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What age did your children start swimming lessons?

(18 Posts)
PumpkinPie2013 Sun 02-Aug-15 13:32:55

My DS is now 20 months and loves going to the local pool with us and loves the bath.

We would like him to have proper swimming lessons eventually and he can have them at a local pool from being 3.

Has anyone else's children started lessons this young and if so was it worth it?

There is another place where I learnt to swim as a child but they don't take children until 4.

I just don't want to pay for lessons if he won't get anything out of them.

Luna9 Sun 02-Aug-15 14:06:23

My oldest one started at about 20 months as she was very active and loved the water; I did the lessons with her until 3 years old and then by herself; I think she was swimming by herself from 4. My youngest started at 4 years old; I didn't feel like the whole hassle of getting wet; shower with a toddler, etc; plus she was more fuzzy with water on her face.

HarryLimeFoxtrot Sun 02-Aug-15 14:13:42

DD started swimming lessons a couple of days after her 3rd birthday. She's now 11 and swims like a fish.

DS was 3.5 when he started lessons. He's a reasonable swimmer at age 9 (although no where near as good as his sister). He really enjoys diving, and his swimming has enabled him to pursue his love of jumping head first into water. He's keen to start kayaking, so once again his swimming will come in handy.

Artandco Sun 02-Aug-15 14:14:45

Both started at 18 months. Swimming like fish by 3

notasausage Sun 02-Aug-15 14:21:19

I would say it depends on their personality. If they're likely to be happy on their own in a lesson and do as the teacher asks at least some of the time then go for it. Otherwise take them swimming regularly, encourage lots of jumping in, bubble blowing and face in the water games then got for lessons at 4. Use a float jacket rather than armbands mean time as they will develop some level of arm movement mean time, or nothing if they are in their depth. In our pool the over 4s lesson has much more of a focus on learning to swim where the under 4s are about playing and water confidence. Can you get in the pool while the lessons are on and have a look.

SnapesCapes Sun 02-Aug-15 14:25:10

DS1 was 3 when he began proper lessons and now he's 9 he's a great swimmer, but it took him a while to get his confidence in the water as he had hearing problems and several operations over a long period so would have months at a time where he couldn't swim. DS2 started at 6 months at a tots and parent group each week and was swimming unaided and without arm bands/floats by 3. He's 4 and a half now and is far too confident in the water.

LHReturns Sun 02-Aug-15 14:29:40

Could I ask a 'sub-question' on this if it isn't rude to OP? I have a 13 month old son, and in the last two months he has decided he HATES the water...even getting water on his face in the bath leads to tears. Getting him into a pool involves me going so slowly and gently (has to be me, no one else), with him clinging to me like a baby gorilla....I took him to the warmest quietest baby pool yesterday and it took 20 minutes for the whining and faux-tears to stop. By the end he was ok, and would relax in my arms a little. But it isn't going well, and other babies of his age seem to be so happy in the water in comparison.

I feel so bad about this, and sure I have made a mistake somewhere along the way. All I can think is that I allowed a temporary (Norland) nanny take him to two baby swimming lessons before the trouble started, and I am now wondering if he hated it with her so much?? Have I let him down, and could this have a long term impact on his enjoyment of water?

Does anyone have any ideas around how I might get him over this? I am following all the answers to the OP's question too.

SanityClause Sun 02-Aug-15 14:30:00

Having swimming lessons before about 4yo is a waste of time, IMO. I did start DC1 and 2 at about your DD's age, but for DC3 we started at about 4.

However, if she likes to go, then you can do everything they do in lessons by yourself. Play, including jumping in, pretending to be a tiger (arm movements) and frog (leg movements), kicking, putting head under, blowing bubbles, lying back and floating. Sing some little songs, and make it lots of fun. Just do what she's comfortable with.

Michael Phelps did not learn to swim until he was 7 or 8 yo.

Happy36 Sun 02-Aug-15 14:32:10

Ours both started at school when they were 3 years and 3 months but had been in the pool frequently since 6 months. We live in Spain and it´s crucial that children know how to swim from a young age as there are so many pools. I don´t think 3 is too young to start classes in England, though.

ohthegoats Sun 02-Aug-15 22:41:00

We started water babies when she was 5 weeks old.

whatsoever Mon 03-Aug-15 00:03:11

LHReturns - we had the same with DS. He was fine as a teeny but then started HATING going swimming when we went on holiday when he was 17m. Wouldn't go in any pools, screamed in terror dipping a toe in a nice warm baby pool.

Hated the local council pool I took him to when we got home, clung to me and appeared terrified. Next holiday much the same.

Started him on private lessons at a tiny and super-warm pool. He goes with his grandfather as I couldn't get my non working day. Whilst I can't say he's ecstatic about swimming he is vastly improved and this summer he played in the pool and went on the little water slides on holiday and it was lovely.

Mummymidwife87 Mon 03-Aug-15 08:27:15

We started at 9weeks, DS is 13months now and loves it. He kicks his legs and uses his arms, jumps in from the side, goes under water no problems, holds on to the side of the pool without me holding him. Glad we did it, even if I do hate the getting changed and dressed afterwards

LHReturns Mon 03-Aug-15 08:45:18

Whatsoever, thank you so much for the reassurance...glad it can be turned around.

Mummymidwife, that is what I wanted! Something has gone wrong along the way!

Nolim Mon 03-Aug-15 08:47:49

Mine started at 6 m or so and love it

ReallyTired Mon 03-Aug-15 23:24:44

Dd started swimming lessons at three years and four months. She learnt to swim after 3 terms. Some children made no progress whatsoever. A child needs to be able to concentrate and follow instructions. Many young children just want to play.

A seven year old can often learn to swim in a week. However fear of the water is a huge issue.

GoooRooo Mon 03-Aug-15 23:27:37

DS started just after he turned three. He's had ten lessons and hasn't learned much but he has gained so much confidence in the water and loves to go to the lessons so we are persevering. Most of the other children in his group were 5+ and have advanced to the next stage in 10 weeks whereas he's been kept in the starter group - which is absolutely fine by me.

Pippioddstocking Mon 03-Aug-15 23:27:43

Started age 3. Could swim lengths in all strokes by age 5 .

Pico2 Mon 03-Aug-15 23:30:56

My DD started at nearly 4. She is now a year on and is beginning to swim without any flotation aids. She has had a combination of group and 1:1 sessions. She has made much more obvious progress in the 1:1 lessons, but I think that the group lessons have given her more confidence and probably put her in the right place to make good progress 1:1.

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