Week 4

Up until now we have done all of our swimming lessons in the bath tub. But now that Evie is 4 weeks of age I decide that I’m brave enough to venture into the shower to give her a swimming lesson.

Before taking Evie into the shower I make sure that the water is warm, not hot. As an extra precaution, I warn other household members not to touch the taps while we are showering together. This is an important step because touching other taps can affect the water temperature by either making it too hot or too cold.

Once I’m in the shower with Evie I acclimatise her to the water by letting the shower jets run over her back and tummy. While doing this I make sure to keep her mouth out of the water. She loves the new experience of the gentle water massage.

While in the shower I also make sure I have a secure hold on Evie. Luckily during my trial run I didn’t use any soap! I’ve since learnt that once the baby is soapy they become very slippery and hard to handle. To avoid accidental slips, I recommend that parents wear a T-shirt while they shower with their baby. A shower, with soapy skin to skin contact can be very dangerous.

I also continue the conditioning process with Evie in the shower. The methodology remains the same but I now I replace the cup with the shower spray.

To condition Evie I, 1. Make sure I am holding her securely 2. Use the trigger words “Evie ready go” 3. Gently guide her under the show spray 4. Count 1 and 2, then bring her out from under the shower 5. Celebrate the success

At this stage don’t condition your baby if you aren’t confident with your ability to hold them securely in the shower. At this stage the most important thing is to become relaxed interacting with your baby in the watery environment.

Week 3

When Evie is 3 weeks of age Grandpa Laurie (or Lollipop as he’s affectionately known) decides enough is enough and it’s now his turn to get in the bath and give the swimming lesson.

You’ll notice that when he’s in the bath with Evie, he makes sure she is always given an opportunity to float. He always sinks the baby down low in the water and supports her either under the back and neck or on the legs.

When holding the baby in this way it’s very important to always ensure that their mouth and nose stay clear of the water.

Evie loves the water being poured over her body. The warm water provides great stimulation and helps to relax her even more.

When it’s time to pour the water over the face to condition the baby, Laurie makes sure that Evie is sitting upright so that it can run quickly over the face. Conditioning must always be performed in an upright position.

You’ll also notice that when Evie cries and shows discomfort he reacts calmly. Remember babies read their parents/caregivers body language. To calm the baby he talks softy and places her feet on the bottom of the bath. Placing the feet on the bottom of the bath makes the baby feel secure and helps them to relax. Parents should not pour water over the baby’s face if they are crying or distressed. Always make sure that the baby he happy before conditioning.

Week 2

Evie is now 2 weeks of age and we are starting to settle into our bathtime swimming routine. While I have been doing most of the swimming lessons in the bath, Daddy has shown a keen interest to be involved and when he’s not in the bath with Evie he is on the sidelines cheering her on. It’s great to have the help especially after the bath to get her dressed and organised. Evie really loves a little massage and time on her tummy after her bath time swimming lesson.

I’ve now figured out that it’s much easier to actually get into the bath with Evie. Being in the bath with Evie has a number of benefits. It’s easier to hold the baby, easier to wash the baby and easier to supervise the baby. Now that I’m actually in the bath with her it’s such a wonderful bonding experience as i witness each and every little moment of joy as she learns to swim.

You’ll notice that in the footage we are pouring water over Evie’s face. We are using the stimulus response method known as conditioning to teach her breath control on command. When conditioning Evie we always follow these rules.

  1. Sit baby upright 2. Use the trigger words Evie ready go 3. Pour the cup of water on top of the forehead 4. Congratulate Evie on a job well done 5. Never condition a crying baby

Learning to swim should be a fun and positive experience for both parent and child. Its very important that if the baby shows any signs of discomfort that you don’t condition the baby. Remember at this early stage the most important thing is to teach baby to relax and love the water.

Warning: Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in children under the age of 5. Since 2000 47 children under 5 have actually drowned in the bath in Australia. So please:

1. Never leave your child unattended in the bath 2. Empty bath water immediately after use

1st Bath

On the 7th of May, Mark and I welcomed baby Evie into the world. The first thing on the agenda was to teach her to swim… At the hospital the midwife showed us how to bath the baby… little did she know that for us bath time wasn’t going to be about keeping the baby clean but actually about teaching our baby to swim.

At four days old Evie had her first swimming lesson… I guess you’re thinking… how is it a swimming lesson? Well we are using the bath to prepare baby Evie for her formal learn to swim lessons.

In the bath we can maintain her natural affinity with the water, stimulate her senses, give her the freedom to feel buoyancy and the floating sensation, let her exercise freely and most importantly teach her breath control on command.

Teaching baby breath control on command is very important to ensure that a baby’s first underwater experience is free from fuss or trauma. To teach Evie breath control on command we use a technique called conditioning. When conditioning Evie we always follow these rules:

  1. Sit baby upright 2. Use the trigger words “Evie ready go” 3. Pour the cup of water on top of the forehead 4. Congratulate Evie on a job well done

Learning to swim should be a fun and positive experience for both parent and child. Its very important that if the baby shows any signs of discomfort that you don’t condition the baby. Remember at this early stage the most important thing is to teach baby to relax and love the water.

A few more tips: 1. Always hold the baby gently so that they can feel the waters buoyancy 2. Communicate with the baby by making eye contact, smiling, talking and reassuring them that all is well 3. Stay calm and relaxed babies can read their parents body language

And finally some warnings 1. Never leave a baby unattended in the bath drowning is the greatest cause of accidental death in Australia 2. Always make sure babys mouth and nose stay clear of the water 3. Sit baby upright when conditioning 4. Never condition a crying baby

Now that you know what we’re doing check out the video of Evie at 4 days in the bath on the home page.