Babies Into Little Swimmers:
What Do They Learn In Class?
What Do They Learn In Class?
Are you perplexed by what babies learn in swimming classes?
I have encountered many parents with kids from babies to below 3yo who said ‘My child is too young to take instructions and hence, I don’t think it is time for swimming classes yet’. Yes, I don’t disagree with the fact that little ones are too young to process instructions. It is just that Parents probably missed the point of babies and toddlers aquatics.
When Parents have time to hear it out, it is always my delight to share with them what they can expect from infant aquatics, because I was too, amazed by what babies swimming can offer when I first found out about it.
Overview of the amazing benefits of Infant Aquatics:
- Motor Skills
- Here is what water offers to the development of motor skills in a baby – sensations. Water answers the babies’ body movements with splashing, flowing and frothing. This helps the baby to perceive its body, heightening awareness of his movements. Being able to feel the results of his movements, teaches the baby to move. For example, when a baby flings his arms, it causes water to splash on his face. If he likes it, he will repeat the limb movement to recreate the effect. If he doesn’t like it, he stops. This may be an obvious illustration, but there are some learning that are subtle, but I am certain your baby is learning.
- There is also the 3D freedom of movement in water provides the opportunity to explore an extended range of movements for babies in their first year, more as compared to limitation from just lying on his back and from belly time, especially for infants below 1 year old.
- Hence, being in water lends to early stimulation of senses, cognitive and physical development
- Social Skills
- Early contact with other babies also furthers the child’s development of personality and social skills
- Strengthens Parents-child Bonding
- Unlike dropping the little ones off at play schools or enrichment lessons, here is an activity where parent’s participation is totally welcomed and required. If you are a working parent who has missed out on witnessing your child’s milestones’ first moments, you will have the opportunity now to watch your child learn at every single step of the way. It is fulfilling to be the one guiding your child and being part of his learning to swim journey. These are the moments you will miss when your child grows more independent. 🙂
- Part of the source of confidence is from being in the water with someone the child trusts. Be present when the child needs you most inevitably strengthens the bond.
- Water Acceptance
- Build familiarity and positive relations before the toddlers begin to make strange or throw tantrums, these factors significantly hinder progress
- Survival Skill?
- It is commonly said that starting young equip infants with survival skills and prevent cases of drowning. Some train 6-12 months old babies to roll onto their backs to float, rest and breathe, until help arrives. You can view this as an added layer of protection so a moment of inattention does not have to cost a child his life. BUT bear in mind that no level of aquatic skill can replace active adult supervision.
They will progress through these 4 Fundamental Skills:
By 4 years old, they will be able to progress to regular classes, learning swimming techniques. Meanwhile, what they do in infant aquatics lessons are related to the earliest stage in the development of their swimming skills and these are the areas of focus:
- Conditioning: Teaching the child to accept water over his head hair, eyes and ears.
- Buoyancy: Floating without the use of swimming aids eg. to float on his back confidently
- Breath Control: From 3 months old, they are able to hold their breath underwater for 1-5 seconds.
- Mobility: Includes kicking, paddling then both at the same time and propelling forward
So what sets Infant Aquatics apart?
The lesson quality. If you are a parent who values early childhood learning and teaching through play then you will find that in swimming lessons for young children. Learning how to swim lesson are largely filled with kids tunes and toys throughout the class. At JUMP! Swim School, five songs were sung in each lesson. It promises fun and happiness for the little ones. From what I observed with Zelia, this method is effective in getting the kids’ attention and participation, and they learn so quickly in the right environment.
It is also a safe learning environment, plus you as a trusted adult will be there to guide them. You are in control and there will never be a time when your baby is pressured to do something his is not ready for. You will also be taught how to hold your baby in different position / stages while in water.
I mentioned earlier, it is so fulfilling to be the one guiding your child and being part of his learning journey. These are the moments you will miss when your child grows more independent.
If I still haven’t convinced you, check in for a trial class with any swim school/ instructors and experience it for yourself.
We strongly recommend JUMP! Swim Schools (at Bukit Timah) as that is where our ambassador kid, Zelia has gone for her swim class. She used to scream when in water but JUMP! has converted her to water-loving just by her first class. You can read more about Zelia’s experiences here.
Infant & Toddler Aquatics Syllabus
The following is based on JUMP! Swim Schools’ syllabus. Jump! specialises in small groups swim classes for young children from 3 months old and lessons take place in a clean a private indoor facility with heated pool.