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How to Overcome Fear of Water

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How to Overcome Fear of Water: a Guide for Children

If your baby is new to swimming, chances are he or she is experiencing some level of water fear. The good news is there is a proven strategy for how to overcome fear of water.

According to the American Psychological Association:

  • Most parents believe their child was afraid of water at the first contact
  • Siblings often shared a fear of water if one was afraid
  • Young children can “learn” a fear of water when the parent shows fear

The answer to how to overcome fear of water is The philosophy here is “Don’t Rush.” Forcing Your child in the water when they are not ready is going to scare them and add even more stress to the swimming experience. We all learn better when were relaxed and having fun, so make sure your baby is enjoying the entire experience.

Your guide to help your child overcome a fear of water:

  1. Check for common signs of distress to see if your baby is showing signs of fear or distress. Crying or clinging tightly to you are the most common signs of distress. If they are clinging tightly to you, hold them tight and comfort them so they know your not going to let them go. You may need to step away from the pool to help calm your baby when they begin to overcome fear of water.
  2. Sit with your baby on the pool steps or as close to the pool as your baby is comfortable and bring a familiar toy or game your baby enjoys. I like to bring bubbles so the baby and I can sit and blow bubbles together. Having something fun to do together can take the babies mind off worrying.
  3. Move closer to the first step in the pool and bring a new toy to play with. Just focus on having fun with the toy, not worrying about splashing or bringing attention to the water for now. If baby is not ready for the first step in the water, than move back and keep playing. Do not try to overcome a fear of water quickly!
  4. If the baby has an older sibling it helps to show them they can go in the water. This works the same in a group lesson with a water-comfortable baby. Just seeing another child in the water can help them relax. Also, as a parent, showing them water is nothing we must be afraid of will help conquer being afraid at an early age.
  5. Finally, when your baby allows you to hold them in the water, slowly ease away from the steps and into the pool. Hold the baby firmly so they know you are there for them. The last part of the baby to enter the water is their face, so always hold their head above water until they are completely relaxed in the water. When they have overcome their fear of water and can relax and play in the water, you can begin to work on your swimming lessons.

Following this guide on how to overcome fear of water and going at your babies pace will help . Just remember to take your time during this phase of swim lessons. The more enjoyable water experiences your child has, the easier the rest of the lessons will be learned.

If you have a story or question about how to overcome fear of water for your child, please leave a comment below!


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