I swim during the summer because it gets pretty hot where I live, but honestly, I don’t really like to swim. There’s just something about getting wet in the middle of the day that I don’t enjoy, and if you swim in a river or lake, there’s always sand to think about as well as some of the more disgusting things that live in these bodies of water. When I was little though, I loved to swim. Most little kids do. That’s why it’s also important to teach your children how to swim when they’re young so that they can avoid water accidents.

It might surprise you to know that children can start learning how to swim as young as six months old. However, they don’t actually start swimming until they are about three years old. Babies don’t have the strength, coordination, or muscle control to swim on the surface of water when they’re under three years old, but they can actually start learning the motions and being comfortable around water.

Is Infant Swimming Safe?
Infant swimming is nothing new and it’s not a passing fad. Many infants seem to love being in water with their parents and they are naturals at learning the swimming motions. They have after all recently spent nine months floating in fluid, so many babies feel quite at home in the water.

If you want to try infant swimming as a family activity, only choose pools with experienced infant swim instructors and never try it on your own. The instructors will teach you the proper way to hold your child and help them move through the water.

Letting Your Infant Gain Confidence
The best way to get your child to gain swimming confidence is to allow them to go underwater. Children have a natural gag reflex that inhibits their breathing underwater, but that doesn’t mean they should stay underwater for a significant period of time. Just a few second of gliding is all it takes.

By the time your child is about three, they should be able to swim pretty naturally. At the very least they won’t fear water which will make the swimming process easier. Swimming with your children is a great way to spend time together and is an activity that you can do all year long whether it’s at a pool, or in a natural body of water.

Source: Water Babies. "About baby swimming."Baby swimming : Water Babies. Water Babies, n.d. Web. 16 Jan. 2014.

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