Taking Your Toddler Swimming for the First Time

March 16, 2023

Taking Your Toddler Swimming for the First Time

Taking your toddler swimming for the first time can be a nerve-wracking experience, but with a few tips, it can also be a fun and rewarding one. It's important to remember that every child is unique, and learning to swim can be different for everyone. Here are some things to keep in mind when taking your toddler swimming for the first time.

Firstly, try to avoid nap and feeding times to make it a more enjoyable experience for both you and your little one. You'll also need to think about what they should wear, especially if they're not potty trained. A swimming nappy is essential, and you can either buy disposable ones from your local supermarket or a reusable swimming nappy like the Happy Nappy Duo by Splash About, which can be found on Amazon. You'll also need them to wear a Happy Nappy on top or jammers to contain any accidents.

Once your little one is ready, you'll need some floating toys to help with hand-eye coordination and arm bands if necessary. It's important not to let them become reliant on them, though. Introduce them to climbing in the water safely from the side and make sure you're in the water with them.

Start by sitting them on the side and placing their hands to the side, then slowly turn them onto their tummy so they're facing away from you and bring them into the water facing the wall. Hold them and give them lots of reassurance, smiling lots as they will pick up on your emotions. If they can stand in the pool, let them put their feet on the floor and hold their hands while they walk around the pool until they feel confident to explore on their own.

After the swimming session have your little one’s towel at the ready, poncho towels are the best as these go over little ones head, have a hood to keep them cosy and warm and allows them to walk with ease.

Swimming is hungry work, so have a snack at the ready, however avoid crumbly snacks such as biscuits and crisps and the lifeguards will thank you for it. I always say a banana (if you can avoid it squashing in your bag) or a Soreen bar are best for after swimming snacks.

For more tips on how to introduce your toddler to the swimming pool, follow The Online Swim School on Facebook and Instagram. We offer a course aimed at 2-4-year-old beginners that covers everything you need to know, from what to wear to that first dip into the pool, balance, coordination, water confidence, safety tips, swimming equipment, introducing underwater swimming, and more. Check out their online courses at The Online Swim School.

Remember, swimming is a valuable life skill, and with a little patience and encouragement, your toddler will be splashing around and having fun in no time.

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