Infant swimming.....

Traci - posted on 12/18/2009 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My husband is really wanting me to get our 5 mo old into the water. We were going to do infant swimming at the Y, but not for $40+ a session. Tonight she and I will be staying in a hotel while Dad flies in from another city, said hotel has a pool. So, he says I should be able to just put her in the pool and she will instinctively hold her breath and open her eyes.

I am not sure if I can let her head go in the water. Will she automatically close her mouth? Do I have to worry about her nose? What about the chlorine in the water? What to I have watch her for? What have you experienced with putting infants in a pool?

I'm pretty nervous about this, but I know it's a good idea. Maybe we can just splash around, or just skip it all together because I can't get over myself.

3 Comments

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Jane - posted on 12/19/2009

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I'm with Renae as she makes some very valid points!
I'm from Oz too, so we are all really water and safety concious and getting their head under water also prepares them a little if something bad were to happen..then they would know not to panic.
In saying that though, we also have a pool in our backyard - that is half chlorine/half salt. I dunk my little boys head under it, but only every now and then. He is quite happy to be swimming on the surface and enjoying his time!
As for the chlorine..well Cody has not had any reaction to it, and we ALWAYS go for a shower to get it all off after anyway.
Try not to worry about it too much, but if you don't feel 100% comfortable doing it, then maybe just have a little splash just so bub gets used to it !!

Renae - posted on 12/19/2009

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That is SO not true. Not a single baby in our swimming class instinctively held their breath or closed their eyes.

Its not that daunting really. At swimming lessons they teach different things like to blow in her face before you put her under, that is supposed to make her hold her breath but me and 16 other mums in my class can tell you it didn't work. They also say to get some water in your hand and pour it down her face, also supposed to make her hold her breath, also didn't work for anyone in our class.

Basically, they just get dunked in the water and get it in their mouth, up their nose, in their eyes and come out gasping with an expession that says "what on earth just happened to me!". Apparently swallowing a small amount of water wont hurt them and they get over it pretty quickly after being "dunked". I never dunk my baby more than twice in a row though because I think its a bit mean.

To be honest, if you are just going to get in the water once and dunk her under once or twice I doubt she will learn anything, they really need a good 12 weeks of lessons to figure it out.

You can always take her in the water but not put her under if you want. Just wash the chlorine off with a bath or shower after because some babies skin reacts to it.

Incase your wondering why I torment my poor baby with being dunked under the water, in Australia toddler drowning rates are very high. Its hot here, we all live on the coast near the beach and lots of people have backyard pools. So we are encouraged to start swimming lessons as early as possible. All Australians have to know how to swim and how to be safe at the beach.

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My own experience of taking my two to a swimming pool for the first time was sheer panic (on baby's part) and clinging onto me like a limpet. This happened probably the first 5 times with each child but after that they slowly gained confidence and would splash a bit but still had to be holding on to me/being held onto.

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