How early can you teach your baby to swim?

Is there a good time to start teaching your baby to swim? Does it benefit them if you start off early rather than later? I think so. Some infants have started to swim lessons as young as six months. Younger babies seem to feel more comfortable in water than older kids do. There isn’t such a fear for the water as there would be for maybe a three year old. I have my son enrolled in a swim class, he is a year old and loves to take baths and play outside with water toys but when we get in to the pool for lessons he seems so scared. There is a seven month old baby in the class and he seems so relaxed in the water, like he remembers how it was when he was in utero. My son on the other hand wants nothing to do with swimming, going under water or even playing in the pool. As a parent, it’s so important for me to know that my son can swim. So many babies and children drown each year and I want to make sure my son knows what to do when he’s in the water. With that said I feel like the earlier I would have started him in lessons the more comfortable it would have been for him. It is said that small babies know to close their mouth when they go under water; it’s a reflex for them. My son has a wide open mouth and tends to swallow water, which in turn he coughs and then cries which scares him even more. The seven month old in the class seems to know when he’s going under water, he closes his mouth and goes under with ease, not choking one bit! Back when I was a baby my mother took me to swim class, she said I was about six months old and at that time to teach a baby to swim the parents would stand in a pool and let go of their babies and that it would be almost second nature for them to try and swim, she said for me it was. Today things are a little different, there are different techniques used that aren’t so harsh. Now they have floats to help babies learn to kick, games to play to make swim time fun and all these things still seem to scare my son. I often wonder if I waited too long and if he will ever want to go back in to a pool again. I guess I will continue to try and see if he will become a little swimmer and not turn off the idea that swimming can be fun! So yes, I think teaching your babies to swim at an early age makes it easier for them and for you. My mind will be put at ease when I know my son can swim safely on his own.

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