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Too soon for swimming at 5 months??

(15 Posts)
LuvMyBaby Fri 13-May-05 21:18:01

I was just wondering what everyone thinks about the whole "get them swimming asap" thing - I have been taking my ds to aqua babies and he seemed to really enjoy the first lesson but every class since is getting progressively worse, he just cries the whole way through. My gut feeling is that he's just not ready but the instructor is telling me that I should persevere, its the ideal time for him to learn etc. He is fine in the lessons until he has to do a swim under water and thats when it all goes pear shaped. I know he is not scared of the water because he loves his bath, splashes himself in the face and thinks its hilarious !!
I'd just be grateful for a few opinions, experiences of your own etc....

Gobbledigook Fri 13-May-05 21:21:52

I've taken all 3 of mine (now 4, 2.5 and 8 months) from being about 3 months old. I didn't do lessons with them so never put them under the water.

All of them love the pool and have no fear whatsoever and I think if that's all you gain from taking them this early, that's good enough. Ds1 has had lessons since age 3 so he's only been going for just short of a year and he's out of armbands already - jumping right out into the water, coming back up and swimming to the side.

Ds2 hasn't started lessons yet but he's perfectly happy swimming about and jumping in with his armbands on and ds3 just loves splashing.

I think it's really important for them to be confident in water so if I were you I'd persevere but I see no reason to be dunking him under at this stage if he doesn't like it. Just take him yourself so he's used to the environment etc.

pixel Fri 13-May-05 21:38:31

My ds went to a swimming class from 5 months but I'm sure they wouldn't have expected me to dunk him if it was upsetting him. The emphasis was very much on fun/nursery rhymes etc, during the course of which they would get splashed and sometimes dunked as part of the 'game' eg. Ring a ring a roses we all fall DOWN! Now he swims at school I keep getting comments in his home/school book about how confident he is in the water so it was well worth starting him at a young age.

If it was me I would decline to do the 'swim under water' part until he was more relaxed and enjoying himself again. I would be worried about making him associate the pool with something scary if 'persevering' is actually making him progressively worse. As Gobbledigook says it may be worth missing out on the classes for a bit and just having fun with him yourself.

Evesmama Fri 13-May-05 21:42:36

wish id took my dd that early...sooner the better imo

jessicasdaddy Fri 13-May-05 21:51:55

jessica was about 2 months old when i took her swimming

LuvMyBaby Fri 13-May-05 22:01:38

Thanks for your responses, I think taking him myself sounds favourite for a while, I just felt a bit like everyone (other mums there and the instructor) thought I should carry on with it regardless making me feel like maybe I was totally over reacting.

pooka Sat 14-May-05 14:28:21

I think if your ds doesn't want to be dunked, doing it regardless may make him associate swimming with being pulled under i.e. negative associations. Take it at his pace, just go for fun rather than for trying to learn to swim right now. FWIW my dd is now 21 months, and has always been rather tight lipped about swimming. But i've had a bit of a breakthrough today in taking her with friends and just bobbing about, and she actually smiled which is an enormous progression for us.

SoupDragon Sat 14-May-05 16:53:08

Do you smile at him and make a fuss after you've dunked him? If you look at all worried (eg in anticipation of him crying) then he'll cry. Just a thought

I've taken both DSs to "dunking" lessons from 5 months or so and both could swim 5m unaided by about 3 1/2. Worth every penny we spent on the lessons.

Mud Sat 14-May-05 17:08:00


you should take them for enjoyment at that stage and if he doesn't like it then don't do it becaues you'll set him up to be scared of the water - some kids are water phobic as babies and the advice is to just sponge them down (mine was)

if it helps my DS went into a swimming pool about 3 times in total before the age of 3. when he was 3.5 I took him to swimming lessons with the ASA (I was petrified he'd hate it), after 6 months he was the best swimmer in his class and we were asked to move up a class

your 'swimming instructor' sounds like he wants to make money

Davros Sun 15-May-05 19:38:37

I haven't taken DD swimming so far (she's just 2) because I think she was too small to be in such an unhygienic place. And I don't think I'm fussy! Also getting them changed in most public pools is a nightmare. I will think about sorting something out now I feel she's able to cope with germs etc better.

Enid Sun 15-May-05 19:44:07

god don't take him. I didn't take dd1 properly until she was nearly 2.5 and now she is the best swimmer in her class (<<proud>>)

instructor talking pants IMO.

loulabelle222 Sun 15-May-05 19:45:22

i first took my ds swimming at 11.5 months and i felt dreadful that i hadn't taken him before , i really wish i had because he loved it . i think he thought that it was a huge bath that mummy and him could have with lots of room!
I have taken him 4 times since and would love to start swimming lessons. It is a nightmare getting them and yourself out,showered, dried ,dressed. Especially as the place i go to has no cubicles and only one baby pull down thing!

katylou25 Sun 15-May-05 19:47:24

I take ds myself once a week ( 4 months old) and am starting group in a couple of months but not one of the 'dunking' ones. IMO as an ex swimming instructor they're out to make money and don't actually make any progress towards the later skill of swimming, and often discourage children by forcing dunking etc before they're ready babies should go swimming for fun and to gain confidence not to be scared!! Can often have a long lasting effect I think.

ambrosia Sun 15-May-05 19:51:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

vkone Sun 15-May-05 20:04:20

My DS has been to underwater swimming classes since 7 mths and loves it, he's very confident in water (probably over confident at the mo). He's currently on "level 3"

The second course of lessons, he really hated, would kick up a fuss the moment we got to the pool, finally I changed to another pool (these are all hydrotherapy pools, not public BTW) and he was fine. Afterwards I realised that he just couldn't stand the instructor! I spoke to her about it and she says it's very common and quite understandable, so now I'm just very smiley and confident each time I hand him over to her.

Your instructor should understand if you do a few lessons without dunking and hopefully that'll build his confidence up again - I hope you perserver

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