How to Teach Your Baby to Swim

Ancient Greeks considered that a man who couldn’t read, count and swim – was illiterate. Your terror has coped with the first two skills already? Has he learned swimming already? Not yet? Then, no matter where you have a vacation this summer: at the warm sea or at the health center with a pool, in a canoe tour or at your mother-in-law’s country place – give your child several lessons of a real literacy.

It’s necessary to learn swimming on deep water, so that your child wouldn’t get used to pull down his legs and stand up on the bottom. While not observing this rule, a child’s period of transfer from shallow water to depth is being delayed: he can already hold on the water and dive, but still is afraid to swim in depth. However, avoid any extreme: don’t throw a child that cannot swim into the water. You can throw one and he’ll get out, and another will start sinking and after you take him out, he’ll never go into the water again. But even the one who gets out receives shock, a trauma. Your child doesn’t need this. So, let’s learn swimming in depth, but holding a pool’s side, berth or father’s hand in the beginning.

Should you use an inflatable rubber buoy or no? It’s better without it, but in inflatable armlets. A buoy relaxes; a child can pull down his legs, thinking that he’s still swimming. Armlets prevent a child from sinking, but make him hold his legs and body aflat on the water. And a child should get used not to pull down his legs.

Foam plastic plates are worse than armlets. When a child learns to hold himself on water gradually, you can proceed to a flexible stick for aqua-aerobics. These sticks are called noodles. Children like them as they are bright and colored, they hold body on water well, they can be bent anyway, clutched under armpits, hold behind the back… , this way arms and legs will be free and it’ll be easy to swim using such stick.

The best time for learning swimming in 6 y.o. A child already understands what do you want from him, his coordination is good enough already, and there’s no fear yet and it can be easily subdued.
Firstly we’ll be swimming on a tummy. Holding a pier, side or father, we’re learning moving legs. Legs are knocking the water, like while swimming the crawl: toes are stretched, turned inside slightly, knees don’t bend almost. Now we’ll show what arms should do. Arms execute circular motions, like in breast-stroke. And you shouldn’t be confused with such different styles, this way children can learn swimming easier.

Train a child to breathe out into the water at once. In the beginning, he can put only his mouth into the water. Eyes and nose are still above the water. He should form a habit – as soon as water touches his mouth – we breathe out into the water. Then we get used to put mouth and nose, then mouth, nose, eyes into the water. We breathe evenly, not too deep: half- breath, half- outward breath. Breathe in, look where we’re swimming, pull down the head, and breathe out into the water. Let a child hold firstly a pier, buoy, parent’s hand. And buy him eyeglasses to protect eyes.

Five – ten lessons – and you can see your child can hold in water confidently wearing armlets, swim on his tummy, breathes out into the water. So, it’s time to turn to his back. It’s easier to swim on back: a child doesn’t have to breathe out in water, he can look around while swimming, and use only his legs to swim… Children like swimming on back, but only after they learn swimming on tummy, as although it’s more difficult to swim on a tummy, it’s still more natural. Observe your child holds head, tummy and legs aflat. Let him imagine he’s lying of a sofa. As soon as he feels such position, he’ll learn swimming on back. A child can relax his arms, but also he may rake up slightly.

Don’t be in a hurry to put off armlets, wait till your child learns holding on water confidently. Let him swimming on a tummy, back, diving, swimming by breast-stroke and the crawl, wearing armlets… Then try to loosen armlets by half. If a baby says: “I cannot swim, I’m sinking”, this means it’s not time to put them off yet. Let him swimming wearing them, or try to putt off one by one slowly.
After 30 lessons while swimming, any child, even the shyest one, will swim independently. Have no doubts!
However, in general, it’s better to join a section, so that to form a good skill. When a child can already swim by overarm, for example, it’ll be difficult for a trainer to teach him again.

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