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3 yr old terrified of water - feel so guilty..

(7 Posts)
Shnook Sat 27-Jul-13 20:06:15

We took DD swimming a handful of times as a baby but never to any classes. It's been ages since she last went and we thought it was high time she learnt to swim. So we took her to the local pool and she was really excited about going - but as soon as she saw the actual pool itself, she screamed her head off and would not even dip her toe in. Equally, she won't go in a paddling pool or play in a water fountain/with a garden hose etc (although she's fine in the bath).

I feel so bad for not getting her into swimming earlier. What can I do to rectify this? Are there any good swimming classes especially for nervous toddlers?

skaen Sat 27-Jul-13 21:24:33

DD was the same. We left it a bit and then started taking her to a local splash area where there are fountains and archways etc with water. That helped her get used to the idea of water in her eyes and cope with it all. It also helps if you can commandeer a slightly older child to act as an example!

DD is 6 and able to swim a bit with head in water. We'd tried swimming lessons earlier but they seemed to work best from 5 ish with goggles.

MultipleMama Sat 27-Jul-13 21:37:12

Non related but I'm 23 and I have aquaphobia - fear of drowning. Never learnt how to swim when I was a baby, even though I attended lessons as a baby and at school. I take my kids swimming but I still don't swim.

Have you tried sitting with her on your lap with your feet in the water but not hers? Does she allow you that close to water? Other than that just keep trying I guess. Not what you want to hear but some kids just don't like water.

scottishmummy Sat 27-Jul-13 21:53:12

Book her 1:1 with instructor,relieves you having to do it
Don't rush to classify her as nervous toddler

holidaybug Sat 27-Jul-13 21:56:28

3 years old is not late to be introduced to swimming - don't beat yourself up!

Goldensunnydays81 Sat 27-Jul-13 22:11:02

My ds 2.8 has been going swimming on and off since he was a baby, we are lucky enough to spend a few months a year in Sri Lanka by the the sea! The last time we went we hadn't been swimming for a month or 2 and it took about 2 weeks to get him going back in the sea again! But it started off with one of our friends taking him in, don't know why but that was more acceptable then eventually with us!
Can you go with some friends so that they can play together and slowly get used to it?
Good luck smile

Shnook Sun 28-Jul-13 19:30:55

Thanks for all your replies. Multiplemama - no she won't even sit on my lap and dip her toes.

Think you're all right- just going to have to persevere with water fun on a small scale to try to get her used to it - i.e. paddling pools and fountains etc. I like the idea of one-to-one instructor too.

Thanks all - will let you know how I get on!

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