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To think that swimming lessons before the age of three are totally pointless

(120 Posts)
ReallyTired Thu 07-Nov-13 11:33:07

I know that newborns can supposely hold their breathe and swim under water, but no small child is safe with water. As far as water confidence goes a family splash session is as effective as an expensive lesson.

Dd started swimming lessons at three years and three months. After three terms of lessons she can now swim 5 metres on both her front and back. I believe it is developmental readiness that determines whether a child learns to swim early or not. There are children in dd's old swimming class who had lessons as babies and children in her new swimming class (all of whom can swim 5 metres) who have only had a couple of terms of lessons.

I feel the risks of baby swimming lessons (ie. glue ear, mum dying of boredom) outweigh the benefits. Its better to wait until the child is actually told enough to follow instructions and you can sit in the cafe while your little darling kicks around with a float.

merrymouse Sat 09-Nov-13 14:10:19

naice even if it were allowed I haven't come across a parent who doesn't accompany their under 5 in the water.

SarahBumBarer Sat 09-Nov-13 14:13:30

We take DC swimming at our local leisure centre. Classes cost £4.50 - same as gymbabes, rattle and roll etc etc. You don't have to be sucked into the big name franchises and the standard of teaching is excellent where we go (we have done puddleducks previously).

DC, DS especially, love swimming. How can something be "pointless" when they get so much enjoyment out of it? Baby swimming was one of the most favourite things I did with DC when tiny. I would never be "dying of boredom" whilst spending 30 minutes doing something with my children that brought so much pleasure even had I not enjoyed it.

Seems to me OP that you are justifying your own choices by criticising what other people have done as boring and pointless.

DS (3) is very good around water. He enters and exists the pool sensibly, loves jumping in but always waits until someone is watching him (no other area of his life where he so obedient!) and I think would not panic falling into water because he is so used to the sensation. And as for struggling once we were no longer in the water with him for lessons - bit of a nonsense generalisation, imo sorry. It's not like we had hold of DS constantly in his lessons previously. I'm not aware of this ever being an issue at the lessons we go to.

SarahBumBarer Sat 09-Nov-13 14:13:54

merry - DS is 3. His class is no parents in the water.

natwebb79 Sat 09-Nov-13 14:14:58

We've done Water Babies since DS was 4 months. We've thoroughly enjoyed it and DS can now dive under the water, find the side if the pool to grab hold of and move himself from the deep to shallow end before climbing out. He's 2. I'd say that's a pretty good skill if you get into trouble in deep water. Live and let live. grin

natwebb79 Sat 09-Nov-13 14:15:44

Oh - and there are kids in the bigger class (age 3ish) that have for their 25m badge. I shit thee not.

ScreamingNotWaving Sat 09-Nov-13 14:50:43

I took both DDs to swimming lessons from when they were four months old. It was in the local pool and was really more of a wet play group. It was just mums and babies (in freezing pool) splashing, singing and having fun.

At 4 they both started actual lessons and are now good swimmers. As a family we enjoy water, from waves to boats to surfing so being able to not just swim but feel joy in the water is really important to us. They are real water babes!

Did we need official lessons rather than just going...don't know, but it was pretty cost effective.
Would I do it again? Yes

Mattissy Sat 09-Nov-13 16:47:48

YABVU, teaching babies and toddlers to roll and float has saved many lives. I went to uni in Miami where most homes have pools, I made pin money by reaching babies to find the side when falling into the pool.

My own dc's were taught to roll and float from being weeks old, to this day (12 & 8), I'm confident that if they fell into a lake, river etc they'd survive for hours, even days with this method of self preservation.

Sorry I haven't read many of the replies as I'm so incensed, lol

Tbf, trying to teach them strokes before that age is pretty pointless.

trixymalixy Sat 09-Nov-13 16:49:38

We put DS into the council lessons aged 3 after him going to water babies since 6 months old, no parents in the water, he was not bothered being on his own. Now if you are talking about boring then that was bloody boring for both of us.

He could swim a length, but they couldn't put him in a higher class because of his age. So he spent a couple of sessions splashing with the other kids before we decided it was a waste of time and went back to water babies.

MrsWedgeAntilles Sat 09-Nov-13 17:13:10

YABU. DS has been going to lessons since he was 3 months old. He's calm in the water, he knows to head for the side or something to hold onto ,he can climb out on his own and can float on his back. He's been able to do this since he was tiny and all of this could save his life one day. I would never have known how to teach him this.
Also we both loved it and it gave us both a lot of confidence.
He can also swim pretty well but that's not point.

ThisWayForCrazy Sat 09-Nov-13 17:24:28

My friends children are both fairly confident swimmers that can swim lengths. They are both under 3. YABU

Smartiepants79 Sat 09-Nov-13 17:32:25

Well I have taken both my girls swimming since the were about 6 months.
I really enjoy it
The girls both love the water. It has been very successful.
Neither of them have ever been ill from something they got in the water.
My 3 yr old now goes to 'proper' swimming lessons. She goes in, independently ver happily. She is water confident and has several skills already which put her ahead of some of the rest of the class - float, climb out, push off, go under without crying......
In my opinion the time spent at the pool has been worth every penny and minute!

yabuandyouknowit Sat 09-Nov-13 18:35:48

Swimming doesn't cause glue ear. YAB ridiculous talking about the 'risks'.
If a parent is not confident in the water then swimming lessons give that parent confidence and the babies/toddlers will do much more in a lesson than they would in a family splash about. Most toddlers I have seen love them.
It's also pretty ridiculous to insinuate that children under the age of 3 can't learn to swim or learn safety skills.
Of all the things parents spend a lot of money on, I can't understand why this is one you'd have an issue with.

merrymouse Sat 09-Nov-13 19:11:53

sarah fair enough - I assume that that is appropriate for your child. My point was that if you aren't in a lesson you aren't going to be sitting in a cafe while your 3 year

merrymouse Sat 09-Nov-13 19:17:55

Sorry, 3 year old swims, and it would be odd to skip accompanying your younger child at the pool helping them to get used to splashing/going under water because you thought they might not want to take part in a lesson without a parent. Children naturally learn to be more independent in the pool at their own pace, just like anything else.

VerySmallSqueak Sat 09-Nov-13 19:21:24

I have taught swimming to babies up to adults.

My honest opinion is that a parent/carer who is happy in the water is just as capable at water introduction and confidence as a teacher.

Once water confidence has been mastered a group dynamic can be useful in pushing a child to try new things,and practice rather than play.

starlight1234 Sat 09-Nov-13 19:28:17

My son did water babies since he was 2 months old more than the swimming skills he has loads of confidence and has never worried about putting his head under the water

Yes you are been unreasonable..You can take your child swimming what ever age you want but you make a judgement on other people doing it their way....Their are many right ways to raise a child and teach a child to swim

herecomesthsun Fri 24-Jan-14 18:37:59

My DS was scared of water; we left it till he felt more confident at around age 4.

My daughter is a "natural" in the water and I have taken her since she was a few months old. She is having great fun and loves it. I am much more comfortable doing lessons as I feel much safer

Cheesy123 Fri 24-Jan-14 19:37:28

If I tried stopping my two years old swimming lessons she would freak! She loves it, so what if other kids are doing as well as her in a years time.

OneUp Fri 24-Jan-14 19:57:23

Zombie Thread

ThatBloodyWoman Fri 24-Jan-14 20:01:56

I have taught parent and baby classes.
Tbh I think that they are good if the parent feels the need to have guidance, and if it encourages regular trips to the pool.However if someone who is happy in the water themselves takes a baby regularly, lessons aren't necessary at as early age.It's all about water confidence.

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