Swimming lessons from a young age are very important.
From the very first lesson in the swimming pool we are preparing baby for submersion under the water. It takes a lot of practice and a lot of conditioning but eventually you will have your baby swimming under water happily.
What are the steps to babies floating under water by themselves?
- Conditioning and water familiarisation
- Assisted submersion under water once baby has mastered both of these skills you can move on to step 3:
- Free floating
What is Free Floating?
Free floating is when the parent or instructor takes their hands off the baby and the baby moves through the water unaided. Free floating can occur between parent and instructor, 2 parents, parent and ledge or wall among many other things.
Sometimes babies can cough when moving onto the free floating process.
Coughing and spluttering can occasionally occur in the initial stages of submersion. It is important to look at reasons why this is happening as we want baby’s swimming journey to be one without trauma or distress.
Questions to ask if Baby is coughing when introduced to free floating
- Is baby conditioned well enough? You may have to go back to conditioning in the bath and at swimming to ensure successful floating
- Is baby coping well enough in the submersion process to move onto the next step or do they need continued practice before moving on?
- Is baby being placed into the water differently than the usual under water placement?
- Is baby being “pushed” through the water instead of gently gliding through? This is an easy mistake to make as sending the baby off ‘on their own’ in the water can be an unnerving experience for parents at first.
Moving to the free floating process under water can be a different sensation for the baby too. It’s a whole new underwater experience and it may take a couple of practices until baby feels comfortable and ready. This may be another reason that baby is coughing or uncomfortable with initial submersion attempts. With continued practice and patience baby and parent will be comfortable with moving forward with their swimming journey in no time!
We would love to hear your swimming success stories as the result of hard work and persistence. Please share in the comments section below.