Nemo Swimming Lessons Review

This is an advertisement for April 2022. Any shares/edits beyond this date have not been asked or paid for. Thanks to our writer Bethanie for this post. 

Nemo Swimming Lessons Review

For the last few weeks my daughter and I have been enjoying swim classes with Nemo Swimming. I was a little nervous about taking her swimming; being a pandemic baby she was introduced to swimming pools a little later in life than my older two and our first experience with her in a pool hadn’t been a good one.


But I headed in with an open mind and the promise that this would at least be a positive bonding experience for us both. 

I needn’t have worried at all and in fact, little Lily loved her time in the pool! I think we were both disappointed when the lesson ended and could have quite happily stayed in longer. 

This post shares what to expect from your Nemo Swimming class, what made our experience so unique and why it really was an ideal way to introduce your little ones to swimming. 

From the warm water to the friendly and fun staff that deliver the classes, there really was nothing to fault. 

5 Reasons to Try Nemo Swimming Lessons at Paddlepod

  • Warm and clean changing rooms with plenty of changing tables for babies 
  • Heated swimming pool 
  • Free access to an on-site soft play with cafe afterwards (with a viewing window if grandparents would like to come along and watch the lesson too)
  • Small class numbers with an instructor in the water with you 
  • A fun and engaging time in the pool 

About Nemo Swimming.

Nemo Swimming delivers swim lessons for babies (up to 18 months), Toddlers (18-36 months), Preschool (3-4 years) and Juniors (5-12 years+). For the school aged children lessons are delivered by Nemo Swimming’s sister company: SwimNE. 

Nemo Swimming was founded in 2009, originally set about creating a unique swimming lesson programme for pre-school children. They realised there was a gap in the market at the time as this was an area that appeared to be neglected by many other swim schools. 

Since then, Nemo Swimming has grown and expanded their range of classes to cater for babies, toddlers and school-aged children. 

Lessons are delivered at PaddlePod Newcastle (Killingworth), PaddlePod North Tyneside (Shiremoor), Beacon Hill School (Wallsend) and Deep Blue Dive Centre (Whitley Bay). 

Lessons are also available in South Tyneside at The Diving Centre in East Boldon which are taught through Nemo Swimming. 

What to expect during your swim class: 

We attended two Nemo Swimming lessons at Paddlepod Shiremoor, North Tyneside. Parking is free across all PaddlePod sites, with plenty of parking spaces. 

The classes run term time only and the one Lily and I attended was on a Friday morning, lasting for half an hour. 

Upon entering the building, we headed straight towards the changing rooms as we were already booked in. No queuing or filling in forms upon arrival.

The warmth when I opened the changing room door was very welcomed. In the past it has always been the cold changing rooms that upsets babies, but this was lovely and warm.

The changing rooms were clean and had baby changing tables set out in the middle of the room with cubicles running down each side of the wall. I changed Lily’s nappy on one of the tables and then went into a cubicle to get us both ready for swimming. 

It is a requirement that babies and toddlers wear a double nappy to prevent any accidents or leakages. This is a normal swim nappy with a neoprene nappy cover on top.

You can pick up swim nappies at your local supermarket or chemist. For neoprene nappy covers, the Splash About Happy Nappy is recommend which you can purchase from one of the swim centres. 

Once we were changed and ready for our lesson, we headed towards the pool and waited for the lesson before us to finish before entering the pool. There seem to be a number of classes running and as one finishes the next one is ready to start. The class numbers are kept small and the instructor will be in the water with you.

Our Nemo instructor was called Tracey and she immediately put us at ease, showing us how to enter the pool safely and how to make sure Lily felt comfortable and happy getting into the pool. 

The purpose-built pool at Shiremoor is 15m (the one in Killingworth is a little bigger at 25m) and the water is lovely and warm. I know I have mentioned the warmth a few times, but I think it makes all the difference when swimming with young children: they are happier and enjoy their swim experience. 

The lesson followed a routine involving songs, playing with small pool toys, jumping in from the side and getting the babies used to the feeling of water on their faces as well learning important water safety skills. It was a fun and relaxing environment and Lily smiled the WHOLE way through our class.

She particularly enjoyed singing “Humpty Dumpty” and jumping in off the side with some help from me. The half hour passed very quickly but was enough time to keep the little ones focused and engaged during their time in the pool. 

Special Offer & How To Book 

Check lesson times and book online here.  Enter code NEFF22 for 10% off your first term with Nemo Swimming. 

T&Cs - Offer is valid for new customers only. The code is valid for Nemo Babies, Nemo Toddlers and Nemo Pre-school lessons only. Code must be entered on booking and will give 10% discount on any initial payment made in April, May, June or July 2022. Subscriptions will automatically renew at the end of term at the usual price of £49.20 per month unless suitable notice is given. This offer is only valid for bookings made before 11:59pm on Saturday 30 April 2022.

After your swimming lesson:

Following the swim class, we headed upstairs to the café and soft play. This space is a godsend for parents, as they are able to have a hot drink and a bite to eat while the children can play in the secure soft play and activity area.

You will also find located up here a viewing platform that overlooks the swimming pool. This is great if your partner or grandparents want to come and watch the swim class too. 

A cafe with viewing area and play area is available at both Paddlepod sites 

The café offers hot and cold drinks, freshly prepared cakes and sandwiches all at reasonable prices. 

You can really make a morning out of your visit here, with your swim class followed by snack or even lunch within the PaddlePod setting and your child can play alongside other children, making new friends whilst playing and exploring.

Complimentary Soft Play at Paddlepod Killingworth

There is also a sensory room designed for babies up to the age of one. I think this is what makes the whole experience really unique and stand out for me, was the fact it wasn’t just the swim lesson but what came after it as well. 

Below you will find some frequently asked questions, but I can honestly say this was a very positive swimming experience with my eighteen-month-old, and I would highly recommend to others who are looking at getting their little one used to swimming and being in the water.

Also note that you go into the water with your child for the baby and toddler classes, once they move up to the pre-school classes you can watch from the viewing area and there will be two instructors in the water with the children. 

You can read more about the free soft play, child-friendly cafes and other facilities and pre-school activities available across the Paddlepod sites here. 


There are two PaddlePod locations in the Newcaslte/North Tyneside area. 

Shiremore: NE27 0NB

Killingworth: NE12 5AB

Frequently asked questions: 

  • Does my child need to have had their vaccinations before joining baby swimming lesson?

Answer from Nemo Swimming -

You can take your baby swimming before they have had their vaccinations, and it is perfectly safe to do this. It is normal for some babies to experience mild side effects after their vaccinations. 

These side effects should not usually prevent them from coming swimming. Do bear in mind, though, if they are feverish or irritable, they may not enjoy their baby swimming class as much as normal. If you're unsure. please check with your healthcare provider.

  • What should my little one wear to a swimming lesson?

All babies will need to wear a double nappy when attending baby swimming lessons. 

There are two parts to this:

  1. A swim nappy, which looks just like a 'normal' nappy. It is, however, designed to not leak or expand in the water. 
  2. A neoprene nappy cover, which sits over the top of the swim nappy. This should be snug around your baby's tummy and legs and helps to prevent any accidents from leaking into the pool.

You can pick up swim nappies at your local supermarket or chemist. For neoprene nappy covers, we highly recommend the Splash About Happy Nappy - and you can pick these up at many of our baby swimming venues.

You can, if you wish, add a swimming costume or swimming vest over the top of the double nappy. This is optional - the only bit that we insist on is the double nappy itself.

  • How warm is the swimming pool? 
Paddlepod is heated up to 32 degrees in water and 36 degrees outside. 

  • Can more than one adult attend the swim class?

We can only allow one adult per child in the water during a toddler swimming lesson. You are, however, welcome to alternate who brings your little one each week, and most of our venues have viewing areas where partners, grandparents and so on can watch.

  • Where can I check dates/prices and book? 
You can check dates and prices here:

Don't forget to use our special offer code NEFF22 for 10% off your first payment. See further up this post for t&cs. 


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