Teaching Baby to Swim
Swimming can be a fun, recreational activity
that includes both mom and baby. Swimming lessons can help a child with their physical development, confidence and it gives them a potentially life saving skill.
Is Swimming Safe for Young Babies?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a child should officially not be given swimming lessons until they are developmentally ready, which is around four years old. But that doesn't mean you can't take your baby swimming!
There are other informal baby swim programs that begin as early as six months. These programs promote a safe and gentle introduction to the water with parental accompaniment. Organizations such as the YMCA and American Red Cross have developed fun learning programs that are both enjoyable and instructional. These programs will not teach your baby to swim independently, but may make their adjustment to swimming easier.
Infant Swimming Resource
Other programs, such as Infant Swimming Resource (ISR), give babies and toddlers the skills necessary to save themselves in water. These programs start with babies as young as six months and teach babies self rescue skills and provide them with the ability to swim independently.
Water Safety Tips
With any swim program or environment that includes young children and water, the proper safety precautions must be taken. Drowning is one of the leading causes of unintentional death and injury in young children and babies. Always keep your child within arm's reach, or for younger children, in your arms. Even when using a baby swim float, make sure you are close enough to touch your child. All pool areas should be well gated to prevent accidents. And, as always, whenever you are outside with your baby, both you and she should be wearing sunscreen.
What's most important is that you and your baby enjoy yourselves in the water. Remember if you own pool, to change the pool filter cartridges regularly to ensure the water is always ready for swimming with your baby.