Sep 27 , 2022
Swimming is an essential life skill that everyone must acquire. As they say, well-begun is half-done; hence it is necessary to make an early and effective start so that your child picks up swimming skills adeptly while they are young. Experts are of the opinion that teaching swimming to an infant is a good idea to drive away the fear of water in that tender stage itself, as that is the major deterrent for many individuals who eventually shy away from swimming as they grow older.
Why Infants Should Learn Swimming
Teaching infants to swim with the help of baby swim diapers, is not all about just having them splash around the water for fun, but it can also benefit a kid in many ways. First and foremost, safety is the primary reason why parents should seriously consider swimming lessons for their infants. Besides being a life-saving skill, swimming also involves movements that make them stronger and fitter, improving coordination and promoting early muscle promotion.
Since swimming stimulates the entire body, it also plays a key role in regulating eating and sleeping patterns for an infant. It is also interesting to note that an infant gets a sense of independence by the feeling of weightlessness; as they move their arms and legs inside the water, it’s playful learning for them that gives them a newfound joy of independence. It goes without saying you should always keep your eye out on them but at the same time, you should be perseverant till they learn swimming to a considerable extent.
Tips to Teach Your Infant To Swim
You can teach swimming to your infant when they are six months old- yes, you heard that right! Let’s look at a few tips you can follow when it comes to teaching your infant to swim.
Start Early: the earlier your little one takes the plunge (well, literally as well as figuratively!), the quicker they will grasp the basics of swimming. The best thing is, babies don’t associate water with fear, which ensures that they don’t learn swimming as a traumatic experience and can deal with water without any inhibitions. It is only with age that the fear of water develops; once a child turns three, he/she will have responses of fear while learning the basics of swimming. An infant will also come to perceive water as a familiar territory if they start swimming at an early age. It will become a natural skill that they are confident about.
Set Up A Relaxed Environment: the goal is to create a calm and relaxed environment for babies when they encounter water. Take time to set a comfort level with water for your baby and model the skills that you will teach them. Babies tend to learn a lot by imitation; so it will help a great deal if you demonstrate things like holding your own breath or keeping your eyes open underwater. This also nips fear in the bud, allowing your child to learn the skills of floating and swimming minus any panic.
Get Over Your Own Fears First: if you are scared of water yourself, it will be very challenging for you to dispel fears in your child. You should first work on your own fears and anxieties; spend time in water, take swimming lessons, go over the basics such as holding your breath and keeping your eyes open underwater, performing simple strokes, and so on. It always helps to be a positive role model for your little bundle of joy. Try to overcome your fears using self-talk and positive affirmations. If you still are unable to rise above your fears, it’s advisable to seek help from trained professionals/certified instructors who can help your child learn swimming.
Start in the Bath: don’t have a pool in your backyard? Worry not, if you want your infant to learn swimming early, the bathtub isa good place to start. Use cool, clear water to simulate a swimming environment, make them lay face down and practice holding their breath or opening their eyes while they are inside the water. You can also fill the bathtub just up to a point where the water covers their ears, and their head rests on the bottom of the tub. The bathtub scenario is good enough for kids to practice kicking their legs or floating on the back. As they slowly start getting more comfortable, you can increase the water level.
Make the Experience Entertaining: keep bath toys handy to make it a fun and enjoyable experience to your infant. Get them accessories such as swim goggles, wetsuits, rash guards, etc. You can also sing rhymes and songs to keep the communication going. Any such repetitive pattern that you even otherwise follow with them will make them feel that water is not an alien territory that should scare them. Besides, infants are attracted to imaginary play, so try imitating the movements of crocodiles, frogs, mermaids, etc. Go all out with your imagination to give your infant a fun time!
Use Baby Swim Diapers: these are different from regular diapers, as they absorb only a small amount of liquid. Thus, they keep leaks at bay when they have a fun time in the water. They are usually designed in a way so that they do not swell unlike conventional diapers that will get large if used in the pool. Besides, disposable baby swim diapers are fitted well even when your little one is learning the ropes (well, in this case, swimming!) and keep messy situations at bay.
It’s time to give your infant that first dip already! Without any second thought, take them to the kiddie section in the neighborhood pool, so that in a few years’ time, they are comfortable enough to sign up for formal swimming lessons, once they are ready to move from a tub to a bigger pool. The trick is to simply inculcate a love for water in them, and before you know it, they will have acquired this critical life skill!
Dr. Sharon Fried Buchalter Ph.D., is a distinguished clinical psychologist, life coach, and public speaker who has worked as a Marriage and Family Therapist and clinical social worker. She received the highest accreditation as a board-certified diplomate-fellow in advanced child and adolescent psychology. She has spent her lifetime educating, enlightening and empowering parents and children of all ages.
She has developed revolutionary tools to help couples, parents, and families achieve happiness and success. Her first book Children Are People Too, provides eight essential steps designed to strengthen families and empower parents to be their own child's life coach and mentor. Her second book New Parents Are People Too, provides relationship advice for couples entering parenthood for the first time.
She is also the founder and owner of Products On The Go and Little Toes.