I'm a big believer in teaching toddlers to swim. The younger the better, since this is when they're learning body coordination. Skills developed at this age – everything from language to muscle memory – set a foundation to get them on track for lifelong learning.
Teaching Toddlers to Swim in 3 Steps
The task of teaching toddlers to swim can seem daunting. Water plus children can be a scary combination for many parents, but swimming can quickly become a favorite pastime for families who take the time to do it right.
Our big new house has a great big pool. More often than not, though, you'll still find us splashing around in the shallow kiddie pool over at Oma and Opa's house. This is where I feel most comfortable with the kids right now, and it's not overwhelming for my toddler. Starting small helped him get used to the idea of pool playtime outdoors.
The right equipment helps things go smoothly. Sunscreen is a must, obviously, and floaties help with the transition to the big pool. We also use Huggies Little Swimmers so there aren't any “accidents.” Kids in a new situation don't need extra distractions to stress over. Especially in a public pool, it could be totally mortifying for them (and really counterproductive for teaching toddlers to swim) if everything isn't properly contained. Trust me on this. Water movement has a tendency to stimulate things, and you don't want to be dealing with mishaps. I've been there. Traditional diapers won't cut it – they're too absorbent, and will make your kid feel like they're swimming with a water balloon strapped between their thighs.
Practice Makes Perfect
When your toddler is ready for the big pool, try to get out there as often as possible. Encourage him or her to hold onto the edge and kick, and teach them to blow bubbles and plug their nose underwater. Repetition is key to help them feel comfortable with their newfound swimming skills.
If you're looking to save while teaching toddlers to swim this summer, you can get $1.50 off Huggies Little Swimmers at Target!
Have you gone through the pool training process yet? What are your tips for teaching toddlers to swim?