One of the most important building blocks toward swimming successfully is confidence. A child that is timid or fearful around water will not progress as quickly as one who enjoys the water. To give your child the best shot at success, start by making water a positive experience. For instance, while bathing your child, there is no need to attempt to avoid getting water on your child’s face, head, ears, and neck. By doing so, a child is taught that water is not harmful, even when it enters their eyes and ears. Always react positively to this type of action – especially if the child seems unsure of how to react.
Please note that babies are natural swimmers. Pouring water on a child’s head is not harmful in any way, it is simply something to get used to. Remember, fear of the water is learned not natural. Having said this, you, as a parent, hold the key to your child’s ultimate success. Take your child in the water with you frequently so that he/she knows that there is nothing to be frightened of.
Playing games in the pool can serve as an important learning tactic as well. Try using diving toys in shallow water to encourage your child to put his/her face in the water. Teach your child how to avoid inhaling water by making a game out of blowing bubbles with both the mouth and nose. You can also use flotation devices like the AquaJogger Jr. or the Water Gear Progressive Back Float which promote proper alignment while building your child’s confidence.