How To Teach a Baby To Swim

Teaching a baby to swim is all about harnessing their natural instincts and familiarity with water. So, the question is, “How To Teach a Baby To Swim?.

Before babies are born, they are wrapped in the amniotic fluid in the womb which creates an ambience of a water environment. During the very early stages of life, this familiarity with water is still quite strong and can be leveraged to help babies become strong swimmers as they grow older.


How To Teach a Baby To Swim

Discover the wonderful and rewarding experience as we delve into how to teach a baby to swim. In this article, we will be looking at when you can start teaching your baby to swim, how to go about it and limits that must be followed at all times.


When Should I Start Teaching My Baby To Swim?

This depends on your baby. You need to pay attention to them and their readiness to embark on this. Things you can assess range from developmental readiness to comfort with water, and motor skills.

Before exposing a baby to water meant for swimming, it is always advisable to assess how well they are developmentally ready. This can be seen in head control and their ability to sit without support. Can your baby control their head easily without support? Do they sit up and for how long can they do so comfortably?

Another thing to keep in min d is their interest in playing with water. If your baby is not showing any interest in playing with water, you may want to start with introducing bonding activities that involve water to spark interest. This can be done with baths and very shallow pools.

When babies get comfortable with water, they will play with it by splashing water or cupping it up and pouring upon themselves. Engaging in what the baby finds as fun will help promote their feelings of safety while in the water.

In addition, when choosing pools, go for pools with warm temperatures as exposing the baby to cold waters can lead to the contraction of cold. The first lessons should be simple skills like splashing or kicking in water. If your baby is already doing this, It’s a sign that they are ready for more swimming lessons.


How Do I Introduce My Baby To Swimming

Before introducing your baby to swimming, you need to have the right mind frame. This will take time and patience on your end, as well as sticking to routine as the best results are gotten with consistency.

Ensure your baby is well-rested before starting. Swimming is an energy expending activity. It can lead to exhaustion really quick. By ensuring your baby is well rested before starting, it would be easier for get them to look forward to the experience.

Safety protocols must be observed at all times. From the use of only warm pools to the use of floatation devices, and swim diapers. Also, when you start letting your baby into the water, the farthest you should be away is an arm’s length, regardless of the number of skills they have learnt. You should also be able to do an infant CPR in cases of an emergency or an accident.

Babies being in a pool of water is a new experience that can leave them feeling uneasy. Try to get comfortable in the water they are swimming in. Maintain a smiling face and hold them close at intervals so they know that they are safe even though the environment is new.

Maintain eye contact at all times to reassure them. Try to make these moments bonding moments that they can look forward to. You can even sing to them to help distract them and to dispel fear. The goal here is to create a positive association with water.

Start with gentle submersions and do not let go in the beginning, keep them close. Gradually progress to pouring warm water over their heads at short intervals. Be attentive any signs of distress. Remember, it’s your baby that leads the way. Be patient and consistent.

Read Also: My 1-Year-Old Drinks a Lot of Water– Is It Normal?


What Age Can Babies Swim Naturally?

Babies are able to swim naturally from birth, thanks to the womb as well as their birth reflexes. They possess dive reflexes like holding one’s breath and closing airways. However, when not harnessed, they start to lose these skills from 6 months.

Between 6 and 8 months, babies start to develop skills like kicking, and arm movement. Around this age, muscle control also improves. If their dive reflexes are maintained, they would have lots of tricks up their sleeves to approach full swimming as they grow.

At about 2 to 3 months, placing babies in water gently can help stimulate the right sensations as well as the maintenance and development of other basic motor skills. The presence of a parent or caregiver can immensely promote this process.

Close to 9 months, the nervous system starts to mature even greater and this paves way for the development of more complex movements that can aid swimming.

Another advantage babies have is their body fat. It is higher than that of adults which aid buoyancy and makes it easy for them to stay afloat. This complements the other motor skills can enable them have stellar attempts at swimming.

Exposing the baby to environments where they can watch other people swim can also improve the development of swimming skills. Babies are strong imitators and they can easily imitate swimming movements observed in others. This can also awaken other instinctive movements like movement of the limbs and feet when they are placed in water.

Above all, it should be noted that babies have very unique reactions to water and swimming exercises. Not all babies will feel safe in water and that’s okay. As caregivers, it’s not a bad idea to want to encourage swimming from infancy but all approaches must be carried out with caution.


Is It Good For Babies To Swim?

Swimming is good for both adults and babies. Basic swimming activities enhances certain functions in babies like physical development, respiratory health, and cardiovascular health.

Basic swimming exercises can help promote the mastery of motor skills and this in turn promotes muscle development, coordination, and strength. These moments are also opportunities for baby-caregiver bonding and baby to other infants bonding. This can help promote the development of vital social skills.

Babies who were exposed to water and swimming tend to be good swimmers and have a reduced fear of water as they grow older. It is also believed that swimming for babies aids cognitive development as the exposure to water allows them to pick up on new sensations early.

The breathing exercises and techniques introduced to babies and used during swimming practices help to enhance lung capacity and improve respiratory health. It could also stimulate improved auditory awareness as water activities tend to involve music and rhythm.

Swimming is also a form of exercise which promotes sleep health, flexibility, fitness and cardiovascular health in babies.

Read Also: Going to the Beach While Pregnant


Do Babies Learn To Swim On Their Own?

Babies cannot learn to swim on their own. This view is often a misunderstanding of the creative skills displayed by babies. Swimming is an exercise that is learnt either by organized learning or by imitation.

The reflexes in babies are not full swimming skills and can not be a substitute. Babies lack motor skills for proper swimming and should not be left to themselves in water pools.

The buoyancy they have owing to their body fat cannot support them to stay afloat for long periods and by long periods, we are looking at several minutes. Allowing a baby swim unattended can lead to drowning as babies cannot help themselves stay afloat or save themselves from drowning. They need supervision to be able to navigate waters safely.

Swimming lessons for babies are focused on helping them to get acclimatized to water environments. Full swimming cannot be done by babies as they do not have the muscle or coordination to do this.


How To Teach a Baby To Swim

Teaching a baby to swim takes time. This entails helping them acquire skills that would make them good swimmers as they grow. Steps on how to teach a baby to swim:

Acclimatization To Water

Introducing your baby to water helps to cancel out fears about water as they grow older, a crucial step in learning to swim comfortably.


Irrespective of the approach that would be taken, safety and safety measures must not be compromised. Ensure the baby has all they need to practice their swimming skills safely.

Warm Water

This is one of the safety measures that must be upheld. Babies should only practice their swimming skills in warm water with temperature of about 29 to 31 degree Celsius.

Parental Support

Parents and caregivers must be present at all times to help babies feel safe in the water.

Appropriate Swim Wear

The right swim wears for babies are body fits that are not flowery. The materials for these wears must also be cotton-like so it does not pose any discomfort when they are in water.

Start With Floating Techniques

Part of the first things a baby should learn about swimming are floating techniques like swaddling, kicking, leaning into your grip as you hold their underarm and bubble blowing under water. These must be mastered before safely submerging their faces.

Let The Babies Comfort Determine Pace

This cannot be overemphasized. For every step in the learning process, the baby’s comfort should determine when to stop and when to keep going.

Read Also: When Can You Take a Baby to the Beach


Conclusion on: How To Teach a Baby To Swim

Babies can learn swimming skills that would help them become swimmers from early ages. Ensure to use professionals at every stage of the learning journey and supervise your baby at every point. It takes time and these moments should be bonding moments to facilitate the assimilation of the skills being learnt.