To ensure a lifelong love and confidence for swimming, it’s important to get your child comfortable with the water as soon as possible. I recommend that parents start introducing their child to the water as soon as they feel comfortable doing so. Every child is different, but generally 6-9 months is a good time to consider enrolling your child in a swim program. Typically, most swim facilities will recommend that you introduce your child to the water through a parent/child class at six months old. However, parents can also enroll their six month old in an Infant Aquatic Survival class, which teaches your child how to effectively roll over from a face down position onto their backs to float, rest, and breathe all by themselves. This is also known as the roll-back-to-float swim survival method.
Parent/child swim classes give babies an opportunity to simply get comfortable in the water. When children are 18 months – 4 years old, they are ready to learn basic swim skills. In the Infant Aquatics program, however, children are already taught basic swimming skills in addition to getting familiar with the water right away. Even young children and toddlers who participate in the Infant Aquatic Survival program are able to learn a more advanced sequence of swimming face down, rolling onto their backs to breathe, and returned to swim face down again (also known as the swim-float-swim method). The Infant Aquatic Survival program not only teaches familiarity in the water to allow children to be confident and comfortable swimmers, but basic swimming skills that could save their life in an event of an accidental plunge in the water. This allows students to learn how to swim in weeks, not years, and provides them with a head start to becoming a stronger swimmer later down the road.
As some of you may know, I am a mother of 4, and a homeowner with a backyard swimming pool. All my children were taught how to swim through an aquatic survival program. I have always been very impressed by a child’s abilities in the water, even at a very young age. Babies are programmed by instinct with two very helpful reflexes to help them protect themselves from drowning and to have a natural comfort in the water. From a capability standpoint, six months is an age where most babies demonstrate the improved control of their head and overall muscular development to make early swim instruction successful. In a matter of weeks, a Infant Aquatic Survival program teaches skills not only helpful in the water, but helpful in improving a child’s visual motor skills, cognitive skills, including memorization, and verbal skills outside of the water as well. Babies are able to take on general learning just ask quickly as they do in the water and parents will notice that their child will improve his or her ability to concentrate, respond to instruction, interact socially, and more.
Again, every child is different and learns at his or her own pace so choose the earliest time that is most comfortable for you and your family to begin swimming lessons. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or visit our facility to watch our Infant Aquatic Survival classes in action!