Wow! This is amazing! I honestly didn’t know that an infant could be taught to swim so well. Our own children took lessons as infants, but never really learned to swim independently until they were about 4 (I think!) Elizabeth swims across their backyard pool like a 5 or 6 year old. Unbelievable.
Amazing Infant Swimming Across the Pool
Swimming: Learning to Swim is a Life Skill Not Just an Activity
I grew up spending my summers at the town pool. We would literally spend everyday swimming. We always took lessons during the first two weeks of July and all of my friends knew how to swim. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized that many people grow up never having taken any formal swimming lessons. I was amazed to meet people who feared the water and were unable to swim any distance at all. I guess as a kid, I thought swimming was like riding a bike. Everyone learned how to do it at some point.
What struck me the most was that these adults did not have the ability to save themselves let alone their own children in the case of an emergency. I believe that learning to swim is much like learning to read, write and do math. It is a life skill that everyone should have.
Swimming Lessons are a Must
Did you know that drowning is the number 2 cause of death amongst minors? To learn more about why swimming lessons are so important for your child, click here.
My husband and I enrolled our children in Parent/Tot classes between the ages of 4 and 6 months. Although this is not necessary, I believed that the earlier the kids were exposed to the water, the more comfortable they would be. For us, this worked well. Our kids never experienced any fear or anxiety when it came to swimming or taking lessons. I would often see children in the 4 to 6 year old age level that would cry and demonstrate true fear of the water. I am guessing that their exposure to swimming prior to beginning their lessons was very limited, and their emotions were probably more related to a fear of the unknown and lack of comfort.
Even when we would bath our kids as toddlers, we would make a game out of blowing bubbles in the water and pouring water over their heads and face. They had a great time and were always very comfortable with putting their heads under water.
Baby Elizabeth has parents that are well trained certified instructors. They have the ability and expertise to both teach and supervise Elizabeth. No baby should be thrown in a pool and expected to swim.
If you are interested in getting your infant comfortable in the water, seek out lessons with a certified instructor. Just taking your child in the pool with you will also help with this. Some programs suggest that babies are ready for the pool as soon as they are able to hold their head-up (4 to 6 months of age).
Swimming is Not Unlike Other Life Skills
As an early years teacher, I am often amazed at how many children enter school with very limited basic skills. I guess my training in education gives me a bit of a different mind set, but to me basic skills like counting and learning the alphabet just happen naturally throughout the day. I honestly do not understand how a child can be 4 or 5 years old and have had no exposure to numbers or counting. If you are not yet doing this, make counting and letter work a part of your daily interaction with your child. Little things like counting the buttons on their shirt as you do them up, counting the stairs as you take them up to bed, counting backwards from 10 when you give them a “time to clean-up warning”, counting snacks, etc. They don’t need to do math, but incorporate little activities into their daily routines. The same is true with letters. Look for alphabet DVD’s, puzzles, toys and games. When you are playing with your child begin to add in little “teaching times”. An example might be….connecting letters and sounds with some of your child’s favourite toys, snacks and even people. “B” b b b banana. It will take no time at all before your child learns to connect sounds and letters with words. My only caution would be to make sure that over time, you introduce more than one connection for a letter. For example, “B” is also for ball.
Again, it is never too young to start. You should begin reading to your child as an infant and take every opportunity to teach them those skills that will prepare them for life; manners, sharing, right from wrong, very simple basic literacy and math skills and give them ample opportunities to progressively become more independent as they are able. My mantra is and has always been “Don’t do for kids, what they can do for themselves.”