Phil Shaw and his partner Ana Torres set up London Baby Swim in 2008, offering classes for parents and babies as young as six weeks old to take to the water and develop their skills. Enrolment numbers rose from just 85 in the first year to 500 this summer.
'The classes are great because the babies develop all sorts of motor and learning skills' explains Phil Shaw. 'In the first few years of a baby's life they experience huge development as their brain grows faster than in later years'
These are held with parents also in the water and are led by a team of qualified instructors. Up until the age of around nine months babies have a miraculous gag reflex which blocks off their windpipes as soon as they are underwater, allowing them to instinctively hold their breath.
Parents spend up to four weeks teaching their babies to get used to the water, holding them as they splash about. But some take a little longer than others to get used to going underwater.