How do you teach your baby to swim? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 11-02-2003, 09:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I was not sure where to put this, but since swimming makes you healthy I put it in health and healing. Feel free to move it if it's in the wrong place.

Lately I have been thinking about babies and swimming. I keep seeing this commercial on TV where there is a baby swimming under the water and I was wondering how do you achive that?

How do you teach your baby to swim and to hold his breath unter the water? I am not talking about babies how were born into water and were left there to swim - I think those will remember it for ever (am I right?).

DId anyone here take cswimming class with their baby? How do they teach them to swim? I am actually more curious about the breath - how to teach them to hold their breath? Or is it instinctive? Do you pul them under the water and they know what to do??

I really hope some of you have the answer - I think it's very interesting.
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#2 of 8 Old 11-02-2003, 10:47 AM
 
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Okay, some body correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure that human babes are born with a 'swimming' reflex. They outgrow it at some point...3 mos maybe? Anyhow, if you dunk 'em straight down in the water, they will instinctively hold their breath and start kicking their legs. I think if you stimulate this reflex, it doesn't go away as fast? I always thought this was neat, but never had the heart to try it w/ my babe.

Mama to Thing 1 and Thing 2.
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#3 of 8 Old 11-02-2003, 10:56 AM
 
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I was a swim instructor in college and when I taught baby and mom swim classes we blew in the babies face before dunking them. Apparently that makes them hold their breath. It sounds funny to me now, but it always worked.

I would suggest just going to a public pool and ask the people there if they know anything. Are there any "baby and me" classes available in your area? They were always great fun to teach because the parents enjoyed seeing what their babies could do, and playing in the water is so relaxing.

Cheers,
Julia
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#4 of 8 Old 11-02-2003, 11:03 AM
 
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I just did a quick search on 'baby swimming' and found www.babyswimming.com. It doesn't outline how to teach them to swim per se, but it does talk about the experience.

Have fun.
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#5 of 8 Old 11-02-2003, 03:20 PM
 
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As I understand it, most baby/parent swim classes don't necessarily teach a baby to swim, but instead helps them to be comfortable in the water, the next stage is water safety, and then teaching actual swimming. That is according to classes.

My friend that did those classes did just that, blew in their face which causes them to hold their breath and then put the baby right under. The other important technique is to continually smile yourself, especially when you pull the baby up out of the water. They see your smiling, enthusiastic face and think, "oh yeah! FUN!"......I never did this...... Just heard about it. And have seen it.
Dd was pretty shy of the water until 2 & 1/2. We started going to the ocean regularly at age 2. Then one day, she just went under all on her own and knew exactly what to do.
There is a beautiful Russian video about water births and it also has scenes of a baby on a big sister's back swimming in and under the water like dolphins. It is beautiful! There is also a beautiful book by Michel Odent, called "Water Babies".
If you are inspired, I would either take a class or get a book so that YOU feel completely comfortable and go for it!
I remember something about doing it by 2 months of age too. (for instinctual purposes)
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#6 of 8 Old 11-02-2003, 07:08 PM
 
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I did swim lessons with my dd's last spring. My youngest was not quite 2 and we had a mommy and me. How they handled the going under water was the instructer held her and we just counted 1 - 2 - 3 and lowered her as they counted. As we hit 3 I would visibly take a breath and hold it to show her what to do and then they dunked her under while pushing her to me where I lifted her out. Apparently, kids will automatically hold their breath when immersed. She came up coughing more often than not but was just fine and LOVED IT. In fact, going under water was and is her favorite part of swimming - now back float practice, on the other hand, she hated.

I thought the lessons were well worth it to get her comfortable in the water. she didn't learn to swim but like I said, she loves to go under and loves to get in the pool.

Cathe Olson, author The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, Simply Natural Baby Food, and LIck It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love.  
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#7 of 8 Old 11-02-2003, 11:12 PM
 
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i looove this website!
http://www.nandu.hu/English/Childbirth/chbmain.htm
enjoy!
natha
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#8 of 8 Old 11-02-2003, 11:15 PM
 
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oups... see "related topics/babyswimming"
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