Friday, 7 October 2011

Toddler Swimming Lessons

toddler swimming swimI love to swim. I was a total pool rat growing up and shockingly enough I was a certified lifeguard for several years and did aquatic therapy to children with special needs. If I'm at a hotel even for one night and it has a pool I will be in it. I think I've passed this love of water on to Blondie Boy.

He loves the water and splashes and jumps in over and over. He even attempts to paddle some and will "kick kick kick" when asked in the pool. When we were on holiday we had a Konfidence float suit which has 8 removable floats that you can take out as your child gets more confident in the water. It was great because it gave him the extra bit of buoyancy but he could still move around and kick while lying in the correct position in the water.
konfidence float suit

Personally I'm completely against things like water wings or floaties because they give children a false sense of security in the water and can be detrimental to their swimming development but since the float suit still requires you to hold yourself up and swim it aids in development rather than hinders it.

When we got back from France I decided to try him at swim lessons when we got back and he loved the singing and chasing rubber ducks in the water but going under water not so much. Apparently if you blow in a baby's face before you dunk them under water they have an instinct to breathe in and therefore not drink the pool when they go under. Blondie Boy has no such instinct.

He goes under and comes up coughing and sputtering having drank half the pool. He can blow bubbles in the pool (one of the first things I taught back in the day) but he still doesn't quite grasp in any way shape or form to keep his mouth shut UNDER water.

I'd like to take him back to lessons but I wonder if maybe it's better to just try and keep taking him on my own (which is free) and focusing on getting him to go under water before trying lessons again? What age was your child when you taught them to swim and did you do it yourself or go to lessons? What is the magical secret to teaching them they don't have gills and can't breathe under water?

The Konfidence Float Suit was provided to Transatlantic Blonde for review but all opinions are our own.


Melaina25 said...

Looks like lots of fun was had x

Melaina25 said...

I take the kids to swimming classes too, and dunk them often, whether they like it or not!  I use the blow in the face trick, by holding my daughter's chin right at water level.  I have heard that if you dont dunk them all the way under that the closed mouth reflex doesn't engage, but that may be an old wives tale.  My advice is to keep at it, both my kids (aged 3 1/2 and 16 months) love going under now, and I attribute it to my persistance and instance that they go under multiple times we are in the pool.  Good luck!

Melaina25 said...

Thanks Heather! He does love it he just doesn't love going under nor can he not drink half the pool when going under. Might take him tomorrow afternoon!

Melaina25 said...

My two love swimming but have never been to a class, they have a lot of confidence in the water but aren't really strong swimmers so I probably should take them to classes.  

My 6y/o swims better underwater than he does normally!

Melaina25 said...

How did you teach them to not drink the pool? lol

Melaina25 said...

I was a lifeguard too! :-)