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Taking 1yo swimming for the first time

(14 Posts)
mrsleomcgary Sun 04-Jan-15 21:31:06

The nearest pool to us to over 20miles away so that combined with dh working nights mean we've never taking dd swimming,we've wanted to,have bought her a swimming costume and swim nappies but it's just not happened. The council are apparently building a pool here within the next two years so once it's built she will have swimming lessons.

Anyway,we're going on a weekend away soon to a big lodge resort (NOT centre parcs,lol!) with a bunch of friends and their kids who are all about the same age as dd. It has a swimming pool and dh and I plan on having dd in the pool as much as possible while we're there.

She loves baths etc but i'm wondering what we can and can't do with her in the pool iyswim? I know at baby swimming lessons they duck them under the water but I don't know if I would dare do that with her because she hasn't had any lessons. And what,if any,swimming aids like inflatable seats,life jackets etc should we get?

Artandco Sun 04-Jan-15 21:36:11

You don't really need swimming aids at that age imo. As you will holding on to her so just hold like you would in the bath or something

footallsock Sun 04-Jan-15 21:48:10

You don't need anything - just hold on to her and splash about. Inflatables are expensive and not needed.

footallsock Sun 04-Jan-15 21:48:53

I really wouldn't bother dunking her - no benefit to anyone !

Ghostintheshell Mon 05-Jan-15 16:34:05

When I toke my dd swiming at that age for the first time I brought arm bands can't really see why others have said none tbh or am I missing something

Artandco Mon 05-Jan-15 16:37:43

Ghost - because you aren't going to be doing lengths and leaving baby alone in shallow end. So can just hold them.

We swim a lot as family (3+ times a week). Never used arm bands. Both could doggie paddle by 18 months, by 3 both swimming lengths confidently. I think floats hinders them, arm bands means they can't move arms to start with so how are they suppose to even attempt to swim if they can't move arms!

Treats Mon 05-Jan-15 16:40:59

It's better to start without armbands if you're going swimming regularly because they need to get used to being able to float on their own. If they rely too much on swimming aids, they find it harder to learn.

However, if you're going for a one off swim (without a lifeguard?) and you're nervous, then it would undoubtedly be safer to get some armbands. That's all they really need.

In my 1 yr old's class, they encourage them to kick their legs and blow bubbles in the pool to prepare them for learning to swim. We get them to 'swim' towards bath toys. There are also different nursery rhymes that we sing - Humpty Dumpty for lifting them off the side into the pool - that sort of thing. The

Ghostintheshell Mon 05-Jan-15 17:24:49

I take her to a class and she can't go in without them but it makes sence what your saying.

footallsock Mon 05-Jan-15 17:58:49

We use arm bands and they use arm rings I their lessons but no need to buy just for one weekend

WhyOWhyWouldYou Mon 05-Jan-15 18:36:05

Don't dunk under water - before 12months they have a reflex to hold breath, after this time the reflex starts to disappear, so unless they have been taught to go under water, dont do it.

I don't think floats are necessary at that age, you just hold them.

Mummyk1982 Mon 05-Jan-15 20:42:46

We've taken our DD to swim lessons since she was 5 months (now 9 months). She goes underwater, but as a previous poster said, they lose this reflex as they get older, so unless they've been taught to swim underwater at an earlier age you shouldn't dunk her. They are also conditioned (in the classes) with warning words before they go under, so they associate words that are said prior to swimming underwater with swimming underwater and as such learn to hold their breath.
Stuff that she enjoys dong in the pool, which doesn't involve going under includes:
Us holding her sitting on side of pool singing Humpty Dumpty and when he 'falls' off the wall she splashes into the water (again us holding her!)
Being held in a swim position with a bath toy just out of her reach in front of her- encourages her to kick legs/stretch out arms
Us holding her bouncing her in and out of the water
Singing any songs and moving rhythmically with the words in the water

All the other things we do involve underwater work, but there's a few ideas on the surface that you could try :-) you'll probably find she's happy just splashing about :-)

machair Mon 05-Jan-15 20:47:39

Good to have some toys with you. I wouldn't dunk her at this stage incase it's a bad experience for her. Keep it fun and her confidence will grow. She will likely be tired after.

mrsleomcgary Mon 05-Jan-15 23:26:52

Thanks for the ideas mummyk,will keep all those in mind.

DH and I both swim (or at least we CAN swim) but i'm really nervous at the thought of taking her swimming! Sooner we get a local pool the better,I used to love swimming when I was a kid and I hate the thought of her being scared in the water.

Blowninonabreeze Mon 05-Jan-15 23:37:16

Be prepared for the possibility that she might not be too keen (sorry!)

Swimming pools are noisy. And generally much colder than baths.

Hopefully she'll love it and you'll all have a great time

I'd suggest taking a towel/dry nappy into the pool area with you (assuming it's a pool with seating etc around similar to centre parcs) dd3 (18months) swims weekly, and is pretty hardy but starts to get cold after about 40 minutes.
So if you're on a party with older children you might be sitting out for a while whilst they can swim for longer.

Also take snacks, dd is always ravenous after swimming.

I don't use any flotation aids.

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