How do we make a child feel comfortable in the water?
Children need to be introduced to water and swimming as soon as they can sit independently. That’s somewhere around six months old. Start with a laurel or small children’s pool and make sure your first experience with water is enjoyable. The child needs to feel safe, calm and relaxed in the water, so it is important that the first splash takes place in a familiar environment. So it’s not the best idea to introduce your child to swimming in a pool or beach where it’s full of strangers, hustle and bustle.
Gently, carefully and slowly water the baby’s face and other parts of the body. It is not appropriate to spray the baby as he may get scared quickly.
Turn the basin into a casino
Bring some of your child’s favorite toys to the sink. When choosing, be sure to choose toys that are suitable for playing in the water. If the child is surrounded by his toys, he will feel relaxed and safe. Immerse your face in water, then make funny faces with a wet face. When the child sees that you are smiling despite the wet face, he will also be calmer when he gets his face wet. A wet face is a big bav-bav for a child and often a reason to cry and resist water.
Do not insist on swimming in a pool or basin if the child is scared or crying. Make an effort to “prepare the ground” for the next time you try to bring the joys of water closer to him again.
First time on the beach with a child
We need to gradually get the baby used to the water. For starters, let him just watch the other kids play and have fun on the beach or in the beach. Then take the baby in your arms and head with him to the shallows. Slowly and with feeling, start wetting the baby. You can sit in the shallows with the baby in your arms and slowly wet him this way if you see that he likes it. The most important thing is to be patient so that the child can gradually relax. For the first time, ten minutes is enough if you are with a child in the sea.
If your child is not yet interested in swimming, allow them to feel comfortable by the water to begin with. Bring beach toys (shovels, buckets, kanglice…), settle right next to the water and play in the sand. Occasionally encourage the child to bring a pebble or shell from the water and to protect the sand castle with a ditch that he fills with water himself.
If the child is comfortable in the water and you see that he is not afraid of it, you can place it in a swimming ring that is suitable for the child’s age and weight.
Monitor your child’s reactions closely to detect when the child is no longer enjoying the water.
When is the right time to swim?
Between the ages of three and four, most children overcome their fear of water and that’s when it’s the right time for their first swimming hours. The first swimming teachers are parents, so it is very important that they are also confident and relaxed. If you are not exactly the best swimmer, consider leaving the learning of swimming technique to professionals. Ask where swimming lessons for the youngest are conducted near you.
Remember that swimming is beneficial and very important for a child’s physical development.