Swimming must be enjoyable
In this video Evie is 7 months of age and you will see how much she is enjoying her swimming lessons. She has been conditioned to hold her breath on our verbal trigger ‘Evie, ready go’. Because she has mastered this breath control she can be submerged safely underwater for a few seconds. Babies must never be submerged before they have mastered breath control on command. Babies should never be submerged when they are crying or showing signs of distress. Swimming must be enjoyable for parent and child.
Our verbal trigger ‘Evie, ready go’ is always followed by a kinaesthetic lifting trigger. This lifting trigger gives the baby time to catch their breath before the submersion. Our early submersions are always done in a horizontal plane where the water breaks on top of the head and runs head to toe. Vertical submersions can easily force water up the baby’s nose, so for this reason we leave these swimming skills to the later stages of the lean to swim process when baby has better breath control.
The aim of this activity is to allow the baby to feel the waters buoyancy and the fun floating sensation. Floating is the basis of all learn to swim. During the initial floats the baby should be picked up under the arms. Good social referencing where the parent or teacher celebrates the swimming success is vital. This positive social referencing during the swimming lesson helps to teach baby a love for the water. Once the float and catch has been mastered and as long as the baby is happy you can advance the floating skill.
Free floating and pulling up on a T-shirt is great to build baby’s independence in the water. This is actually the start of teaching baby water safety skills. As the baby grows with age they will learn that if they strike out on their own they must pull themselves to safety. It is important that we start teaching children their capabilities and limitations in the water. This we hope will teach children a respect for the water. Warning no child is drown proof. All swimming must be done under strict adult supervision.