You’ve been blowing bubbles in the bath and gentle pouring water over your baby’s head for months now to get them used to having water in their faces, and then comes the first visit to the pool and the meltdowns begin.
Here’s how to get through your child’s first swimming lessons without tears or tantrums.
I’ve heard so many parents say how much their babies love the water and then within the first 5 minutes of their swimming lessons they get clingy, lose confidence and cry. Other children are more confident around water than we would like them to be, jumping straight in, surprising everyone including themselves – these are the ones to watch closely.
Swimming lessons should be fun for both parent and child. Here are a few ideas that might help to calm the waters and get your child participating and learning to swim.
1. For the child who’s reserved and nervous around water
The reason children are so comfortable with water on their faces at home is because they are in the tub, and it is familiar. By taking your child to a public pool prior to lessons to just observe or have a recreational swim will help to familiarise them with the new pool. When looking for a swim school, ask if you can sit and watch a lesson in progress with your child before signing up.
2. Being prepared is key
Pack your swim bag ahead of the lesson with the following essentials and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how smoothly your outing will be. A comfy swimsuit is essential, either swim shorts and rash vest or a one piece is preferrable, we at tyoub swimwear have some super options.
If you child isn’t toilet trained yet then a reusable swim nappy must be worn beneath the bathing suit, try out one size fits all from 0-3 years old. Don’t forget a towel and dry clothes for later, and maybe a snack. Thongs or aqua shoes are great for wearing around the pool and in the change room – and in the shower. A big wet dry bag can be used to take wet swimsuits and towels home.
3. Play swimming lessons dress-ups at home
If your child has never used swim accessories like goggles, swim nappies or has a new swimsuit, then it’s a good idea to do a practice run or two at home.
4. Sick days
Call and cancel sooner rather than leaving it to the last minute. Don’t take a sick child to a swimming lesson. If they feel unwell, have a cold and especially if they have a tummy bug it’s better to stay away until they are fit and well.
5. Walk, don’t run
Keep calm around water and point out to your little ones all the safety features and rules to follow at the pool. A few basic poolside manners make it safe for everyone - no running in the pool area, explain that wet areas can be slippery and there are many things to trip over too.
6. Chin up, relax and float
Swimming is a year-round sport and it’s the only sport that could save their lives. As a parent it can be difficult to sit and observe while the swim instructor takes the lesson but resist the temptation to interfere. It is important to understand that teaching swimming is a process and not always easy.
The goal is to teach young children to roll onto their back and float, and with toddlers to learn to roll float, turn and swim to the edge and for older children to swim independently.
Article written and supplied by Tyoub Kids Swimwear.