Babies spend the first nine months of their life in fluid. It’s probably not a coincidence that as they grow older, they get fond of playing in water! Babies can be enrolled in “mommy and baby” swimming classes as early as 3 months old. During this time, the babies are allowed to play and socialize in the water with their parents or guardians.
Baby swimming lessons is a fun way for mothers to bond with their baby. A parent-supervised child swimming class is not an actual swimming course. A child can start learning real swimming techniques by 3 or 4 years of age – when he is able to properly follow directions from an instructor. In the meantime, “mommy and baby” swimming classes can teach parents how to safely handle their babies in water.
Swimming lessons for babies are useful especially for families who have a backyard pool or live near a body of water such as a lake or a beach. Many classes also offer survival swimming lessons for babies 6 months and up. In these classes, babies are taught how to float by themselves and cry for help in case they fall in water.
Some important things your baby can learn from a survival swimming class is rolling over in the water to face upward, managing to stay afloat while wearing regular clothes and kicking to get to the pool edge. While those are excellent skills for a young child to learn, nothing beats round-the-clock parental supervision to prevent the child from falling in the water in the first place.
Check the YMCA, Red Cross and swimming clubs in your area if they offer parent-supervised baby swimming lessons. You may also ask other parents or your child’s doctor for recommendations. Before jumping in the water with your baby, make sure the swimming pool facility has the following:
• Warm pool water
• Lifeguard on duty
• Safe shower and changing area for baby
• Qualified instructor
• Flexible class schedule
An indoor swimming pool is recommended for infants. Go for a trial lesson first or try to observe your baby during bath time at home to see if he is ready for social swimming. Don’t be disappointed if your child is scared of the water. Some babies take some time to get used to being immersed in water. Sooner or later, you child will be ready for formal swimming lessons anyway.