By 11 months of age Evie has development exceptional breath control. For this reason we are putting more emphasis on developing more complex swimming skills like down turn arounds and swim arounds.
Down turn arounds teach the baby to turn to safety, either a parent, ledge or side of the pool. Down turn arounds require babies to be submerged vertically. For this reason we do not introduce this skill until children have mastered good breath control.
Evie first started this skill at 8 months of age, however I urge you to ensure your baby is totally comfortable with submerging and floating skills before attempting this. If initial down turn arounds are not happily accepted, return to other underwater skills.
Steps for down turn around (please be aware this technique is demonstrated in the ap) – Hold baby high under the arms facing away from you – Use the trigger words ‘baby’s name, ready go’ – Follow with a horizontal lifting trigger – Submerge baby vertically underwater – Spin and release baby underwater – Catch the baby look them in the eye and congratulate – Build the skill so that the baby pulls themselves up on your t-shirt – Practice this skill to adult, pool ledge and deck level
Swim arounds are another important safety skill. During this skill children learn directional change in the water as they are taught to swim in a semicircle from one shallow ledge to another. This concept is great for teaching children the difference between deep and shallow water.
During the initial stages the baby sits on the ledge next to the parent, the parent guides them (with no submersion) over the deep and allows them to pull up on the shallow ledge. This exercise is repeated from both the left and right direction so the baby becomes used to changing directions in the water. As the baby becomes more confident this activity can be performed underwater. This swim around action is also perfect to extend baby’s breath control.
This month I feel Evie is starting to make the transition from a baby… to I guess a toddler. While she’s not actually walking independently she is becoming so mobile and gets into everything. She is climbing up on furniture particularly the couch and she is ever so pleased with herself. She is also making new attempts with her communication as she points to things with two fingers. Wow time is flying by only one more month until we celebrate her first birthday.