Participating in swimming lessons for baby has lots of benefits. For example, swimming can help improve your baby’s balance and coordination. Parent-child swimming lessons also serve as an opportunity for you and your baby to develop a tight bond. Infant swimming lessons are either rarely taught or quite expensive. The next best thing is for you to teach your baby several basic swimming routines yourself. That way, you can save money while working on strengthening your bond. Read on to know more about how you can teach your baby to swim.
Teach Baby to Swim in 8 Simple Steps
Step 1: Check the Water Temperature
Before you bring your baby out to the pool, check the water temperature. Make sure the pool is heated to the same temperature as their bath water. This is because your baby can’t regulate their body temperature yet. If the pool you’re going to isn’t heated, keep a warm towel handy so you can warm-up your baby after each session. Watch out for shivering, blue lips, fingers, and toes. If you see these signs, take them out of the water immediately.
Step 2: Sit Your Baby on the Edge of the Pool
To help your baby get used to the water, sit with them while on the edge of the pool. Place your baby between your thighs so their waist and legs are underwater. You’re helping your baby feel more at ease around the water. You can slowly pour water on their head so they will be more comfortable with how the water feels before your session. Make sure to call them by their name before you pour the water so they don’t get surprised or scared.
Step 3: Bring Your Baby into the Pool
Now it’s time to bring your baby into the pool. Begin by holding your baby close to your chest as you walk into the pool. Stay close to the pool’s edge so your baby won’t panic. It will also help if you keep eye contact with your baby. Call them by their name and say encouraging things like, “good girl,” or “good boy.” Keep walking into the pool until the water level is right on their shoulders.
Step 4: Submerge Their Body in the Water
You can now begin submerging your baby under water. Hold your baby in a tight embrace and slowly lower your body until your baby is completely submerged. Your baby’s bradycardic reflex will kick in. This reflex makes your baby hold their breath and keep their eyes open. Make sure you don’t keep them underwater for too long! You should only submerge them for two seconds at a time. After this, lift them slowly above the water’s surface. Do this step a couple of times until your baby gets comfortable with the activity. Again, it’s best to encourage your baby each time you lift them out of the water. For example, you can say their name and count before lowering them into the water. Make it fun for them rather than scary.
Step 5: Teach them to Hold onto the Ledge
Now that your baby is more relaxed in the water, you can teach them how to hold onto the pool’s ledge. While in the water, bring your baby near the edge of the pool. Place both of their hands on the ledge. Put your hands on top of theirs and press down firmly. This way, your baby can develop a grasping reflex when their hands find the pool’s ledge.
Step 6: Train them to Float on Their Back
The next swimming skill you can teach your baby is how to float on their back. You do this by placing your baby’s head on your shoulder then lift your baby’s legs so it looks like they’re lying down on the waters surface. Make sure to support your baby’s back and bum with your hands as you do this step. Walk around the pool for a bit while in this position until your baby gets used to it. To take it a step further, remove their head from your shoulder and support their head and neck with your hands. You’ll see the rest of your baby’s body float to the surface because of buoyancy. Make sure to maintain an eye contact with your baby so they stay relaxed while in this position.
Step 7: Help them Learn to Kick
Begin teaching your baby how to do kicks in the water. Hold your baby in a seated upright position. You do this by leaning the back of your baby’s head on your tummy. Wrap your forearms around your baby’s thighs while holding their legs at the same time. Teach your baby how to kick by alternately flapping their legs in a constant up and down motion. Walk around the pool as you do this so your baby gets comfortable moving around the pool while kicking. When you flap your baby’s legs, say the word “kick” frequently so they associate the word with the kicking action.
Step 8: Encourage them to Kick on Their Own
After teaching in the seated upright position, move to the horizontal kicking position. First, hold your baby under their armpits. Lay them belly-down on the surface of the water. Slowly move them across the water while saying the word “kick.” If you trained your baby to respond to the word “kick,” your baby should be kicking through the water on their own. You can take this step further by letting your baby swim a short distance from you to the pool’s ledge. Also, having them reach for floating toys can also encourage them to kick and swim. Remember to stay close to your baby while watching him or her swim on their own.
It’s important to prep your baby before teaching them how to swim. Watch this video by AquaMobile Swim School – Private Swimming Lessons to learn a few tips on preparing your baby for their first swimming lesson:
Now you know more about teaching swimming lessons for baby. By teaching your baby how to swim, you can help them with their balance and coordination. Throughout the swimming sessions, make sure to always call them by their name. Constant encouragement is a must, too! While teaching your baby how to swim, don’t be too serious and make the session fun and enjoyable.
Have you taken your baby out for a swim? What was the experience like? Let us know by writing in the comments section below!
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