When Can a Baby Learn to Swim?

It’s a question that a lot of parents ask and it’s one that you can imagine I like to talk about. I am a big supporter of getting infants and toddlers into the water early, for several reasons:

  • Accelerated social, physical and learning development
  • Stronger parent-child bond
  • Reduction of drowning danger

When Can a Baby Learn to Swim | Kathleen McMordie Infant Aquatics Katy TexasThese benefits are all supported by recent scientific studies. But most parents have safety in mind and want to know how early is too early?

Six months old is a good benchmark to consider getting your baby in the water: at that age most babies have developed the head control necessary to perform basic infant water survival exercises, including roll-to-back-float. Six months is also a time when babies become more mobile outside the water – for homes with pools, this means they can accidentally find their way into the water and get into trouble.

You would be amazed at what a 6-9 month old baby can accomplish in the water! They can hold their breath underwater, intuitively roll-to-back-float, open their eyes underwater to explore, and more. They develop a comfort in the water that serves them throughout their childhood and into their adult lives. It is also incredibly rewarding to see the fun that parents can have getting involved with their infants in the water, developing such a wonderful bond and creating memories that last forever.

When Can a Baby Learn to Swim | Kathleen McMordie Infant Aquatics Expert Katy TexasToddlers at 12-24 months can do even more and this is a perfect time in their development to learn actual swim skills that can save their lives. 1- and 2-year-olds are fully capable of entering and exiting the water on their own, swimming underwater unassisted, and back-floating for extended periods. It also becomes easier to see the skills they will use outside of the water: comfort and curiosity with other children, ability to follow directions, and physical strength and confidence.

Don’t wait for some arbitrary age, your baby can swim a lot sooner than you think – it’s good for them and it’s good for you!

Kathleen McMordie is an Infant Aquatic Survival Lead Instructor and water safety specialist located in Katy, Texas. Show owns a full-service aquatic facility, called Texas Swim Academy. Through a variety of programs, Kathleen and her staff of instructors at Texas Swim Academy strive to introduce children to water at an early age through INFANT AQUATICS, and to fully develop their swim stroke abilities through adulthood through STROKE DEVELOPMENT.

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Studies Show Widespread Benefits of Water Lessons for Kids

Studies Show Widespread Benefits of Water Lessons for Kids | Kathleen McMordie Infant Aquatics Katy Texas

Everyone touts the safety reasons why swim classes for kids are such a great idea but now researchers are proving that there are even more benefits, including one you might not guess off the bat.

As you may recall from a January blog post, early water lessons for kids have been proven to help them learn and perform better at school. The brains over at Griffith University Institute for Educational Research looked at 200 kids age 3-5 – most of the group early swimmers and the rest not – and actually followed their progress for two years, using testing and interviews to get a handle of how they were doing in their cognitive development and performance in pre-school and school. They found out the swim class kids were developing faster and doing better than the others.

In addition to this academic evidence of the benefits of swimming lessons for kids, many parents credit these programs for helping their children in other ways. From increased confidence and participation in other group activities to a healthy respect and appreciation for the water, kids swim programs can help develop essential social skills in a fun, non-traditional way.

Often times, special needs children respond to water therapy and swimming lessons in an even greater way that other kids their age. By providing a safe, zero-gravity environment to learn and explore motor skills, the swimming pool offers a unique opportunity to develop verbal communication.

So if you’re going over in your mind the decision to begin parent child swim lessons, or infant water survival skills, or even casual outdoor water play for toddlers, know that by getting your child into the water early you are giving them a gift that pays off for years to come. Early swim is a difference maker – we can help your kids learn to swim, and help your kids just learn.

Kathleen McMordie is an Infant Aquatic Survival Lead Instructor and water safety specialist located in Katy, Texas. Show owns a full-service aquatic facility, called Texas Swim Academy. Through a variety of programs, Kathleen and her staff of instructors at Texas Swim Academy strive to introduce children to water at an early age through INFANT AQUATICS, and to fully develop their swim stroke abilities through adulthood through STROKE DEVELOPMENT.

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