The reason I ask is that we took DH to swim lessons at 6 months, but he didn't learn a great deal. He was already familiar with water and still loves it now. We want to give him more lessons, but want to wait until its really 'worth it' IYKWIM. So what age can they be taught to swim to the edge of the pool, etc?
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16-10-2008 14:17 #1
What age can babies be taught to swim 'properly'?
16-10-2008 14:47 #2
I started both my kids at 2 years old (DS was almost 2) and they lernt very quickly how to turn in the water and reach for the edge to save themselves.
16-10-2008 15:00 #3
I started my two girls in swimming lessons at 5mths and 7mths respectively.
I think that from around 18mths-2yrs DD1 was able to swim at least 5m (paddle and kick), reach to the side of the pool and get out independently.
DD2 is 1yo and she is also doing well but not swimming properly as yet.
Its a personal and financial decision, but I think if you can get them back around 2yrs, they pick it up quite quickly and developmentally are more able to swim properly.
16-10-2008 15:12 #4
I've found that even though they can appear to be able to swim properly, they can't save themselves from drowning.
They're all well and good in the water, but if they accidentally get pushed into the water, they flail about and everything they've learnt, and know how to do, goes right out the window.
I'm talking about 3 year olds here... that's the oldest I've had experience with.
16-10-2008 15:19 #5
Hmm from my experience with DS I tend to disagree....if they have been taught properly, they will know what to do in these situations... Where DS goes, they teach kids to swim back to the wall, but when still in the class with their parents, the parents are to pull them in without the child being able to see....(after a few times with counting)...so it is unexpected..amd this continues as they progress through the different levels, just changes in the way it is done...and there have been a few times DS has 'saved' himself when he has accidently fallen in the water....
Anyways...DS has been in lessons from 18 months I think..geeze was so long ago, may 16 months, and has had continuous lessons since, 2 lessons per week 40 weeks of the year then 4 week long swimming sessions.... and he is progressing well.... He swims with children older than him, that are only just starting and excels...and even those who have been swimming for a year......
I think consistancy is the key to learning anything well.... Learning to swim takes time, and consistant lessons help that...There are kids who swim in another class who are ok in the water BUT cant swim cos they are 5 and their parents waited to get them proper lessons...
If you can do it regulary, I would start now....that is me personally....
16-10-2008 15:33 #6
My DS has just started his 2nd term of lessons. He was 2 when he started, though has always been a water baby. He most certainly can save himself if he falls in. A big part of the curriculum they use at our pool is focussed on that. Some lessons they will have the kids get in fully clothed, so that they realise what it feels like with the extra weight of the clothes etc. My ds slipped and fell into the pool when we took him last week and he didnt freak out at all, he stood up and got himself back to the edge no worries.
I dont believe he will be swimming laps or correct stroke for a while yet. But my main drive in starting lessons now was to teach him how to save himself, not how to swim. IYKWIM
16-10-2008 15:38 #7
Swimming lessons may not save them from drowning, but it does teach water safety and an awareness around water which is valuable in itself.
Regular and consistent lessons will help build a child's confidence and ability in the water and they will learn how (if they fall or jump into water) to paddle and kick to the side and hold on and get out by themselves.
16-10-2008 15:55 #8
Babies can be taught to swim at any age. The key is to be consistent. Take them to the pool often.
I was swimming confidently and on my own by 12 months.
But never become complacent about your childrens ability either. ALL children need supervision ALWAYS! No matter what their ability.
28-10-2008 12:59 #9Junior Member
- Join Date
- Jun 2008
a child can learn from the age of 9-12 months (i am a swimming teacher) anything prior to these ages is basically getting them confident with/in the water. Before these ages they don't really have the proper kicking reflex.. so there are not swimming. Prior to this age they can be taught that if they do fall in, to turn over and float on their back..(can be easily taught to a 5/6 mth old)
28-10-2008 13:49 #10
We started DS swimming at 14 weeks old. This may sound early to some but it was important to us.
It is an individual decision. We wanted DS to be used to water and be confident around it. Though he was obviously not swimming it still got him used to having his face under water. He is now 15mths and loves the water. We will continue with lessons, though he will never be unsupervised around water, so that when he is older he is confident and has the skills. Even with the little ones all the activities they do with them involves bub being able to get back to the side of the pool and learning what to do when they fall in etc.
I think swimming lessons are invaluable at any age, especially in a country that has such a high number of back yard swimming pools.
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