I was an American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor & Trainer for 20 years, a Lifeguard and Instructor Trainer for 22 years and Aquatic Facility Director for over 15 years.
I taught and supervised Parent/Infant "Waterbabies" classes from the age of 6 months. The focus of the program is for babies to become acclimated to the water, and for parents to learn a variety of support techniques that provide stability and security for your child, while encouraging good body position in the water and freedom of movement. We sang lots of songs with swimming movements and adapted to a water theme...such as "Wheels on the Bus" became "Fishes in the Pool"
If the parent and the child were both comfortable in the water, I taught them how to go underwater and hold their breath or blow bubbles. Naturally I taught my children from the age of 6 months, by 3 1/2 they were swimming independently--without any flotation devices! :o)
at 3:53 PM on Jul. 1, 2009