Swimming is an important skill. I can’t remember when I learned how to swim. Taking our little man to his first swim lessons was an experience. My wife had to work so it was just me and my son.
I got there early and managed to figure out the locker room. I had changed him before we went so he was ready to swim. We got changed and then headed into the pool area. My wife learned about the swim lesson through some of her friends in a mommy group so my son had friends even though I had not met them or the parents yet.
There were 12 of us. 6 adults and 6 babies. We met our instructor and started doing some drills. First, we took a toy and put it in front of them. We would say, “reach and pull,” and start the movements of the doggie paddle. Of course we were holding onto our little ones.
We did some floating on their backs which some babies love and some babies hate. Our guy did okay.
Then it was time to go underwater! What? Are you telling me that in the first lesson, we are going to dunk our kids?! Immediately, I flashed back to being 16 years old and my experience with driver’s education. I had driven with my mom a couple of times in our cul-de-sac. Then when I had to do some practice driving with the driver’s education instructor, I remember him picking me up and then we headed to the highway! I was like, “What? I have only practiced in my cul-de-sac.” It was definitely one of those “sink or swim” moments. The Interstate was fine, I did well. But there were a lot more cars traveling at a high rate of speed on the Highway. It was a little trial by fire!
In the first swim lesson, the underwater part was one of the coolest parts. We held our children under the arms and then counted to 3. Then we blew in their face which made them hold their breath. Then while in motion, we dipped them underwater. It worked! I am no expert and obviously you should only do this under a trained profession, like a certified lifeguard. But maybe it was a fear I had as a parent as to what would happen if he went underwater? He was fine and it was a really cool experience.
Research if your local pool or recreation center offers infant swim lessons. If they do, experience the parent and me first time swim lessons. They are worth it!