scared and crying, but he was the total opposite, he was just telling me that the boat fell over and that he went underwater. In fact the only time he cried was when the lifeguard pulled him onto the rescue boat and that was because it was a stranger!”

She attributes Noah’s calm reaction to his weekly Water Babies lessons.

“He had learned how and when to hold his breath and he wasn’t frightened, which I’m sure is down to his lessons on underwater swimming with Water Babies. He even asked to go back in the water about five minutes after the incident!"

This is why we are passionate about what we do. For the full story, please click here.

A "Big Thank You" from us and Tommy's!

We're delighted to announce that nationally, our Water Babies Splashathons have raised a staggering £806,477 for Tommy's, the Baby Charity. Your support will help them open their new early miscarriage Research Centre next year.

Locally Water Babies Yorkshire (Central) raised an amazing £12,704. We're very proud to announce the highest fundraisers are as follows:

1st Prize: Jessica with Wendy

2nd Prize: Anna with Harry

3rd Prize: Hannah with Thea

Congratulations to them and to everyone who took part and raised such a lot of money for such a great cause!

The benefits of learning early

Did you know that what might just seem like a half hour swimming lesson with your baby actually gives them so much more? Please click here to read our top 10 reasons why we believe baby swimming is an exciting, enriching experience for everyone involved.

Not only does it teach vital life skills, but it also enhances the way babies and toddlers learn other skills too.

Suitable Swimwear

Are you searching for swimwear but not sure if it's suitable for use in your Water Babies lessons? Just look for our new "Lesson Approved" logo and you won't go wrong! So whether you're a brand new splasher or a seasoned pro looking for the next size up, just look for our logo and visit our online shop here.

Why have your own Goggles?

Are you thinking about investing in a new pair of goggles for your Water Babies Yorkshire (Central) swimming lessons and for the other times you may swim? It's a good idea because:

• It reduces the risk of eye infections by not sharing
• They fit you, no more faffing with the straps each time
• You can keep them in their case unscratched and not cloudy
• You can wear them at home, so your baby gets used to them!

If you would like to order a pair please call us on 01943 862802 or email: horseyhorsey@waterbabies.co.uk

Is your little one experiencing the "Water Wobbles"?

Nearly all children go through the wobbles at some point and as distressing as this is for you, rest assured, it’s simply a healthy development phase they’re going through and with patience, calmness and lots of smiles, they will come out the other end loving the water again. Lorna has very kindly shared her experience of the wobbles that her daughter, Jessica, went through:

"Around this time last year Jessica started really badly with the "wobbles." She had it really bad and I started dreading coming to class as it was such hard work. I often spoke to Arran about this after class and over the telephone on a few occasions as I was at my wits end and wanted to cancel her lessons.

Arran was always very supportive and told me that this would be a temporary thing and it would be a shame to cancel. He was always very caring towards Jessica and would never make her do anything she didn't want. He also gave me tips on how to act with her.

I was constantly embarrassed in class and felt like we were holding the group back, however, the rest of the class were always kind to us. We missed lots of sessions as sometimes it just seemed like too much effort and stress for both of us.

It took Jessica around 6-7 months to pull through this but she finally has!! I'm so pleased and now look forward to class. So does Jessica. She is now at the same level of confidence and technique as the rest of the class and I'm just so happy. It's now a joy to bring her as she just enjoys it so much. She cries now when it's time to get out!

If it wasn't for Arran, I would have stopped bringing Jessica this time last year and I know I would have felt nervous about taking her on my own due to her fear. That would have probably made the situation even worse for her.

If you ever want to use this to pass on to other parents that are going through the same thing then please feel free. I'm so glad we stuck with it.

Thanks Arran and the Water Babies team".

Starting Early!

One of our water babies, Alice Hirst Sewell from Morley, started swimming with Arran at the grand age of 1 week old. She's since completed her core beginner's programme and her initial weekly adventures in the water during her first 10 weeks have been captured and posted by her parents in her own blog "Alice's Water Babies Diary".

To follow her early day's progress on her blog featuring photos and videos, please click here.

Our Teachers are making a Splash!

Congratulations to our very own swimming teachers, Arran MacDonald, Beck Lawrence and Rachel Mawson, who are celebrating after becoming some of the first people in the UK to be presented with a prestigious qualification.

The 'ASA Level 2 Extended Diploma in Coaching Learn to Swim' qualification was created by the National Governing Body for swimming, the ASA, along with Water Babies.

The qualification follows years of learning, with a specific focus on child development, child protection, parent feedback and the innovative delivery of swimming lessons. It requires high quality, specialist training allowing our teachers to advance their skills and knowledge to a world class level.

Arran commented "I am so proud of my teachers for achieving this award as well. It is so fantastic to know that our little ones are getting the very best baby swimming tuition from such a knowledgeable, dedicated and hard working team."