It’s amazing to see your baby smile and giggle as he splashes about in the tub, and it may make you wonder when you can sign him up for baby swimming classes. Swim classes for infants are intended to help children get more comfortable in the water and teach them fundamental water safety. Swimming coaches weigh in on infant swimming lessons, including when and why to start, what to look for when selecting a class, and what you can do to ensure a seamless transition from baby’s first dip in the pool.
Why are Baby Swim Lessons Important?
The primary reason for considering infant swimming classes is safety. According to the CDC, there are about 3,536 drowning-related fatalities per year, approximately one-fifth of them being children aged 14 and under. While a one-year-old may not swim laps, they can acquire the skills necessary to get to safety if they fall in a pool, for example.
Early schooling also makes it simple to provide your kid with a good swimming experience from the start. Children who get their feet wet at a young age have less anxiety and uncertainty about water. Swimming boosts confidence in other ways as well. Water play, enjoyable music, and close touch with mom, dad, or another trusted caregiver are part of infant and toddler swim lessons. These factors, along with the excitement of learning a new talent, contribute to forming a supportive and sociable group atmosphere that promotes self-confidence.
When should my baby start doing swimming lessons?
Group swimming lessons may benefit infants as early as 6 months old, and there are toddler swim courses intended for children ages 6 months to 3 years old. In some swimming classes, you’ll spend the whole time in the pool with your child, supporting, soothing, and cheering them on.
When your kid (ages 2 years and older) is ready for some independence, certain programs support a better swim experience with their coaches. At the same time, parents watch over the poolside or from the lobby watching area.
How to Facilitate Baby Swimming Lessons
Because every baby reacts differently to newborn swim classes, you should anticipate various emotions, from ecstatic to downright unhappy. The goal is to persevere and make the lessons as enjoyable as possible. Here are some pointers to keep your kid comfortable and safe in the water:
Wait one hour before a meal.
The traditional adage of waiting an hour before entering the pool is correct. Please don’t feed your child immediately before swim lessons to prevent getting them ill in the pool.
It would be best if you arrived 15 minutes before class begins whenever feasible. It will allow your kid time to adjust to the water rather than rushing into it.
Safety is a MUST!
Swimming should be enjoyable, of course, but safety should always come first when it comes to being near water. Always keep your kid within the arm’s reach of a parent or caregiver while near water.
The bathtub experience is the simplest approach to ultimately acquire a safe and happy swimmer. We tend to be more cautious with infants in the tub, wiping water from their faces, preventing their ears from getting wet, and avoiding splashing, but those are the reverse of what would benefit them in the future. Your baby should adapt to having water poured on his head, lying him on his back, and even splashing and making a lot of noise in the tub to get him used to it.
Break Time is Essential
It may be difficult to know when to gently encourage your kid to help him get over some pain and when to back off, but it is important to emphasize the importance of not pushing things too far in baby swim classes. You should never push a kid to do a task, and you should understand when enough is enough. Have yourself a break if the kid gets unhappy or uncomfortable. If a baby is not comfortable, do not push them to remain for the whole class.
Health is Wealth
It is known that the chances of being ill from a pool are low. Parents must do their share to maintain it clean. To help babies avoid recreational water diseases, doctors advise children with fevers, rashes, diarrhea, or other infection signs not to engage in an aquatics program. Do not bring your kid to class if they are ill or recuperating from diarrhea.
Double-check your baby first before the swimming lesson
Steffens advises parents to take precautions to guarantee their child’s happiness before allowing him to enter the water. If your kid is screaming uncontrollably or is irritable due to exhaustion, a pleasant swim class is unlikely to help—and may potentially make matters worse.
What to look for in swimming classes?
Teach them the basics
This involves working on water competence abilities like self-rescue. Lessons should include a range of realistic scenarios, such as falling in and swimming in clothing. Older children should also learn what to do if they notice someone else suffering in the water and seek assistance.
Water safety integrated-practices
Children should never swim alone or without the supervision of an adult. Instructors should educate children to always seek their parents, lifeguards, or swimming instructors for permission before entering a pool or natural body of water such as a lake.
Experienced professional swimming coaches
Swim instructors should get training and certification from a nationally recognized learn-to-swim program. There should also be lifeguards on duty who are certified in CPR and First Aid.
Observe first before anything else
Not all swim classes are made equal, and parents should do their homework to find the best match. Are they swimming the majority of the time, or do they have long periods of inactivity while waiting for their turn? Is one-on-one attention given to children? Are the teachers pleasant and well-informed? Before you attend any lessons, be sure to check out this pre-swim checklist to ensure you have everything you might need.
Swimming programs in a package
Multiple baby swimming lessons are required. Once your child begins his training, you should see modest but constant improvement in their skills over time. The training must continue until they have mastered basic water competence abilities.