38

Most sources will state no sooner than 6 months, but it kind of depends on the baby's size. Infants are notoriously poor at regulating body temperature when it comes to environment. They can't dissipate heat as well as older babies, and worse yet, they can't generate heat when cold. Most public pools will be too cold for an infant; there is a very real ...


17

It sounds like she might be scared of that particular instructor -- for whatever reason, silly or serious, I think that should be treated as valid. Ask her if she can explain what about him scares her. Swim with her yourself sometimes (not during a lesson) and try to observe particular actions in the water that scare her -- face in the water? water in her ...


10

I used to teach swimming lessons, and I found the easiest way to teach a young child swimming was to compare it to things. Glides weren't "front glides", they were "rocket ship glides", and so we'd put on our space suits and the blast off. I'd tell them the jets went behind them so they'd figure out how to kick. Back glides are spiderman glides, because you ...


10

Hold her knees and kick for her. But... She is swimming. She is 4 months old, enjoying the water is the most important thing at this age!


10

Have you tried teaching her swimming yourself? With both of my kids, we'd go to the pool a fair bit and swim together to get them used to water, basic dog paddle, putting their heads underwater, etc. This means that when they did their proper lessons, at least they were not afraid of the water. A different instructor may help, but I often see parents trying ...


10

If your child's doctor agrees, then whenever you are ready. I was an infant, 3 months, I think. My parents took me to the YMCA in Montreal in the 1950s. Supposedly, I learned to swim then and there. Not strokes, but dog paddle, kick and taking my face out of the water. My mum was with me the entire time, inches away. The one in my city suggests six months ...


10

Most of the baby-swimming classes in the UK will take them from birth (or sometimes as soon as they've had their first round of vaccinations). We started at 8 weeks, a few babies in the class were a couple of week younger. At this stage, it's really important to do things that are suitable for their development, so going to an organised class is by far the ...


9

I remember hating swim classes as a child - I never did learn to swim properly, though I can tread water and get across a pool (which I eventually taught myself). I have never enjoyed it. When my kids were 4 and 5, we moved to a townhouse with a community pool. We went down there every day, usually twice a day, just to play. My kids taught themselves to swim....


8

I currently take my 4 year old to swimming classes. When he started (at 3.5yo), I would go into the toddler pool with him. I had to continue this with him even when he started formal swimming lessons. I now get to sit on the side-lines with the other parents. I think getting into the pool with the child makes a great difference. I did the same with my ...


5

If he has no issue with taking baths, maybe you can desensitize him by practicing there. He could wear his swimming trunks in the bath (filled to the usual level), and he could have a fun new toy to play with to entice him in. Make it seem as exciting as possible, like a special treat to get to do your bath this way. I would not make him put his face in ...


5

On the other side of the coin, I've suffered from several phobias for many years and avoiding the stressor never helped. And in the instance of fear of water, I believe learning to swim is an essential safety skill. My daughter, now 5.5, was TERRIFIED of water. Her first lesson, around 3, was a great way to test the soundproofing of the pool area at the ...


5

A four year old shouldn't be unsupervised near a pool whether he can swim or not (or anywhere else for more than a couple of minutes), but it also sounds like he wasn't unsupervised. It sounds like he wasn't as closely supervised as you believe is necessary, which is an important distinction. In general, I wouldn't insert myself into situations like this ...


5

Another point not addressed in existing answers: There is some indication that exposure to chlorinated water may increase the risk of asthma. German authories recommend avoiding chlorinated water for children under two years of age as a precaution, if there is a history of allergies in the family. If water is chlorinated, which is the case in virtually all ...


5

Here's some other tips not mentioned above. Here in Denmark we also have baby-swimming from 2 months of age, in specially heated pools, both in separate facilities and in public pools. I have had both my kids both places and I can highly recommend it. Just remember that very young babies use a lot of energy when in the water, so its recomended here to ...


4

I have a bit of a different approach than that of @Valkyrie, and want to add that the answer depends on your parenting philosophy. I do wholeheartedly agree with asking her! I don't know why your daughter developed a sudden fear of water. I presume she was accustomed to salt water before, and that her swim lessons are in chlorinated water? Maybe that's what ...


4

Keep taking her to swim, and don't let her see your distress at HER distress. She could misinterpret that as "OMG Mommy is scared of the water too I was RIGHT!" as opposed to the more correct "Mommy is sad that I'm scared." What worked for us, when our daughter was INSANELY FREAKED by water, was repetition and calmness. We took her to lessons as usual, ...


4

I made the experience that it is easiest to get children to focus by giving them a goal they want to achieve. I taught my niece (6years at that time) in a small local pool where the depth of the pool was adjustable. They had times where it was very shallow so they could stand (this was the time I was practicing with her) and times later when it was very ...


3

Yes, there's no way that child should be unsupervised near a pool unless he's demonstrably able to do more than simply swim to someone who then puts him in a position to be able to breathe. Even if he does learn this, a child shouldn't be unsupervised in a pool until very confident and able.


3

It might be a good idea to play in the bath at home. Light splashing can have a good effect on decreasing the fear of water. Next step would be making bubbles under water without putting head under if the child is too scared to do so. If that is the case try putting some water in hands and then make splashing bubbles together with your son. If you show him ...


3

This is something you can discuss with a good swim coach. There are various methods of starting up kids in the water: blowing bubbles, splash the teacher, swim aids, etc. A good experienced coach knows them all and may be able to figure out an approach that works for your kid. It really depends on what the stumbling block is. We started early as we live on ...


3

I suspect the reason they are not available, is that a puddle jumper isn't really safe for a 1 year old; it doesn't orient their heads up automatically, like a Type I lifejacket will (which is what is recommended for a 1 year old). I'd worry that even in a pool a 1 year old would too easily orient face down in a puddle jumper, particularly with the lack of ...


3

I was terrified of the water until I was six or seven. My parents would take me to swim lessons, and I would cling white-knuckled to the wall and cry and scream the whole time. Then, one day, a swim instructor who was very old school and very no-nonsense literally picked me up and threw me into the shallow end of the pool. Within a few minutes I sort of ...


3

As someone who has taught thousands of kids, worked management level at a pool with a massive swimming lesson program and spent literally thousands of hours in the pool I'm gonna jump in on this. First things first: While the pool may have many instructors, it is very very difficult for them to actually change the instructor of a particular class. Not to ...


3

They benefit starting at an early age by having water be a natural part of their life. If water / water sports / boating etc is a big part of your life, having them comfortable with water is a good thing. The downside is, having no fear of water, until they do learn to swim they are at risk because water is a fun thing that they are not careful around. A ...


3

In swim classes kids start to actually learn about age 4. Before that is mostly group fun and play and just getting water sense and comfort. Your son is 5, just one year off of average learning age for swimming. I would not worry much. If he enjoys his time in the pool, that's a good sign he will pick up the swimming. Be sure you are not forcing him to it. ...


3

I think in a lot of countries it's pretty normal to do it very early, unlike in the US. A co-worker of mine from Europe said they swim early, even dunking their kids at just a couple of weeks. In Asia, it's apparently very early too. This Baby Spa in Singapore says 1 month old is when you should start: http://www.littlepods.com.sg/benefits/baby-swimming/ ...


2

You might ask if there are any instructors with experience in beginning and fearful children or adults. If so, perhaps ask if he or she is willing to do a private session or two. Your child probsbly just needs extra time which just isn't available in a regular class. Another possible aid is a friend or a relative who likes to swim. Peer pressure can be a ...


2

Show her how much fun splashing is - that's what we did, and made a game of it. They cottoned on pretty quickly. Now aiming the kicks to propel them - that's a whole different game :-)


2

I don't suppose your kid likes money? I taught both of my kids to swim by throwing like, 20$ worth of quarters in the 9 foot deep end and telling them that what they get, they keep. Also helped by showing them that when they panick, they sink, but when they TRIED to go under to get the money..they floated! All a difference in mental attitude! Once I pointed ...


2

One thing no-one's mentioned is vaccinations. The recommendation in the UK is to wait till your child's been vaccinated, as pools are obvious places for diseases to breed (warm, wet, full of children). If you're using a private pool, the risk of infection is lower, so the restrictions are less critical. After that, you can start as soon as you like. If you'...


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