5 tips to make swimming lessons fun for babies

As swimming lessons return across the country post COVID, the Australian Swim Schools Association would like to share the following tips for parents preparing for their children’s first swimming lessons.
While swimming lessons can start for babies from as young as eight weeks old, the most common age to start is around six months old.
  • Avoid feeding your baby within an hour before the lesson – A full tummy isn’t always a good idea when you’re teaching new water skills.
  • Make sure the swimming lesson isn’t their first time in the water – to ensure a positive experience, it’s a good idea to have your baby experience a body of water in a calm environment
  • Make bath time fun in the lead up – getting a cup of water and gently pouring it over your baby’s head to get them used to the sensation and holding their breath as water runs over their face will be beneficial for their first lesson.
  • Make sure they have appropriate swimwear. A swim nappy is essential to avoid any accidents and it’s a good idea that the caregiver has a t-shirt to wear so that babies have something to hold on to if they need it.
  • Last but not least – go easy on yourself. Like everyone, babies have good and bad days and your swim coach will guide you through any mini meltdowns.
Adding to this, Australian Swim Schools Association’s General Manager Emily McNeill says there’s never been a more important time to discuss swim safety.
“Following the pandemic pause on swimming lessons which has led to a national skills regression, it’s crucial that our next generation of swimmers are making up for lost time and catching up on swim safety skills in 2022,” says Emily.
“Alarmingly, Australia has recorded a 20% increase in drowning deaths during the Covid-19 pandemic according to the Royal Life Saving Society Australia.
“With millions of swimming lessons missed across the country in 2021, drowning deaths among children ages four and under increased by 108 per cent and drowning deaths among children aged between five and 12 years increased by 56 per cent compared to the previous year.”