Toddlers: 12 - 24 Months

First Swim Class = Not a Happy Boy

DS had his first swim class yesterday.  I would not call it a fail, but it wasn't quite a success either.  He cried the entire time.  We were able to stay in the water the whole time with the class but we weren't able to do any of the little activities they were doing because he just wanted to cling on tight to me. I felt so bad for him.  Sad

I was a little surprised by his reaction. He's definitely cautious in new situations, but usually gets into things fairly quickly.  I expected him to cling on at fist and then love to splash the water. We're going to try again next weekend so I'm hoping it will get better each class.  Anyone else's LO have this reaction to being in the water for the first time? Any tips?

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Re: First Swim Class = Not a Happy Boy

  • Has he been in the pool before? We just had our 3rd swim class this past friday and he definitely was better than the first two times. He might be overstimulated, I would just give it time. We also used his pacifier the 2nd time and that helped.
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  • He will get better with time. He sounds like one of dd's buddies this year. The first few classes he just clung to his mom. This week he was jumping in and kicking like a natural. His mom was so concerned about his reaction the first few times but she was comparing him to dd who did a few sets of classes, and we knew how to do all of the activities already. Just be calm and confident, it will come with time.
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  • My son started a swim class yesterday too, and he was crying and even shaking at certain points when the class started.  What I think helped was my husband came with us and was in the pool too, so one of us could distract him and make him laugh as needed while the other attempted to do what the class was doing.  Some activities were too much for him so I let him cling to me while I sang the song, and other ones he thought were great.  He warmed up (literally) as the class went on, but it was really hairy the first few minutes.  Maybe someone who your DS trusts could go in the water with you so you can tagteam? Or -- this worked for another baby who started yesterday -- can you get in the pool with him just before class starts to warm him up to the water before a bunch of people get in at the same time?
  • aeh72aeh72
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    Thanks everyone for the words of reassurance.  Yes, it was his first time in the water so I wasn't expecting no reaction from him; I was just surprised he didn't warm up to it even by the end of the class.  The plan is for DH to come next time. I think that will help DS a lot.  And, I like the idea of going in the water ahead of time.  I think aside from the new sensation of the water; the pool was very loud and there was a lot going on so I'm sure he was overstimulated.  Thanks for the tips! :-) 

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  • mlhw NHmlhw NH
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    This reminds me of another kiddo in DS swim class :-)  What I saw his parents do was to like you said go in the water ahead of time and also they started to show up to class a few minutes early to watch the previous class.  Not sure if that's an option, but it did seem to help.  Good luck!  I am sure as time goes on it will get better. 
  • It took three classes for LO to stop clinging to his father, and then it became his favorite activity.
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