When should your child start to swim?

19th December, 2016

Swimming is a skill for life. Grasping it in childhood not only opens up the possibilities of countless water sports; it also gives you peace of mind that your child will be a safe and confident swimmer beyond the age of supervision.

But when should your child learn to swim? Should you take the plunge with a water baby, or wait until the time feels right? It’s something of a grey area amongst parents, and one that Mini Mantas is here to shed some light on:

Learning to love the water

Baby swim sessions are incredibly popular, and for good reason. Familiarising your child with the water as an infant can prevent the common fear of pools and oceans in later life.

Parents and their babies can attend these classes from as early as six weeks. They aren’t, however, swimming lessons in the traditional sense; while your baby may learn the basics of balance, don’t expect them to learn how to swim at this stage.

Getting to grips with the basics

As your tot gains strength and confidence, you can begin to consider swimming tuition. Most welcome children from 18-24 months, supervised by parents and the swim instructor.

These lessons will focus on teaching your child to swim alone, supported by a buoyancy aid. This is where Mani comes into its own, providing stability and safety as your little one grasps the basic techniques of swimming.

Building on success

Once your child is able to swim the length of a pool unaided, you are able to leave the rest in the hands of a swim instructor. Children tend to take traditional swimming lessons from ages 3+; many primary schools include these in their curriculum.

While swimming lessons aren’t essential, they will help your child to master some key skills, including breaststroke, backstroke and front crawl, as well as diving into the pool and swimming underwater.

Swimming badges can recognise their achievements, building your child’s confidence and reaffirming their progress. Don’t worry about the pace at which your child is learning; everyone is different depending on when they start and their natural abilities.

Advanced swimming lessons

As your child moves into secondary school, you’ll probably have a firm grasp of how much they enjoy swimming, and how much they excel at it. Based on this, you may decide to explore advanced swimming lessons, diving school or a lifeguard academy.

Armed with the support and encouragement of their parents, your child can foster a lifelong passion for the water. Just make sure that you are sensitive to their progress, and only push them as far as they feel comfortable.

It all starts with those cautious first splashes in the pool. Slow and steady most certainly wins the race when incentivising your child’s development, and we are proud to support your child’s swimming journey at every stroke. Seeking further advice? We’d love to hear from you.