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When to Start Baby Swim Lessons: A Beginner's Guide for Parents

Most parents wonder when to start swimming lessons for their baby. After all, swimming is an essential safety skill that can help your child later in life. And if your kid likes splashing water during bath time, swimming can also become a fun summer activity.

Infant swim lessons are a great way to get your child started on this water activity. Read on to learn about the benefits and considerations you need to take before starting swimming lessons early.

When to Start Baby Swim Lessons

How young can you start swimming lessons for your little one? This is one of the most common questions parents ask when taking their child to swim lessons.

Your child can begin with swim classes as early as one year old. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the ideal age to start swim lessons is one to four years old. Beginning at an early age lets your child acquire basic survival skills when they’re in the water.

However, the AAP doesn’t recommend formal swimming lessons for children younger than 12 months. Infants around this age aren’t equipped with the breathing skills necessary for swimming. This might end up doing more harm than good to your child.

Aside from age, you have to consider the following factors before signing up your child for swimming lessons:   

  • Comfort level in the water
  • Interest in learning to swim
  • Physical abilities or limitations
  • Developmental abilities or limitations
  • Emotional maturity

Benefits of Swimming at an Early Age

Infant swim lessons offer plenty of benefits for your child. It’s an exciting activity that your kid will surely enjoy to beat the summer heat. Your child can also boost their confidence once they master the basics of swimming.

Aside from being a fun activity, swim lessons also play a crucial role in keeping your child safe. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), swimming classes lowers the risk of drowning for children ages 1 to 4. Knowing the right techniques can help your child find their way in the water and not panic.

Moreover, infant swim lessons teach essential water safety skills. Children who attend regular swimming lessons can learn how to float, tread, and leave the water properly. Once they’re old enough, your child can also learn how to act during emergencies in the water.

Choosing Swimming Lessons for Your Child

It can be challenging to look for the proper swimming lessons for your infant. To help you decide on a suitable place for your child, here are some considerations you can take note of along the way.

Age-appropriateness

It’s best to select swim classes that cater to your child’s age group. After all, children of different ages learn differently from one another. It helps to find low-pressure swim classes suitable for their age, as such an atmosphere helps them understand better.

Swim Instructors

When looking for the infant swim lessons, it pays to ask about the instructors in the facility. A qualified and experienced instructor goes a long way to ensure the safety and effective learning of your child during lessons.

Ask for their training background and certification for any nationally recognized learn-to-swim curriculum.

Class Size

It’s ideal to opt for a small class with up to 10 participants if you’re enrolling your child in an infant swimming lesson. This small class size enables your child to receive the attention they need during sessions. It also keeps them safe by allowing enough space for physical distancing.

Water Quality

Check with your swimming lesson provider about their water sanitation protocol. Ensure that the pool water is disinfected thoroughly and has appropriate chlorine levels. The water also needs to be at the right temperature to be a conducive environment for swimming.

Swim Lesson Program

Lastly, it’s vital to check the class program of your swim class options. After all, this will become the building blocks of your child’s swimming experience. Aside from the basic swim strokes and techniques, look for programs that include water safety habits and survival skills.

Preparing for Baby’s Swimming Lessons

After knowing when to start swim lessons for your baby, it’s time to get your little one ready for the pool. Your child might feel hesitant at first, but the right strategy can help them get used to the water. Here are some tips to encourage your child to get ready for swim lessons.

  • Splash away in the bath. A good experience with the water begins during bath time. Playing during bath time helps your child gradually get accustomed to the water. This way, the pool won’t feel as foreign when they start their swimming lessons.
  • Use fun water play activities. Water play is a great way to let your child feel the water. For example, they can sit near the pool and scoop some water into their tiny buckets. Aside from this, it also creates an exciting bonding moment between you and your child.
  • Visit the swimming pool before class. If your child feels scared about going into the pool, it helps to let them see the place for themselves first. Show them around the area so they can get acquainted with the surroundings. Doing so reduces the possible shock factor on their first day of class.
  • Avoid eating before class. Keeping your child from eating before swimming prevents them from getting sick once they’re in the pool.
  • Arrive at the session early. Go to the venue at least 15 minutes before it starts so that your child can familiarize themselves with their surroundings.
  •  Let your child learn at their own pace. Always remember that your child is still growing and learning new things. It’s best not to push them too hard and instead support them as they get the hang of the swimming techniques.

Jumpstart Your Baby’s Swim Lessons

Once your child is old enough and ready, you can sign them up for swim lessons. After all, it equips them with the necessary life skills on the water. Parents wondering when to start swim lessons with their baby could consider looking into infant swimming classes. Starting them at a young age will go a long way to help them deal with water incidents better later in life.

Learn more about age-appropriate swimming lessons for your child in the Bear Paddle blog.