This spring (I know, that seems so long ago!!) we took infant swim lessons though our local Recreation Center. I know sometimes swim lessons for infants can be controversial-- I'm not going to join this debate. If you have any doubts, wait until you child is over one year old to start swim lessons and proceed only with activities with which you are comfortable.
I made the decision to enroll in the class for three reasons:
1. Ethan loves playing in the bathwater
2. Ethan is always in need of some good entertainment
3. Heck, it sounded like fun, and I'm always looking for fun activities to do together!
First and foremost, Ethan really enjoyed the classes, and I was able to see growth and development in the pool, even over the course of only six weeks.
Possibly my favorite activity we learned is to toss a floating object out for baby to reach for (we use his small rubber duckie) and encourage them to reach for the object. You hold them "floating" on their bellies and help propel them towards the object, teaching them to reach and stretch with their arms. It's incredible how this naturally progresses into the baby cuing you to move forward by leaning forward into a "swimming" position, and adding the kicking of the legs.
The best result however, was a confidence for both of us in the water, making our summer pool trips significantly safer. I mean, let's face it...It's scary to hold your squirming infant in 4 feet of water (and they're scared too!) But now I know things like how to get into the pool safely and we are both more comfortable in the pool together.
Unfortunately for us, our local public lessons are not held year round, however, I am certain that we will be taking lessons again the next time they are available!
Have you ever had success with baby swim lessons? What water games do you play with your baby or toddler in the pool?