Condition Babies before Swimming
WE can teach babies to swim in a loving caring manner. Babies have been immersed in the womb for nine months and love being in warm water. We prepare them for their first underwater experience outside the womb by a process called conditioning. We condition babies by pouring water on the baby’s forehead as soon as baby comes home from hospital. It is important that we use consistent verbal triggers to teach the baby to hold their breath on command. If it’s done in a caring manner they never know the fear of water.
We want the learn to swim experience to be happy and trauma free, so we continue with these consistent verbal triggers which teach the baby to hold their breath on command until they are able to happily self submerge, somewhere between 9 and 12 months. Even then Conditioning is a great warm up activity or bath time routine to extend baby’s breath holding capabilities.
First underwater experience
Done correctly baby’s first underwater experience will be trauma free and fun for parent and child. We gradually extend baby’s breath holding ability by pouring slower and counting from two to three to eventually a five second pour. Once the baby safely achieves longer pours we understand that we are able to safely leave them underwater for a five count. If baby ingests water in these underwater experiences stop immediately and go back to conditioning.
Major Points for Conditioning
- Start conditioning as soon as baby comes home from hospital
- Conditioning teaches breath control on command
- When conditioning use consistent verbal triggers
- Never submerge a baby without a lengthy conditioning process, and,
- Never submerge a crying baby
- Conditioning makes first submersions free from fuss and trauma
- Once conditioned gradually increase baby’s breath holding capabilities by pouring water slower
Warning: Never leave baby unattended in the bath!