Teach Baby To Swim

Learn how to teach your child to swim

How To Get Your Baby Comfortable With Water Around Their Face

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As a children’s swimming instructor, I get questions from parents who want to teach their baby to swim. Here is a common swim question I decided to write a post about:

My son just turned 5 and has been through both private and group swimming lessons; however he does not want to put his face in the water or jump into the pool where his face may go in the water.  He is generally comfortable in the water otherwise as long as he can stand or is holding onto me – but it is difficult to really learn to swim without getting your face in the water.
Any suggestions?

First off, this is a common swim issue among babies, toddlers and children. The good news is all children can learn to be comfortable in the water. It just takes a few exercises and little patience.

Here was my response to this parent’s swim question:

So your son is 5 and he’s uncomfortable with putting his face in the water and you want to know what to do, right?

First start at bath time. Is he ok with you pouring water over his back, neck and/or top-of the head? If not, you can gently pour or splash a little bit of water over his back, neck and top of the head in that order.  Take baby steps to get your son used to having water around his face and use a splash toy to have some fun and relax him while in the bath. Kids always do better when having fun, so a fun squirt toy can be used to spray water instead of a bucket.

Then when he is ok with that, take the same squirt toy into the shallow end of pool and sit on the steps and try the same bath time routine. (Squirting water on his back, neck and top of the head.)

When he is ok with that, then you can move on to more advanced swim skills that have water around the face. For example the side dip is an exercise that gets your son more comfortable with water around around his face with out getting it near his eyes, mouth or nose. See a video of the side dip after the blowing bubbles lesson, here by clicking the video on the page.

It’s important you teach swimming at your child’s pace. That’s why my swim program teaches in step-by-step lessons that never force your child into any exercise. If he is not ready for an exercise you will always have other options that they will be ready for.

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