I’ve been taking B for swimming lessons since he was about 3mths old. It’s something I always wanted to get into with him as I wanting him to learn the valuable skill of being safe in water, not where he might be. As well as all the great skills we learn each week, most importantly we have lots of fun!
We’ve been to 2 different swim schools (due to moving house when he was nearly a yr) and both use similar techniques to help them to progress and be confidant in the water. Luckily for me B has always enjoyed the water and got on well with lessons, but there were babies who would cry and cry during the 30mins lessons and the parents looked ready to give up. I think I would have done in that situation. Teachers always try to encourage you to keep going as babies and toddlers can grow out of these stages and learn to love the water in time.
From his 1st few lessons the teacher, and sometimes I, would carry out a ‘swim’ where B would be placed slowly under the water and passed to me to hold and bring gently out of the water. As daunting as this felt the 1st few times, it became easier and seeing him react so well, really encouraged me. Gradually he has progressed further and further and can now get into the pool safely, hold onto the bar on his own and ‘monkey-walk’ along in the water. He jumps off large floats and from the edge of the pool (whilst sitting) and really has no fear whatsoever. We have weeks when he’s a bit grumpy and might not want to do the tasks set out that day, but generally he gives most things a go. That is unless it entails using the foam woggles! He actually seems to hate these and wont use them at all – really don’t know why but each week we try to encourage him, but still no success.
A week on Wednesday the term starts again and I’m genuinely excited – 6 weeks off seems to have been like forever. He is moving up to the next class now he is 2, so I am sure there will be lots of things for him to progress to. If anyone is considering taking their little ones for lessons, I couldn’t recommend it enough. It’s a great bonding time for Mums or Dads and you really see them learning things right before your eyes.
It makes me feel happy that probably by next summer, when we go on holiday B will be safe in the pool and we wont need to worry about him falling and slipping in without armbands. We go to Puddle Ducks who are great but there are so many wonderful classes out there. So give it a go!