Bean had his first pool experience and while I was excited, there was also a bit of anxiety I felt. I love being in the water and I want Bean to also enjoy water activities, so it was really important to me for his first experience to be a great one! I called on a dear friend, Coach Dominique, to guide Bean on his first splash in the pool. Coach Dominique was really helpful in teaching me the fundamentals of freestyle swimming. It was a great cross training option for me and was even more helpful while I was pregnant. She was an obvious choice to help make Bean’s first time in the pool a great one!
Not only did Coach Dominique help us, she also shared some info and tips. Check them out!
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children aren’t ready to take formal swimming lessons until the age of four. However, this only refers to traditional swimming lessons. In fact, it’s totally fine to start introducing them to water at an early age. As soon as they’re old enough to take baths, you can start preparing them for eventually swimming in the pool or the beach.
Here are my tips and advice for getting your baby swimmin’.
- I don’t believe there’s ever a time that’s “too early” to introduce your little one to the pool, as long as you take the proper precautions and keep them safe. In fact, some say that the longer you wait to get them in the water, the harder it will be. It’s best to start in the 1 – 1 and 1/2 years, because after that, they enter a stage called the “challenging twos”, where they can be MUCH more apprehensive about getting in the water.
- Mom and Dad should always be within arm’s reach of their baby, as they know the signs of discomfort and apprehension. Take it slow, as it may take longer than expected for the baby to get accustomed to their new watery surroundings. Slow gentle movements in the water are calming and a great way to start water play.
- The baby should not be in a swim lesson for more than 30 minutes to begin due to the chemicals in the water. Babies lose heat quickly in water that’s below 85°F. If your tot starts to shiver, take them out.
- Getting clean after the pool is just as important as the prep. Dry their ears with a cotton ball to prevent swimmer’s ear (an infection caused by water trapped in the ear canal). And, later, bathe your baby to rinse off any chemicals that could irritate their skin. Continue to use bath time as a way to introduce moving water and simulate the swim experience.
You can find Coach Dominique on Instagram @freestyleswimdc for all things swimming, health, and wellness.