Teaching Babies How To Swim

by Pool Builders on 09-17-2006 in Articles

Introducing an infant to swimming can be a useful tool in bonding with your baby while providing a positive introduction to a skill that will be useful throughout their lives. Much of the concerns regarding the introduction of infants to swimming are unfounded.

For children under the age of one, the epiglottis prevents water from entering the trachea. This natural reflex comes as a standard feature on most children and allows them to swim without fear. They grew in similar conditions for nine months in utero and many children seem to enjoy the familiar surroundings of water.

Babies can sense a parents fear. If you are fearful of the water, your child will likely feel a similar fear and they will link it to the pool.

Teaching your baby to swim will have its foundation in short lessons with infant supervision every step of the way. Your infant will not likely be underwater for very long, but they will develop limb movements that assist in their swimming abilities and they will discover the water to be a delightful environment to play in.

Some experts recommend lessons at three months while others have recommended lessons as soon as your child is a week-old although it should be noted that a cold will prevent your infant from swimming lesson participation.

In most cases babies will start their lessons firmly in the embrace of a parent or instructor. They will learn to kick underwater before moving on to other skills such as letting go, pulling and floating. As you physically interact with your infant they gain a sense of freedom in the water because, for the infant, this may be the only exercise that provides a sense of mobility since most baby swimming lessons occur before they can speak, crawl or walk.

Parents are urged not to take the whole idea of baby swim lessons too seriously. Your child should view the lessons as an opportunity to have fun with their mom or dad and not as a performance-based exercise. Certainly, they can't articulate the difference, but they understand when their parents are displeased with them.

Your baby's safety is important, a qualified instructor can help you and your child gain a sense of freedom while learning new skills in a safe environment.

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