How to Get Your Baby / Toddler Used to Going Swimming

I'm not a keen nor strong swimmer myself and I've talked about this a lot here on my blog. But I do like to push Ethan to do things that I may not necessarily feel confident enough to do myself, and swimming is one of those things - I never want any of my own nervousness or anxiety to hold him back. 
When we first begun swimming lessons, it's fair to say that we were as nervous as each other, but these days he's like a fish in water and I know that he genuinely looks so forward to Thursday mornings every single week. And quite honestly, that makes me a. very very happy and b. so very proud to see how well he is now doing.

Today I thought I would share some advice on how we went from our very first time in the pool in which Ethan screamed until we finally got out, to now pure joy and excitement every time he realises we are approaching the swimming pool from the car.

1. Ensure they are kitted out correctly. There are so many places where you can get baby and toddler swimwear from these days. Ethans swimwear is all from Konfidence. And then there are places like Zoggs where you can shop online and don't forget that you can usually purchase swimwear for your little one from the reception area of the swimming pool that you choose to attend. During the colder months it's advisable to go for something a bit warmer, even in the pool. 

2.  Join a baby/toddler swimming class. We are with Swimkidz but there's also Water Babies and probably a whole load more classes to join. I really think swimming classes for children are genius, they cover everything. The classes are designed to teach parents and children to be safe and confident in the water, whilst having the most fun. Ethan has learnt so much since joining Swim Kidz.

3. Always, always smile at your baby/toddler in the water. Even if they've taken a big gulp of water or are shocked that their head was submerged in water. In the beginning I would have the look of horror on my face following one of the above, but I soon learned that my facial expression was making Ethan panic more. By smiling at him, I am reassuring him that he is is fine and that we are both safe. This has really helped increase his confidence and my own. 

4. Make water fun. This includes bath time at home, the more children learn to enjoy water and have fun, the more they'll relax. You can make bath and swimming time fun using toys, nursery rhymes and just generally being silly and showing them how to splash about.

5. Keep going. Don't give up if you're not getting the reaction out of your little one that you hoped for. Be persistent with going along to the pool, even if you both just sit on the side of the pool with your feet and legs dangling in to the water. The younger that they get used to the water, the easier it will be for them to learn to swim with confidence. 

Good luck and enjoy teaching your little one to learn to swim. :)

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  1. Great tips! We haven't taken the kids swimming regularly at all but now LP has started lessons and she loves it but I always have to make her feel comfortable, speaking about it positively and encouraging her even though I can't swim myself x

    1. Thank you. I'm the same, I'm not a big fan of the pool and I can barely swim!x