I started taking and teaching them myself when they were 5 months old--they were winter babies, so I couldn't do it much earlier--but would have if they were born in the spring! At the age of 8 and 6 they have been swimming completely independently and without any flotation devices (never used them) since they were 3 1/2. They are now finally tall enough to stay in the shallow end of our pool (we have a divider rope), when I'm not out there, and they respect the water, and our rules. Even though they are proficient swimmers, I do not allow them in the deep end unless I am watching or in the water with them.
at 2:59 PM on Jun. 26, 2010