When is the right time to introduce infant to the swimming?
We thought it should be around 1 year or so. We were surprised to learn that our friends started taking swimming lessons when their daughter turned 4 months. So when Teddy was 7 months old and we decided to give swimming a try.
The first available program was Parent-and-Tot 1 and we started in fall 2010 our aqua-journey. Teddy liked water from the beginning and by the end of fall session (10 classes, 30 min. per week) got used to water and felt quite comfortable in the pool.
Parent-and-Tot 2 requires child to be at least 1 year old and we had to attend Parent-and-Tot 1 again in winter 2010 to strengthen Teddy's swimming skills. When we returned to the pool after Christmas holidays, we realised that Teddy forgot everything that he could do just month ago. Moreover he cried first two lessons. However after fifth lesson he got all previously skills back and started learning new one.
In spring, fall 2011 and winter 2012 Teddy took three Parent-and-Tot 2 classes, because a child has to be 2+ for being eligible to take Parent-and-Tot 3. Starting from summer 2011 we decided to spend one more evening per week in the pool and swim during recreational swimming hours without instructor. We got armbands for him and he was able to swim by himself. This spring we finished Parent-and-Tot 3 but Teddy can go to Preschooler program only when he turns three – next spring.
If was amazing to witness all his achievements and struggles. Gradually week by week we worked on simple tasks like blowing bubbles, jumping from pool borders, holding breath under the water for 5-10 seconds, getting a rubber ring from the bottom of the pool. Teddy nailed all required activities to graduate Parent-and-Tot 3. He can not swim yet, but he can stay on the top of the water for few seconds without any help, kicking his legs and splashing water by his arms. We would like him to start swimming within next six month and are working together on it. Good thing that he likes it and can stay and stare for minutes at swimming people learning their moves.
The biggest accolade for Teddy was compliment from the safeguard: “Who is a little fish swimming here?”