To wish that my DD didn't cling to me like a limpet every time I take her to the swimming baths?

(34 Posts)

Obviously want her to learn to swim, but I've tried all the tips I can find and still she clings to me! Short of professional lessons (which I can't afford) - how do I gently persuade her to get at least to arms length from me?

sunbathe Fri 15-Aug-14 12:34:48

Any shallow pools near you?

If she could stand up whenever she liked, she might be better?

rpitchfo Fri 15-Aug-14 12:38:10

how old is?

georgieporgie1 Fri 15-Aug-14 12:45:28

Wd be interesting to know how old she is, but assuming she's not that old yet, I'd be very patient, let her cling, for as long as she needs until she feels more confident. But keep taking her and exposing her to the sensations.
It's not a race to learn to swim, and it takes an awfully long time to undo a phobia if you try to push it too hard and it develops into one.

CMOTDibbler Fri 15-Aug-14 12:48:29

I'd def look for a beach entry type pool (where they gradually slope down very gently). When ds went through a clingy phase, it was this sort where he was totally in control that made him happy in the pool again

BookABooSue Fri 15-Aug-14 12:50:39

Aw, it really depends how old she is. If very little then try taking a favourite bath toy along with you.
If older, then pretending to be an Octonaut really helped my ds. Every trip became a mission to rescue pretend sea creatures grin

partialderivative Fri 15-Aug-14 12:53:24

I really miss those days.

But I am glad my kids are now very confident in water

RoganJosh Fri 15-Aug-14 12:53:59

My two yr old is like this. I recently had some success by going with an older boy, who he loves. His dad was throwing him into the water away from him, while still holding him. My two yr old then let me do it and is getting to tolerate the idea of me holding him rather than him being totally limpetted.

She's 21 months - we don't have any of those sloping types! She will happily stand on the steps on the way in but as soon as the water reaches her waist she becomes a limpet! I've been taking her once a week for about 6 months - do you think I should carry on or maybe give it a break? It makes no difference whether the pool is quiet or busy either! Then yesterday a man who was there with his daughter went underwater for about a minute and she went into meltdown shouting "MAN! Man! Maaaaan!" Until he resurfaced! I'm not sure whether I'm making her worse by continuing?

She likes the octonauts might give that a try! We do sometimes go with a little boy she likes who is very confident in the wAter, she watches him and laughs but won't copy!

georgieporgie1 Fri 15-Aug-14 13:06:32

I would be very cautious. I don't think it'll make her worse by taking her, but definitely let her take it very much at her own pace.

We had to deal with a water phobia, largely due to the baby swimming 'lessons' that we took my daughter to, where they dunk them under at the end of each lesson to get them used to it. Let's just say it didn't work...after a few weeks of that it took 2 years to get her into the bath without screaming, never mind the swimming pool. I should add here that she is autistic so possibly this is not a common reaction...!

But it has taken a very long time (5 more years) and lots of private swimming lessons to get her anywhere near actually swimming, partly as a result of pushing her to feel comfortable in the water rather than letting it come at her pace.

I know hardly any children who can swim before they're at least 4, so there's plenty of time for her to get used to it before then. She's still so little, let her enjoy cuddles and piggy backs in the water, and playing with a toy, and feeling comfortable there. Good luck!

georgieporgie1 Fri 15-Aug-14 13:06:58

YANBU to wish it though!

RiverTam Fri 15-Aug-14 13:08:16

aww, she's only tiny. If she likes it then keep going with her, she'll get her confidence in the end, and more so if she's confident in you.

are there no learner pools with specific baby sessions?

VSeth Fri 15-Aug-14 13:09:23

Get an instructor to show you a few different holds? The pool attendant should know some.

I have a DD just younger and she does cuddle me at the swimming pool. Its lovely but holding her in different positions is helping her water confidence.

Playing games helps, I also put her on the side of the pool, with me in and play Zoom going to the moon song, then blast off in to the pool. Bouncing on the tractor song too

Thankyou all! Good tips! Much appreciated! Will persevere smile

Vivacia Fri 15-Aug-14 13:12:13

If you put me in some water, and I didn't know how deep it was, only it was so deep I couldn't see the bottom, let alone touch it, and I couldn't swim, well - I'd be be clinging on pretty tight too.

freyaW2014 Fri 15-Aug-14 13:14:07

you haven't mentioned whether she has armbands or a swim ring?
Can you take her to an actual beach and paddle? What is she like in the bath? What about in a paddling pool?

She is fine in the bath although she insists on sitting in her seat, and she is fine in a paddling pool too! I suppose you are right I wouldn't like it if I couldn't see the bottom!

I tried her with arm bands and she just panicked when I tried to show her she would float so we took them off

BookABooSue Fri 15-Aug-14 13:19:09

georgieporgie we had that reaction to baby swimming lessons and DS isn't autistic! After a few weeks of lessons, with one ducking under the water incident, he would start crying from the minute we reached the changing room.

It took ages to get him back to being comfortable in the water.

We went to Devon on holiday and tried to paddle but she didn't like the little waves rushing up at her so we went back to making sandcastles - she likes looking at the sea but not being in it!

I'm feeling from what you say that lessons would not be the answer anyway.

BookABooSue Fri 15-Aug-14 13:20:47

DS didn't like arm bands either. He was much happier in one of the little floated life-jackets.

I tried last night to put her in the bath without the seat (purely because it was late and we were in a hurry) and she was just like "seaaaaat! SEAT!")

Maybe I'll try a little life jacket, see how she goes tomorrow!

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