When can my baby learn to swim?

When can my baby learn to swim?

Swimming with your little one is both rewarding and exciting, but when can you expect your child to swim independently? 

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baby underwater copy 2

Image: Blue Wave Swim

No baby is strong enough or coordinated enough to swim independently in water. What you may see sometimes when you see a picture of a baby or a short clip of a baby gliding under the water, are adult initiated actions.

As impressive as it may look when a young baby goes under the water and appears to glide unaided through it,  that is not swimming and will most certainly involve adult support just out of shot. Humans, unlike many mammals, are not physiologically programmed to swim untutored or are capable of swimming purely as a natural act.

In the last decade, along with all the technological advances many daily tasks are done faster and more conveniently. We are becoming used to and demanding of seeing speedy results in the most convenient and time efficient way possible. However, there is a limit to how fast humans, can learn to swim.

Parental expectations

A big change in parental expectations of how quickly a child must learn to swim is something that comes up all the time in the baby swimming teaching community. Founder of Blue Wave Swim School, Marjan Moosavi, has been teaching and coaching swimming in the UK since 1995, so she has witnessed these changes. These days, some parents even list ‘l want my baby to learn to swim’ as part of their objectives for enrolling in baby swimming classes.

Marjan says, 'everybody who has taught swimming knows no baby can actually learn to swim independently in water purely because they are not strong enough to learn to swim and their brain is not mature enough to learn something as complex as swimming.

However, if your aim is for your baby to get used to the feel of water and be comfortable when moving in it, regular exposure to water in a relaxed and fun environment as a baby and then toddler will definitely help. Early introduction to water is best, because a baby is less likely to be influenced and have formed a negative attitude towards water.'

When Can Your Child Swim?

A child who has attended infant swimming classes consistently up to the age of three, can glide into the process of learning stroke technique much easier than a child who hasn’t done anything and that child is more likely to become a confident swimmer later on.

Also, swimming involves the body having to work against resistance of the water, thus a good awareness of where the body is and the muscular strength that kids gain from infant swimming will help them later on.

InfographicBlue WaveSwim

Image: Blue Wave Swim

If a child starts swimming as a baby and has lessons consistently in a programme like the one offered at Blue Wave Swim School, which also offers stroke teaching lessons for older children (3+ years), parents can expect children to swim front crawl and back stroke for 25 meter (25 m of Backstroke & 25 m of Front crawl) easily by age 5 to 6 years.

So, start early, be consistent with lesson attendance and be patience!


Image: Blue Wave Swim

If you enjoyed this post visit the blog section of Blue Wave Swim School's website for more tips.



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