If you have your own backyard or indoor pool, you’ll probably want your toddler to know how to swim. Allowing your child to get used to the water has many benefits and it’s never too early to learn to swim. If you’re looking into swimming lessons for your toddler, here are five things you need to know:
- Bathing suits and diapers
You can’t use the usual disposable diapers in the water. There are diapers specifically crafted for swimming that are made of breathable materials like neoprene. These come in disposable and reuseable variations and won’t add weight or come apart in the water like regular diapers will. Like all diapers, they need to be changed and it’s possible that you’ll have to do an emergency change during the swim lesson.
- Explore the pool first
Whether you have your own pool or are using one at a rec center, take your child on an exploration tour. Show them the difference between the shallow end and the deep end. Introduce them to lifeguards and let them get accustomed to their surroundings. Also, explain the no running around the pool rule.
- Meet the teacher
Before the first swimming lesson, let your toddler meet their instructor. This way when they have their first lesson they’ll be familiar with the teacher. If you are having private lessons at home, have the instructor over beforehand so your child can get to know them. If the lessons are taking place elsewhere, ask if you can bring your child by to meet the teacher in advance.
- Keep them fed but not full
For the wee ones, they should have their swimming lessons at about 30 minutes after a milk feeding. For babies and toddlers who are on solid food you should wait an hour after they eat before taking them swimming. You should also brings snacks for after the lesson, because your little one will have worked up an appetite in the water.
- Swim together
There are special parent-and-toddler swimming classes in which you can swim with your child. This will show them that swimming is fun, not at all scary and something you can do as a family. Plus, your child will feel better with you splashing around beside them. If you cannot get in the water with then, make sure you’re nearby, somewhere that they can see you.
Once your toddler starts swimming, they’ll never want to stop. Before you know it you’ll have a little mermaid on your hands.