When Should My Child Learn To Swim?

Disclosure :: This sponsored post is brought to you by Love Swimming. Lots of moms start to ask us about swimming lessons in New Orleans at this time of year, so we believe the information and resources contained within will help local families navigate the world of swim lessons!

When Should My Child Learn To Swim? 

As the mercury rises, parents of young children naturally begin thinking about all things swimming. Here are some questions you might want to consider:

  • When should I start teaching my child to swim?
  • What should I look for when considering a venue for lessons?
  • How can I help them to love the water before lessons start?
  • What can I do to best help them prepare for swimming lessons?
  • How can I ensure they will have a healthy respect for the water?
  • How can I make sure they are as safe as possible when our family is at the pool, lake, beach or water park?       when to teach child swim

Swimmers can start formal lessons as young as six months; some swim schools even allow swimmers to begin lessons when they can consistently hold up their heads! When considering a swimming school or backyard swimming teacher, parents should insist on reviewing their credentials and peer reviews of the operation. You might want to find out what other parents say about their experience with the school/ teacher. Are the teachers trained in CPR/first aid/water safety? Is the facility clean and orderly? The outward appearance of the venue probably reveals something about the overall preparation of the teachers and classes. What is the temperature of the water? Students under 80 pounds do best when water is above 85 degrees. Babies do better when water is 88-92 degrees.

Parents can help their children to love the water before lessons even start. Take these tips to heart:

Are you a good swimmer? If you aren’t or, especially if you have any fear of the water, make a commitment to take lessons ASAP. Kids keenly sense their guardians’ trepidations and will internalize them. You can do more for their swimming by bolstering your own confidence than you may have ever imagined! Not to mention that you will be their first line of defense against drowning. Can you swim well enough to save them if they fall off a pier or out of a boat? If you haven’t yet learned to swim well, it’s time to get going! Do it for them and for you.

When giving them a bath, make a point to get water in their ears and on their face. Try filling the bath to only 3-6 inches depth and encourage them to lie on their stomachs to try blowing bubbles. Bubble blowing seems like an elementary skill to most parents, one that should be mastered quickly and left behind on the route to swimming mastery, yet the skill of air exchange is hugely important and is rarely mastered quickly by young students. They can never blow too many bubbles. When they are getting good, have them do it with their faces in (and even with goggles on). Also try having them lie on their backs and “listen to the fish” under the water. The new sound of water in the ear canal is a stumbling block for many young swimming students. You can help them get a big heard start.

Try the above skills in a pool with a ledge or on the steps. This will get your swimmer used to pool environments and to have them used to having the water line near their face, which can be great for their upcoming or ongoing lessons!

Have your standing-age kids take a shower with you. The water sheeting over their faces is something many parents never think to introduce their children to. This experience can help a child leapfrog their water readiness! Think about it: when they get to the stage where they are ready to learn to breathe on their own swim lessons new orleans(some kids make it this far by 2.5 years), they will need to take a quick breath while the water is sheeting over their face. They may be cautious at first. Keep trying and be all smiles and positive encouragement.

Many parents ask me about floaties and swimming aids for non-swimmers. While arm floaties do slip off and can be a danger, there are some with better security that can be fun for more advanced non-swimmers. Also, there are dozens of floatational body suits. Look for ones with the appropriate weight floatation for your swimmer. Of course, too little floatation is a bad idea, but too much can be even worse as it can topple your child face-first onto the surface! Of course, watch your child (in the water with them) every second.

Last but MOST IMPORTANT, when supervising your swimmers, remember that drownings are almost always SILENT. Swimmers slip under without a sound and can die or be brain damaged in very short order. There is very little audible struggle.

When you are with friends supervising the kids or a swim party, seriously consider hiring a lifeguard or paying an older sibling/family friend to watch the pool with both eyes. Surprisingly, the more adults watching the pool, THE WORSE. When multiple adults are casually watching the pool, there’s a “dispersion of responsibility” that can be extremely dangerous for their young charges.

We at Love Swimming hope these tips help your family be safer and have more fun in lessons and in swimming recreation.

How Our Sponsors, Love Swimming, Can Help:

The Love Swimming studio is in New Orleans at 5221 South Front Street. Call 504-891-4662 to learn more or to book. Sessions are perpetual at Love Swimming, so you can join classes anytime of year– but the sooner the better as our classes fill up quickly as the spring approaches! Please note that swimming lessons are appropriate starting at 6 months. Private lessons are not recommended for children under 3.

59 Responses to When Should My Child Learn To Swim?

  1. Jessica Zeringue February 19, 2014 at 9:37 am #

    My son is 9 months old. I would love for him to learn to swim since I grew up always swimming and playing in the pool.

  2. Jade Bradburn February 19, 2014 at 9:38 am #

    My daughter is 2 and hasn’t taken swim lessons before but I think she’s ready!

  3. Lisa February 19, 2014 at 9:43 am #

    I need to get my 3 year old back in lessons. She did it when she was 18 months and hasn’t since then!

  4. Sara Fifi February 19, 2014 at 9:50 am #

    Great article & tips! My daughter loves the water & I hope she becomes a great swimmer 🙂

  5. Lena G February 19, 2014 at 9:54 am #

    He’s 20 months, and he’s never taken lessons.

  6. April H February 19, 2014 at 10:07 am #

    My daughter is 7 and hasn’t taken lessons but would love the opportunity!

  7. Elizabeth February 19, 2014 at 10:11 am #

    We were already planning to start Reed in the tots class in April. Now with this publicity I’m worried the classes will fill up — I’d better get on it!

  8. Michelle Roberie February 19, 2014 at 10:13 am #

    My daughter is 2 1/2 and has never taken lessons. She can swim independently underwater but she needs help being lifted out of the water to catch a breath.

  9. Erin February 19, 2014 at 10:33 am #

    My son is 19 months and hasn’t taken any lessons, but he loves the water. He would love swim lessons!

  10. Amanda M. February 19, 2014 at 10:51 am #

    My daughter is 13 months, she has never had any swimming lessons, loves to splash in the tub but hates when the water gets in her face.

  11. Madeline February 19, 2014 at 11:02 am #

    Would love to win this! My son is a total water baby!

  12. Lindsey February 19, 2014 at 11:06 am #

    My child is 2 and has not had swimming lessons yet

  13. Ashley February 19, 2014 at 11:30 am #

    My baby is 5 months but we live on the water and I grew up LOVING the water; I’d like her to be aware of water safety and enjoy the water as soon as possible! She already loves playing in the bath.

  14. Becky Chivleatto February 19, 2014 at 12:56 pm #

    My 13 month old son loves the water!! I’ve heard wonderful things about your business and would love to enroll!

  15. Rhonda February 19, 2014 at 1:34 pm #

    My son is 9 months old. This is something I would love for him to experience! I believe that learning to swim and loving the water are huge lessons to learn.

  16. brittany o February 19, 2014 at 3:32 pm #

    our two year old son has never taken swimming lessons!

  17. Stephanie Galliano February 19, 2014 at 4:19 pm #

    I’d enroll my daughter. She’ll be 3yo in May and I think it’s time for her to learn how to swim and stop being upset by splashing water.

  18. magdalyn caserta February 19, 2014 at 7:09 pm #

    Thank you for the insightful article. We were just discussing when we should start our DD at swimming lessons.

  19. Megan Wright February 19, 2014 at 8:15 pm #

    Our son is almost 10 months old and hasn’t had lessons, but loves water

  20. Kristin February 19, 2014 at 9:04 pm #

    Love the post! Thanks for sharing!

  21. AllyB February 20, 2014 at 2:08 am #

    My two year old loves to “swim” in the bathtub…I think she’s ready for lessons!

  22. Nicolle February 20, 2014 at 12:22 pm #

    I think my kids are ready!

  23. gretchen February 20, 2014 at 2:36 pm #

    My daughter is 2. I actually brought her to Love Swimming last summer and she did great (@ 18 months) – I’d love to bring her back for a refresher course this year!

  24. Julia February 20, 2014 at 2:45 pm #

    My twins are 15 months and I’d love to enroll my husband too!

  25. shannon faulstick February 20, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

    My daughter is 3. She hasn’t been exposed to swimming yet and would love to take her to Love Swimming so she gets comfortable with water. I would also enroll my 6 month old too!

  26. Jessie February 20, 2014 at 5:08 pm #

    My daughter is 18 months old today! she hasn’t had lessons yet.

  27. Keyandra February 21, 2014 at 12:34 am #

    Thanks for sharing this post. Great tips for getting kids ready for swimming.

  28. Keyandra February 21, 2014 at 12:36 am #

    Thanks for this post and the wonderful tips for getting kids ready for swimming.

  29. Jessica February 21, 2014 at 10:02 am #

    My daughter is 4 years old. We attempted to put her in swim lessons last summer through a camp she was in but it didn’t go well. I think they just had too much going on and not enough personalized attention (which is kind of scary when you think about it). She is now apprehensive about it despite loving the water, so I am definitely looking for a proven option to ease her fears!

  30. Carrie February 21, 2014 at 11:24 am #

    My daughter is 5 now, and she started going to Love last summer as part of her summer camp. She learned to swim and she loves it!

  31. Mary February 23, 2014 at 6:10 pm #

    My 5 yr old son would love these lessons. He took a couple last summer but needs more classes.

  32. Erin February 23, 2014 at 6:17 pm #

    My daughter is 7. She’s taken lessons before but was afraid. Hoping she’s over the fear and ready to really learn.

  33. Olivia February 24, 2014 at 2:21 pm #

    My four year old son has taken group lessons once, but still uses his floaties.

  34. Vanessa February 24, 2014 at 2:28 pm #

    My child is 3 & has taken lessons before, but still not comfortable swimming without floaties.

  35. Kelly February 25, 2014 at 9:18 am #

    I’d enroll both my 4 year old and my nearly 3 year old. They both had lessons two years ago; they still use floaties, but there is no longer any fear of the water.

  36. tiffany t February 25, 2014 at 10:14 am #

    my daughter is 7 and needs a refresher course!

  37. Kasey Bealer February 25, 2014 at 10:18 am #

    my daughter, ruby, is 19 months old. she has never taken swimming lessons before. we will be around a family member’s pool this summer and could really use this to help us all feel more comfortable around the pool!

  38. Shelley February 25, 2014 at 11:04 am #

    My son is 5 and has taken two summers of swimming lessons.

  39. Chrissy February 25, 2014 at 11:42 am #

    My daughter will be 6 months old when we enroll her in swim lessons for the first time. I took my son at that age and he loved it!

  40. Gwynne February 25, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

    My son is 2 1/2. He took one session of lessons when he was 6 months old.

  41. carla g February 25, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

    almost 3

  42. Kimberly D February 25, 2014 at 2:46 pm #

    My little one is 3 and he took swimming lessons last summer.

  43. Allison Akhter February 25, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

    My daughter just turned 18 months! She has never had swim lessons before, but I’m pretty sure she would live in water if she could! She loves being in the water and being outside!

  44. Hyzennthlay May 14, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    My son is 4 and all of our relatives and friends seem to have pools. He also goes fishing with his dad on occasion. He 100% has to learn how to swim and soon!

  45. tiffany t May 14, 2014 at 10:23 am #

    my kids are 7 and 10 – and I think it is important to have a refresher swim class every summer!

  46. Michelle Roberie May 14, 2014 at 2:06 pm #

    My children are 15, 4 and 3. They’ve never taken swimming lessons.

  47. Micki andry May 14, 2014 at 9:52 pm #

    My kids are about to be 2 and 5. I would love for the 2 year old to get this kind of interaction because he’s fearless and that scares me with summer vacations coming up! My 5 year old could really benefit from the lessons as well.

  48. Abby May 15, 2014 at 3:59 pm #

    My kids are 5, 3 and 9 months. I want them to learn to swim so they can be safe and confident in the water and because swimming is so fun.

  49. Jennifer Hayes May 16, 2014 at 12:44 pm #

    I would love to win swimming lessons for my little one.

  50. Nilong May 17, 2014 at 7:52 pm #

    I’ve seen first hand near drownings and drownings in my line of work as a pediatrician. I know that I need to devote some serious time and energy to teaching my kids how to swim. They are 3 and 5. Winning free classes would help us not become a statistic.

  51. Leah May 18, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Our daughter is 2 and we want her to be confident in the water!

  52. Emily May 18, 2014 at 11:02 pm #

    My son is 16 months old and I want him to swim without fear of the water.

  53. Melissa May 19, 2014 at 9:14 am #

    My son is about to turn 1 and i would love for him and me to feel comfortable in my parent’s pool!

  54. jessica May 19, 2014 at 10:10 am #

    we frequent the beach, and our daughters love the water; it is time they learn how to get in it safely!

  55. Olivia May 20, 2014 at 10:00 pm #

    My son is 4 1/2 and I would love for him to be able to swim without his floaties this year! We spend a lot of time in both grandparents’ pools and the boat.

  56. Dina Carbello May 20, 2014 at 10:07 pm #

    My son is almost 3 years old and loves the water. I’d love her him to learn to swim!

  57. Sarah May 20, 2014 at 10:34 pm #

    My kiddos are 6, 4, and 2 and I would love to have them in swim lessons. My 6 year old is terrified of getting in a “big pool” and I want her to conquer this fear sooner than later!

  58. Tracey DeSoto May 20, 2014 at 10:55 pm #

    My husband and I both desire for my daughter to be a great and safe swimmer. We both love the water and hope she will too! She is three and we want her to be swimming safely as soon as possible.

  59. Angela June 28, 2016 at 9:07 pm #

    I think teaching children to swim in crucial to their knowledge about water safety. A great way for them to learn is if you teach them yourself. Ron Bower’s eBook is amazing – it’s an in-depth guide to teaching your children to swim, which is a great way to bond with your child!


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