Baby swim classes are an ideal activity for parents and caregivers to enjoy with their child. Water familiarization is a vital stage of the learn to swim class. Here the baby and the caregiver become relaxed and confident in the water. These early experiences with the water will set the tone for all future learning. For this reason it’s important that you relax, smile and reassure your baby or toddler that all is well. As children grow with age, physical capabilities and confidence they will progress to learning the swimming stokes. The learn to swim process should follow a building block approach and progress according to children’s individual readiness. These swimming skills include water familiarization, breath control, submersion, floating and propulsion. During swimming lessons children will also learn vital water safety skills like entering the pool safely, monkeying to find a place to exit the pool, turning and climbing out of the pool, independent mobility and back floating. Caregivers will also be educated on vital water safety topics like active adult supervision, teaching children a respect for the water and be encouraged to learn CPR. Baby swimming lessons can start between 4 and 6 months of age or when the parent feels comfortable. Remember any time is a great time to learn to swim. Regular exposure is the key when learning to swim. Ideally children will attend 2 formal swimming lessons per week and be given regular opportunities to experience water play with their caregiver. Swimming lessons usually involve a group of adults and their children. This also provides the perfect opportunity to build social connections. Great swimming programs with include a mixture of structured learning and a variety of learning through fun activities and play.
This video examines a swimming lesson for 16 month old Lulu. Lulu has had 2 swimming lessons a week since she was 4 months of age. You will notice that over a 12 month period that the baby has developed a range of independent swimming skills. These swimming skills include holding on and doing a monkey along a wall, down turn arounds, independent swimming on “ready go’ invitation, swim arounds, exploring deep and shallow water, developing paddling and kicking skills, improved balance coordination and body awareness. It’s important to note that all children should be encouraged to progress according to their own individual readiness.