This post was sponsored by SwimWays as part of an Ambassador Program for Influence Central. I received products to facilitate my review.
As a child, summer was the best time of the year with endless fun to be had.
Hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, kids chasing ice cream trucks down the road, weekly trips to the beach and little ones of all ages splashing about 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.
While water play and staying cool outdoors was always a big interest, it just so happened that as time went on I never actually learned the basics of swimming, even beyond childhood. The opportunity wasn’t there and when it was, swimming just kept getting pushed back.
So raising my kids to start early and feel comfortable in the pool has since been high on my priority list.
The SwimWays Water Program
This summer I am very excited to be partnering with SwimWays as an ambassador to help parents build confident kids when it comes to the water.
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.
Over the next four months, I’ll be sharing my tips and strategies that have helped get my kids comfortable with the water and ready to swim, but for now I’ve listed some of the basic ways parents can introduce their babies and toddlers to the water.
Easy Ways to Introduce Your Child 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. 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.
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 can 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.
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 (and will continue to use for my kids) is definitely the SwimWays Baby Spring Float (you can check out HERE).
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 it fun.
Okay, how could I forget about having fun?! Pool toys and water activities are a big part of the fun that is to be had with swimming.
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!
Learn more about SwimWays and be sure to follow our learning to swim journey!