Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Earliest Age for Swim Lessons

Does anyone have any thoughts on when a toddler should enroll in swim lessons? My mother in law has a pool and we spend a lot of time there, with summer approaching I worry about us hanging out around the pool as my daughter is only 14 months old and has no concept of depth what so ever!

Answer Question

Asked by Beeziesmommy at 1:10 PM on Mar. 9, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 1 (0 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • Well I haven't done anything like that with my daughter, but I know I was started on swimming lessons when I was only about 3 months old and by the time I was 6 months old I knew how to bring myself to the surface of the water. I don't remember not knowing how to swim.

    Answer by SandraB383 at 1:18 PM on Mar. 9, 2009

  • My daughter started at 2 years old (that's when our local beach starts them) but we've since joined the Y and my son started a "mommy and me" type class when he was about 20 months, but hated it, so we decided to wait until the summer to try again.

    Answer by gramsmom at 1:20 PM on Mar. 9, 2009

  • there is a place that will start lessons at 6mo.... its more of survival training if the child ever falls in the water they teach them how to float. its great..
    a friend of mine just took her 2yo they taught them how to swim in their bathing suits & float for safety & they also taught them how to float if they where to fall in fully clothed (jacket/shoes) in winter clothes! It was amazing to watch what these kids can do...
    Some places make the mistake of teacher your kid its FUN to jump into pools & swims. this is not smart at all! At a young age learning to swim should be about SAFETY! :)

    Answer by MommaTasha1003 at 1:47 PM on Mar. 9, 2009

  • My son took lessons last summer at 8 months old. Many places start at about 6 months old. There are some that just get the children aquainted with the water, and some that are more intense - like the pp mentioned where they teach them to float. That one is too intense for me and I wouldn't do that until my son is 3 at least. (They throw them in by themselves and it makes me too nervous to not be in there with him!)

    Answer by Glowing4Caleb at 3:38 PM on Mar. 9, 2009

  • The YMCA starts swimming lessons very very early... during infancy. I'm considering putting my 2 year old DS in them, but I don't think that they're necessarily lessons on exactly how to swim. More of getting used to the water.

    Answer by mommabeth15 at 10:21 PM on Mar. 9, 2009

  • I teach aquatic survival, like what's mentioned above. With survival lessons, you can start a child as young as 6 months to float if s/he falls into the water. A child who is around 15 mo and above can learn to swim, get to a float to get air and relax, then back to a swim again until s/he can get to the side or steps.

    With traditional lessons, such as the Y, children are typically around 4 by the time they really learn to swim and it can take 2 or more years. Also, I'd like to warn against the Mommy & Me programs. Babies learn to associate Mommy's warmth and love with the water, which may draw them to the water, when they're not skilled. A child should learn to be safe before play.

    Just FYI, you shouldn't use any kind of flotation device (kickboards, floaties, rafts that babies sit in, etc). This gives them a false sense of security and puts them in an upright position for swimming.

    Ilise Kohleriter

    Answer by Ilisek at 4:22 PM on May. 13, 2009

  • ISR is basically child abuse and there is absolutely no documentation to support that in a real life situation that it will work better than swim lessons from a positive, nurturing class. Please check out this video:

    There is an option to the trama than many parents put their babies through. Safety is #1, but you DO NOT need to terrorize your children to be safe!!

    Answer by mperkins at 12:44 AM on Jul. 7, 2010

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.