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August 20, 2012 / mommy brain

Just like Ryan Lochte, but more articulate and not into one-night stands

I hate to brag know I talk about how awesome my kid is every chance I get, but T is really killin’ it at swim class! After a rough start, he’s having a great time, and I’m very proud of my little water baby. Our very first swim lesson was a success, but then we had several very cranky lessons, but I kept going, trusting the teacher when she said the most important thing is to get your kiddo comfortable in the water, and sure enough, he now loves it! I also learned that the temperature of the water is a big factor for T and most other kids his age. When chatting with the other swim lesson regular mommies and daddies, they all said that their kids are crankier on cold water temp days and more into it on warmer water temp days.

I’m writing this post to a) brag about my little swimmer, but also b) to let other parents whose kiddos are crankpots during the baby swim lessons know that it does get a lot better if you keep going. Most of T’s swim buddies who are also into the lesson and not crying the whole time have been attending for a while, so it’s all about getting them comfortable at the pool. It gets better, and I do think the rewards of a kiddo comfortable in water and ultimately a kiddo who can swim are well worth it. Plus you might make some new mommy friends!

Some tips for cranky swim lesson days:

  • If your kid is just not into it at all, don’t force it. Take a walk around the pool and watch others swimming instead. Look at other stuff around the pool. T was fascinated with the flags at the end of the lane, the ones that let the backstrokers know they are about to smack into the wall. He thinks these flags were just awesome and points them out to me every time we go. You want your kid to be familiar with the whole pool area. It smells and sounds VERY different from any other room he or she has been in, so it can be very scary. It kind of echos in a lot of pool halls, so this all takes some getting used to in and out of the water.
  • If your kid is not into “swimming” but is ok in the water during a lesson, take some time to play on the stairs at the shallow end. Just standing up in water is very helpful for babies, so they start to realize that they can touch bottom in certain areas. And learning how to walk or crawl up stairs in the shallow end is important.
  • If your kiddo is shivering, even if it’s only been 20 minutes, call it a day. Our swim lessons are only 30 minutes long, and that is more than enough time for a little swimmer.
  • Floating devices like a kick board or a floating bar do grab some kids’ attention and sometimes distract them enough to get out of a cranky mood. A baby swim instructor can show you some good ways to play safely in the water with babies and floating devices.

Now that T is all about swim lessons, he can do all kinds of things in the pool, including:

Full plank position.

Jumping in from sitting position or standing position (easier for mom to take a quick photo when he’s sitting. When he’s standing he could just run the other direction and laugh as mom tries to scramble out of the pool to catch him.)

(This is right after jumping in; mommy water photography is not great, but look at that form!)

Holding onto either a floating bar or the lane marker and kicking. I need to get a photo of him holding on to the floating bar; he gets very excited doing that. I took most of these photos myself while holding him in the water, which was tricky so I didn’t get everything.

Blowing bubbles. (This one we’re still working; he generally drinks the water instead, but sometimes he shows off and blows like ten thousand bubbles all at once.)

Being dunked. And laughing his butt off when mom dunks her head, too.


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