Water adjustment begins when you give your child their very first bath and this experience can often set the tone for how your child will adjust to the water over time. It is important to use this time to get their body and the child’s head and face adjusted to water. We do not recommend that you avoid getting water on your child’s face. Instead, before you add any soap, gently use your hand to cup some water and pour it over their head and face. Consistency and honesty are crucial so always warn your child first by saying, “Ready, go” before you get water on their face. Try this at least once or twice every time they are in the tub and be sure to smile and coo at your baby so they view this as a positive experience. Even if your baby cries, simply smile say “good job and yea” in a calm and happy voice. Teaching children to “blow bubbles” a common mistake that people make. Once a child expels all their air the natural instinct is to breath again and if their mouth or nose is near the water they will inhale the water.
This water adjustment is a crucial part of learning to swim, and the earlier your child is exposed to this process, the better. Children can start swimming lessons as early as 4 months old to continue their water adjustment and learn those early swimming skills like kicking, floating, and putting their face in the water correctly. For more information about the Infant/ toddler classes click here.
Generally, most fears will begin to emerge in your child at around age 2, so acclimating your child to the water should begin earlier than this. If your child enjoys the bath/shower and is happy to have water on his/her face they will likely adjust well to lessons even if they do not start them until the age of 2.5 or 3 years old. Children under the age of 3 ARE capable of swimming independently and saving their own life if they fall into a pool. They are also old enough to understand the dangers that water can present. Swimming lessons prepare them to avoid those dangers and to react appropriately when accidents occur. Children are never too young to start learning about water safety.
If you have a child who has a fear of water or doesn’t like getting their face wet, it is best to address that fear as soon as you can. If you wait until your child is older it can become increasingly more difficult to overcome those fears. Most fears will not go away on their own, they need to be addressed. Swimming becomes less natural for children as they get older and it can take more time to gain confidence. It’s never too late for a child to learn to swim, but waiting too long can present challenges! Swimming is a life saving skill that every child should master, and it is also a wonderful sport that can be enjoyed throughout one’s entire life.
If you don’t get the opportunity to enroll your child in lessons while they are young that doesn’t mean that they can’t learn. We specialize in teaching children of all ages to be safe and efficient swimmers.