Monday, May 7, 2018

Tips & Tricks for Encouraging Little Swimmers

This post was sponsored by SwimWays as part of an Ambssador Program for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

May has arrived and in the South that means pool season is officially open! From now until October we will be frequenting the pool, lake, ocean and any other large body of water in order to cool off. It is my favorite time of year, and I enjoy the fact that I have given birth to three water babies who love it just as much as I do!

Even though it is just the start of the season we have already taken full advantage of our warmer weather and the fun that is pool season. We swam a little bit during our Spring Break trip, but since it was so cold it wasn't enough time for me to assess how well each of my little swimmers had retained their skills from last year. I was particularly curious how B.C. would do. Last year she loved the pool, but was always a little hesitant about being held in the water. She wanted to be independent and hang out by the stairs. I made her wear her SwimWays Baby Spring Float Activity Center which was a total life saver for both of us. It allowed her the independence that she was seeking, but gave me the reassurance that she was safe. Now approaching that sassy two year old stage of life I was curious how she would do.

As the new swim season has started everyone has surprised me with how well they remember, and B.C. (a.k.a. Miss Independent) is right back to her float loving ways. Thank goodness!

After a recent swimming playdate, a friend commented on how comfortable all three of my kids seemed to be in the water, and asked advice on how we got them around the fear of water. I know that a lot of children seem to have that of the pool or being submerged. Cute was that way from 3 to 4. He loved the water, but one day decided his face going in the water was just not something he needed to do. I sat down and thought about it, and I guess we have utilized some tips and tricks here and there with all three kids to get them comfortable in the water, and encouraging them to be great little swimmers.

Tips and Tricks for Encouraging Little Swimmers! Love the SwimWays Baby Spring Float and how it encourages little ones to be safe and play freely in the water! Check out the amazing resources for parents and children to learn the benefits of swimming and celebrate National Learn to Swim Day! #SwimWays, #BabySpringFloat #SpringFloat #NationalLearnToSwimDay #FloatwithSwimWays #IC #ad

Tips & Tricks for Encouraging Little Swimmers

Because we are around large bodies of water most months out of the year, we take water safety pretty seriously. As parents we learned that even with young children we needed to make sure everyone felt comfortable in the water and there were clear established boundaries. As a mom to three, I knew this would be even more important because I would almost always be out numbered when it came to swimming times. Making sure we all felt safe and comfortable would make our swimming time more enjoyable whether you were 6 months old or 34 years old.

Rub-a-dub, let them play in the tub! The tub is the perfect place to introduce early swimming skills. First, and foremost letting kids be confident and showing them how to be comfortable in the water is key. What better way to do that than by letting them splash and play in the tub.

Teach by example. Babies and small children love to be little mimics. They are constantly soaking up every little thing in their surroundings. When it comes to encouraging them to get in the water and start to learn essential swimming skills, get in the water and show them. Don't just tell them how to blow bubbles in the water, show them. Show them how float. Show them how you hold your breath and go under. Show them that getting slashed in the face is fine. Witnessing you do it and knowing you are okay will help them be confident when it's their turn to do the same.

Don't immediately immerse them. When we were teaching our oldest to swim someone told me to just dunk them under and get it over with. I mean I know that approach works for some, but I just couldn't bring myself to ever do it. I took the slow and steady approach and over the course of the summer he was spending more time under the water than above. I decided that immersing my kids immediately if they showed fear would just reinforce that. Remember, confidence is key. I wanted them to be confident in their own decision to go under the water.

Use safe pool equipment. Some of my friends have taught their babies how to swim as young as young as a year old.  I am always so impressed when I see these tiny little tots swimming a few strokes on their own.  Those cases are rare though, and the rest of us have to rely on safe pool equipment to help encourage our little swimmers. In fact, to ease my own nerves I've relied on such equipment for as long as I can.

I mentioned Cute had a slight hesitancy when he was three when it came to swimming, but that was not the case when he was younger. He was similar to B.C. in that he was Mr. Independent and from the moment he could walk until the fear kicked in he was fearless. He would jump into a pool regardless if there was a person close to him or not. He loved the water, but did not love someone holding him in the water. He wanted to be free!

I did my research and found the SwimWays Baby Spring Float Activity Center at Target. It allowed him to enjoy his own time in the water and be comfortable "swimming" on his own, and gave me the reassurance that he was safe. Carrie Beth used the SwimWays Baby Spring Float Activity Center for all of her little ones too!

Now I'm using the same SwimWays Baby Spring Float Activity Center to allow B.C. to build her own swimming skills and confidence. She loves it! She has a blast getting to swim on her own (while I'm holding the float instead of her), and has endless amounts of fun playing with all the fun toys and teethers it comes with. I love that I am not only keeping her safe in the water, but I can also keep her skin safer too with the detachable SwimWays Baby Spring Float Sun Canopy.

The SwimWays Baby Spring Float is easy to inflate and it's easy to store when not in use. It is by far one of my favorite baby items, and I totally get why it's the #1 selling baby float in the U.S. and continually receives outstanding reviews. I also love that they are supportive of parents wanting to encourage their little ones to be safe and confident swimmers.

In 2012, they established that every third Saturday in May would be National Learn to Swim Day, and is dedicated to educating parents and children about the importance of water safety and the benefits to learning to swim. This year National Swim Day is on May 19th. So mark your calendars and check to see what local events might be going on to support SwimWays' cause!

Keep your own fears away. The potential for disaster sometimes around large bodies of water is great. Thinking of all the things that could happen will make a parent go crazy with fear. But, in order for our children to be confident and encouraged to swim, they need to see that you aren't fearful either. Swimming is such an important skill no matter what age you are. If you're too nervous in the water children will pick up on that and can be fearful too. One of the best tips I have ever heard is have a back up swim buddy. Grab a friend or a swim instructor to get in the pool with you and your little one. Someone who is confident in the water and can help assuage those fears for you both, while helping teach your little one those essential swimming skills they will need. Everyone will be a little safer, and while you might have your own fears, your little ones might be dissipated to where they can grow into confident little swimmers.

To grab more resources on how to encourage your little ones to swim, learn more about National Learn to Swim Day, and more check out the Teach Me to Swim website. It is such a great valuable swim and water safety resource for parents and children! 

What are some tips and tricks you have for encouraging little swimmers?

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1 comment:

  1. These are awesome! I am a nanny and these would be so perfect for babies during the Summer!


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