Toddlers: 24 Months+

Swim lessons

I'm hopping over from the other board. My LO is 14 months old. What is a good age for starting swim lessons? I personally feel like he is too young to understand if I tell him to blow bubbles or kick his legs. Classes are a bit expensive so I would like to take him when he will learn the most. Right now he is content playing in the bathtub lol. What is the ideal age to start swim lessons when it will not to a waste of money since I'm on a tight budget?

Re: Swim lessons

  • In my area until about age 3 (some places it's 4) - swimming classes are just for water exposure. My son just turned 3 and has been in swim class for about 6 months. It's with a parent and we get in the water and basically "dance" to songs. We go around in a circle and they do a few little things like pouring water on their head (from a little garden waterer) and jumping into the water (sitting on the side with a parent catching them). 

    The next group up is beginner's swim class. At this place it's 4 and up, but there is one in the area that is 3 and up. That's where they learn more about putting their face in the water, kicking, etc. It's 6 kids to one adult though and I'm not sure DS has the attention span to wait for 5 other kids, so we may try it over the winter.  

  • Like pp said it's about water exposure. We did it last year and will do it again this year (at about 14 months and now 26 months). I like getting out and giving him the structured time in the pool. I don't expect he will learn how to swim but I hope he gets more comfortable in the pool. Last year we took YMCA lessons for about $50 and this year we are taking lessons offered by our school district for $30. If it was more expensive I'm not sure we would do it but I would make sure to get him to a pool etc. to get used to the water.
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  • DD has been in swim since 6 months. The first session she didn't really understand the concepts of holding her breath or blowing bubbles, but she got them by the second session. You'll be surprised at what they figure out by mimicking mom. She's now almost 2 and still adores them; it's one of her favorite activities. She just started solo classes and is doing great. 
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  • As a swim instructor turned swim coach I agree with the PPs; the sooner you get him in the water the better. It might only be about exposure and he may only develop a comfort level with the water, or he may really take to it and develop skills much early than you think he's capable of. 

    I lived in South FL as a young child and could swim independently before I could walk. DD has been in the water since her stump fell off, but for her it's a slower process and about gaining comfort and confidence. She's been behind in every gross motor skill and is a very careful child, so it fits her personality. If I waited until she was older to start lessons I don't doubt it would just delay independent swimming that much longer. Anyway, my point is that it's different for every kid.  

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  • We paid $50 for Saturday swim lessons when he was 15 months when we started.  It was the 6 to 18 month class.  This got him more in love with the water.  We go swimming when we can and my MIL watches him during the week so during the summer we know he will be at the pool a lot.  MW and I also love water so we needed to make sure he could handle himself in water.

    If you will not be taking him to the pool a lot, I would wait until he is closer to 3 years old so that he gets the intro to water and the initial swim classes at the same time.

  • We just did a swim class with DD who just turned 3. It is through our local swim club and they actually do a really good job. For DD it didn't work so well though. She loves the water and we go to the pool almost every day in the summer.mshe just HATES getting her face wet and will not do anything if there is even the slightest chance of getting her face wet. She basically had one girl that was her teacher, so one on one attention. She finally got over the the being separated from momma part but just didn't want to do anything besides blowing bubbles, kicking and floating.  She loves jumping with me because she trust that I will catch her. So for her it was sort of a bust even though it was a small victory that she at east went in the water with someone else. I won't be putting her in swimming lessons probably for another year. She a a very stubborn child so forcing it is going to back fire. I figure I just do lots of pool time with her and hopefully get her over the fear of getting her face wet (she hates having her hair washed too). In the mean time she is having a blast in the pool. 

    The non mommy and me classes here seem to start at 3 and for a lot of kids that works fine. In the class before DD were kids about 3-4 and they were all having a good time, dunking their head under water etc,.

    Hopefully DD will get past this sometimes in the next year because I feel that it is very important for her to be ale to swim. 

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  • We are waiting until next summer for official swim lessons. He is exposed to water all the time with his baths, various swimming pools, water parks, etc. I'd like to save my money for the "water exposure" portion of it and put it where he will need it, being taught by a train instructor. (Even though my brothers and I were never taught by an instructor!)
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  • We've done 2 sessions per year since DD was 6 months old. The classes are definietly water exposure only, not actual lessons, but DD loves it. At our first time in the pool this spring, she was a tiny bit hesitant but came right around by the mid-point of the class that day. We just finished our 2nd session this year and will spend the rest of the summer in private pools. She'll have one more year of the water exposure class before moving on to actual lessons based on her age.  Based on what I have seen with the other kids closer to 3, she'll spend most of her time jumping off the side of the pool or the diving board while DH or I tread water to catch her.

    It was $40 or $50 per session, but it gives us some active family time outside the house.

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