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What You Need to Know About Baby Swimming Lessons

Feb 08, 2021

Authored by Emlerswim

Did you know that the earlier your child learns to swim, the better chance they have of not drowning? Studies have shown that swimming lessons can significantly lower drowning rates by a whopping 88%. This is because drownings are the leading cause of injury death for young children ages 1 to 14. So take note, babies…it’s time to have some fun in the water while learning a life-saving skill!

When should you start baby swimming lessons?

Although the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends starting lessons at age 1, there are also lessons for babies who are even younger, like Emler Swim School’s low-cost Bathtime Babies® curriculum, which is meant for newborns 2 to 5 months old, and the next level up at Emler, Waterbabies, which is for kids ages 6 months to 35 months old.

These classes are perfect for parents to share uninterrupted time in the water with their babies. Starting this early enhances muscle development, stimulates brain activity and reduces the chances that children will develop a fear of the water. These are all things that are important when considering the best swimming lessons for your baby.

What should you look for in a swimming lesson curriculum for babies?

When evaluating a program, look for safe, steady progress for your little fishy in the curriculum’s goals, including the introductory level and beyond.

Something that must be included in the program are survival skills if your child ends up in the water unexpectedly. Of course, a program for babies won’t start with survival skills but will build toward those progressively. To begin, your baby will be in the water with you as an added layer of comfort and safety.

Here are a few examples of a good stair-step approach to the different levels of baby swimming lessons:

  • Learning how to be comfortable in the water.
  • Learning how to control their breath to be underwater for 8-10 seconds at a time.
  • Learning how to move 3-12 feet independently in the water.
  • Learning how to turn around and get back to the point of entry, ultimately exiting the pool independently.

The AAP also recommends regular classes so your baby can learn and master the skills. You don’t want them to learn basic water competency and then forget what they learned.

The other important thing to look for is a program with loving, caring instructors who balance independent movement with comfort, so your baby enjoys their time in the water while learning the necessary skills. You want to avoid programs that instill fear or anxiety while learning to swim. Baby swimming lessons should be fun!

Should my baby use safety devices like floaties or puddle jumpers?

Experts now recommend that you stay away from flotation devices that are blown up with air, like arm and neck floats, as well as puddle jumpers for infants. These accessories may give your child a false sense of security, encourage bad habits, and lead to poor body positions for effective swimming. If children learn to rely on these devices, they often forget that they don’t have them on and could jump in unprepared for self-rescue.

The only exception to this rule is a Coast Guard-approved life vest, which can be used with adult supervision.

What should I look for in a safe, appropriate pool facility?

Look for a facility that is well maintained and regularly cleaned. Ideally the pool temperature will be a warm 90 degrees so that it is comfortable even for the littlest bodies.

Emler Swim School’s No. 1 priority is safety, and that extends from lessons to pool and facility hygiene. Emler meets or exceeds CDC, state, and local health standards for cleanliness, and all Emler facilities have cutting-edge air filtration systems that pull fresh air in 8 times an hour, as well as UV light water filtration systems that inactivate viruses and kill bacteria.

According to the CDC, there is no evidence that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can spread to people through pool water.

Rest assured that Emler puts your child’s safety first, whether it’s in the cleaning procedures or keeping your babies safe while in the water.

Get started today

Find out if there is an Emler Swim School near you. If not, experience Emler’s award-winning curriculum from the comfort of your home with EmlerSWIM@Home. Our experts can fill you in on what to expect and why we’re confident enough to provide a 100% swimmer guarantee. Call 855-232-2006 or fill out this form to get started.