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Learning how to swim is an essential skill for every child. When your child is a toddler, this is an ideal time to introduce him or her to the swimming pool. A gentle introduction helps your little one to build confidence and comfort with the water. These four simple ways to introduce your toddler to swimming will be enjoyable for both of you.
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Help Your Toddler Enjoy Bath Time
Before you take your toddler into a pool, you can help to make water an enjoyable experience through fun bath times. If possible, get into the bathtub with your youngster. Hold your child on your chest or in your lap. Get some fun toys, such as floating boats or measuring cups and allow your child to play for a few minutes. Use a gentle, tear-free soap. Try bath crayons and rubber duckies that enhance the experience of being in the water. These activities help your child to trust you and make water an enjoyable experience.
Enroll Your Child in an Infant Swimming Class
An infant and toddler swimming class helps your child learn how to swim. These classes are typically taught by a Red Cross-certified lifeguard. You will get into the pool with your toddler and act as a co-instructor for the class. These introduction to swimming classes help your child to learn how to be safe around water. They also help your child to have fun in the water and learn the basic skills that will help with swimming. Your toddler will learn how to enter the water, float and use different flotation devices in the pool.
Use Spa Chemicals for Hot Tubs
Consider using a hot tub at home. With a hot tub, you can enter the water with your child and allow him or her to enjoy a relaxing experience. The temperature of the water should be adjusted for your toddler’s safety. Be sure to use spa chemicals for your hot tub. These chemicals help to keep the water clean and healthy for you and your toddler. Use the correct amount of spa chemicals based on the size of your hot tub. If you smell a strong scent of chlorine, you have used too much of it. After using the hot tub, give your toddler a lukewarm bath to rinse off the chemicals. If your baby has had an upset stomach, wait a few days before allowing him or her to go into the hot tub.
Play Together in the Pool
Make pool time enjoyable for your toddler. Take care in how you enter the water and do so gently. Sing some silly songs that involve body movements, such as Wheels on the Bus or I’m a Little Teapot. If the pool does not have any child-friendly toys, bring some of your own. A watering can, squirting toy or floating rings encourage your toddler to reach out and play in the water. Use the toys to get your child wet. Encourage your child to reach for the toys and float in the water as you hold him or her. Your toddler could also get you wet with the watering can or squirting toy. Limit your time in the pool to about 30 minutes, or get out sooner if your child shows signs of being cold. These signs include chattering teeth, shivering or a blue look to the fingernails or lips.
Always stay with your child in the water. You can have fun experiences with bathtubs and hot tubs at home and translate those activities to a more formal learning how to swim experience. The skills your toddler builds now will lead to strong swimming skills in the future.