Swimming is very beneficial for the physical health of the child. Swimming has a beneficial effect on the development of muscles and joints, and also hardens and strengthens the baby’s immunity. A trainer will help you master sports swimming styles, if desired. And basic exercises for a harmonious presence in the water can be performed with your baby on your own.
Teaching children to swim: the main rules
To ensure that swimming is only beneficial, it is important to take a responsible approach to teaching your baby.
What time should I start teaching my child to swim?
The optimal age for starting technical swimming lessons is 4-5 years. In infancy, swimming for a child is not only unnecessary, but even harmful. In the first year of life, the baby “swims” instinctively: it drifts on its back, holds its breath while diving.
It is impossible to teach a baby the correct movements. Do not perform exercises like a “bicycle” in the water with your baby – this will prevent the child from really swimming in the future.
For children under 4 years old, it is important to simply enjoy being in the water. Let the baby learn not to be afraid of depth, open his eyes and exhale under water. The child should swim only next to adults.
Can inflatable floats be used?
With inflatable sleeves and circles, it is really easier for a child to stay on the water, but children quickly get used to such “helpers” and stop swimming on their own. In addition, with them, babies are in the water in an incorrect vertical position.
For a child who does not know how to swim yet, you can purchase a plastic board. Thanks to her, the baby keeps his back straight, swimming parallel to the bottom. At the same time, the legs are in constant motion.
From swimming accessories, glasses will certainly come in handy for the baby. Look for quality diving goggles that fit your face so tightly that they keep water out. The glasses will also help protect your child’s eyes from the hard water in the pool.
How to choose a pool for children?
The water depth in the children’s pool should be such that the child can confidently stand on the bottom.
Water should not rise above the baby’s shoulders, it is better if its level reaches the chest. At deeper depths, the child is more likely to hold onto the side of the pool rather than swim. Pool water is purified with chlorine and other chemicals. If your baby has a tendency to allergies, you should consult a doctor before visiting the pool.
Parents need to be confident that the coach’s methodology is truly sporty swimming. Make sure the teacher is qualified. First of all, the safety and health of your child depends on this.
Swimming Exercises The first thing a baby needs to learn is to confidently balance on the water. Here are a few tips for developing these skills:
- Float. The kid is grouped, clasping his shins with his hands and lowering his head to his knees. In this position, you should try to stay on the surface of the water for 10 seconds.
- Starfish. Lying on your back, arms and legs should be spread apart. Later, the same exercise can be performed while lying on your stomach. If your child finds it difficult to balance at first, support his tummy and head.
- Sliding on the water. The child stands with one foot on the bottom, the other pushes against the wall of the pool. You need to slide in a straight line, stretching your arms and legs straight.
It is important for the child to realize that in the event of a lack of air, he always has the opportunity to emerge to the surface of the water. It is then that the baby will not be afraid to lower his head into the water, while maintaining the correct horizontal body position.
When the child is comfortable enough with this exercise, you can combine diving with sliding.
Now the baby will slide through the water on his tummy with his head down. For a start, half a meter of sliding is enough, gradually the distance increases. Then the task should be complicated by asking the child to breathe out into the water. This breathing exercise can be done at home. For training, a bath or a basin of water is suitable. It is possible to start learning swimming movements of arms and legs only after the child has mastered the technique of exhaling under water and learned to maintain balance on the surface of the water.
There are some tricks you can use in your class. Children are much more willing to dive and hold their breath if an object, such as a toy, is placed on the bottom of the pool.
How you talk to your baby is also important. Explain to him the principles of swimming affectionately, if something does not work out for the child – in no case do not scold him. Classes should cause only positive emotions and interest in the baby.