Inside: Introduce your baby or toddler to the pool with these easy water tips to keep your child safe this summer and all year.
As a child, summer was the best time of the year with endless fun to be had. From jumping through the sprinkler, chasing waves on the beach and splashing in the kiddie pool, fond memories indeed!
It was also a time many kids learned how to swim and got to enjoy many of the perks that come with being an avid swimmer.
But unfortunately, I was NOT one of those kids who learned how to swim…I was fearful very early on after a few bad experiences of being submerged in the water when I didn’t feel ready, often panicking the further into the water I went.
It made me a little more cautious around water and I delayed really learning to swim.
So raising my kids to start early and feel comfortable in the pool has since been high on my priority list.
Easy Ways to Introduce Your Baby to Water
Take it step-by-step.
One of the most important things to remember as you prepare your child for swimming, is to go slowly and work in stages. You want your child to feel comfortable near water — so they won’t panic when they are ready to learn to swim. A few bad experiences early on can turn kids off from having fun in the water.
When I introduced my first child to the pool, we started with some simple water play: blowing bubbles in the water and making waves with our arms. Once baby got comfortable with getting splashed a few times, he was more open to using floats and full submergence (even if only for a few seconds!).
SwimWays knows that working in stages is best, as they follow the Swim Steps 3 level program:
- Water Introduction- To make sure baby is comfortable with water.
- Water Exploration- To give your child freedom of motion to develop confidence as he learns to balance and paddle.
- Swim Training – To empower with the Power Swimr™ swim training system – “training wheels for the water”.
On the SwimWays Teach Me to Swim resource page, parents can find a number of videos that will review all the basics to help your child have a good first experience. Make sure to bookmark that page and watch with your child too, to help the experience be less daunting!
I will be referring to this 3 step program frequently this summer as I begin to teach my baby and 2 year-old water safety!
Keep baby close in near water.
That first time baby is submerged into water (even partially) he will most definitely begin to cling to mommy, holding you ever so close. And this is natural. A big pool doesn’t compare to the bath tub so the experience may be quite overwhelming.
Always remember to keep baby close — he may cry for a bit (each time) but once he knows you are not going anywhere (for now) he will begin to develop more confidence.
Along with keeping baby close to build confidence, you want to always have a water novice close by for safety reasons. While you don’t want your kids to cling to you forever, you want them to know that they shouldn’t leave your side to enter the water without mommy or daddy present. As scary as it is to think about, drowning is one of the leading cause of death in young children under 5…so supervising is a BIG concern when it comes to water safety.
Use quality water floats.
As your child becomes more comfortable in the water and ready to learn with a bit more freedom, having safe and reliable floats is of utmost importance.
There are so many great brands to choose from, but one that I have turned to in the past for babies, is definitely the SwimWays Baby Spring Float. Not only does it keep baby happy and comfortable in the pool, but it also offers an easy way for them to learn balance and paddle skills.
I personally love that it works for babies 9 months to 24 months — meaning my boys can share it as they grow — and we can even fold it up to take with us as we travel during the summer months.
Make water fun.
Okay, how could I forget about having fun?! Pool toys and water activities are a big part of introducing your baby to fun water play. Toys help them feel relaxed and ready to engage.
So this summer, I’m making sure to include a few fun water games and accessories to help my boys love the water even more!
If you’re looking for a few fun water products to get you started, check them out here!
The SwimWays Water Program
SwimWays has been teaching kids to swim for over 40 years and offers a program and array of products for all skill levels, to make confident water play, easy for families.
Learn more about SwimWays and be sure to follow our learning to swim journey!
This post was sponsored by SwimWays as part of an Ambassador Program for Influence Central. I received products to facilitate my review.
Ana, a mom to three rambunctious little boys, has supported thousands of women throughout their pregnancy and motherhood journey since 2012 as a prenatal and postpartum educator at MommysBundle.com.