Teaching a very young child to swim can be extremely challenging. Children are often terrified of water – They know what they want to do and what they don’t and the best way they can do this is by causing a big fuss if they don’t want to do something! The one place they are likely to feel most out of control is in the swimming pool – they can’t float, they can’t breathe underwater,they lose contact with the ground and are continually being forced to do things they don’t want to do by you – their parent! The trick is to get the child familiarised with water from as early an age as possible. A child that is comfortable and secure in the water will learn to swim a lot easier than a child that is scared.
So what can you do to help your baby acclimatise to water and avoid the stress that most children endure? Babies have a little known and not very well understood reflex. When you blow on their face they take a small breath in. Here’s what you should do:
- Cradle your child in one arm and try to maintain eye contact.
- Count down from 3 out loud and then blow gently on their face.
- When you see them inhale (, be certain they have!)
- Lower them quickly into the water, just up to the top of their nose.
- As they have just inhaled their natural reaction will be to breathe out and blow bubbles. Bring them straight back out again. They will probably look a bit startled at this point but should otherwise be fine.
Over time and repetition you can increase the depth to which you are submerging them.. This will really help them get used to water so when they start swimming lessons they should be much more receptive and manageable in the pool.
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Filed under: Swimming Workout
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