Here’s a dilemma for you. Say your family is moving to a house with a pool, but your small kids don’t yet know how to swim. Or maybe you’d like to build a pool, but you want to make sure your kids are comfortable in the water beforehand. Obviously, swim lessons are a great investment, but Chris DeJong, founder of Big Blue Swim School, offers one way to dip your toes in the water even before classes begin.
In order to provide an answer for tricky these scenarios, DeJong gives his expert advice for both babies and toddlers.
Recommendations for Infants
The name of the game with little ones is really just getting your kiddos comfortable with water, especially around their head and face. A good way to start to build this comfort is to teach your baby to “make balloon faces” or puff up their cheeks while slowly pouring water over them, moving from back to front. As you and your little one grow in confidence, you can move on to more advanced practice methods. DeJong describes one of these methods to the publication POPSUGAR saying, “With infants, when children have a hard time putting their face in the water, start with a shower with running water from behind the head, and graduate to a shower with running water on the face.”
As your child becomes accustomed to the feeling of water being around their head, you can use the bathtub as a place to assist them with floating on their back. This continues to help them adjust to water around their ears and gets them ready for the next step. DeJong explains, “They can even wear goggles, and once comfortable can practice going under water in the bathtub.”
Recommendations for Toddlers
As your children get older, you can teach them breathing exercises like blowing bubbles in the water. DeJong suggests blowing for three seconds, taking a breath, and blowing for three more. Then, show them how to apply this breathing by practicing techniques such as “side breathing” outside of the water. Another thing to work on at this age is their kicking, which you can develop just back kicking their legs off the end of a bed or couch. With busy little toddlers, it’s a great way to burn off a little energy as well!
Hopefully, you’ve found these tips helpful. As always, it crucial to practice strict water safety, even when you’re just training in the tub. But of course, one way to make the pool safer is by raising your child to be confident in the water! And don’t forget, if you or someone you know is interested in building a pool, reach out to us. You can schedule a free estimate anytime here.