When I took Francis to her first toddler swim class, she was the youngest by far (about 4 months old). I could tell from the very beginning she loved water and believe it’s never too soon to get children comfortable around water. I’ve always showered with our girls instead of bathing them, as soon as their cord fell off in fact. I take time to make sure they get plenty of water on their faces and are used to that particular sensation.
A few weeks ago Allison attended her first swim class and had a great time. It helps that it took place in the warmer therapy pool. I wish I had more time to take her so she gets as much exposure as Franci, who goes to the pool a couple of times a month with her grandmother.
The toddler classes we attend are very informal and involve lots of singing and play. At this point, I just want the girls to enjoy the water and have fun. It wasn’t until recently that I had heard of Infant Swimming. Now that’s hard core! I understand that some families, especially ones with pools at home, would want to teach their babies to hold their breath and swim a few feet, but I don’t think we’re that dedicated.
When they are a little older, we’ll start lessons in earnest. By then they will have a positive association with the pool and will be ready for real instruction from a trained teacher. Considering about 700 children under the age a 14 drown in the US each year, the sooner they can swim the better.
How young were your kids when you started swim lessons? Did you start with casual lessons or serious ones?