Teaching Babies and Small Children to Swim (Birth to 4 years)

We are born with an affinity to water and unless we are regularly exposed to it, can develop a fear of it – the ability to swim is a gift for life.

The concept of babies being able to swim was pioneered in the USSR in the 1960’s and later researched in Australia. Infants lack the strength, coordination and motor skills to propel themselves above the water. However we are all born with the natural ability to hold our breath underwater. This is known as the ‘Mammalian Diving Response’ and our classes utilise this reflex. Using word association and repetition we teach the children when to breath and basic water safety techniques. As the child develops, the progression to structured surface swimming becomes a smooth transition.

Most leisure centres begin baby classes from 6 months onwards (the Mammalian Diving Response is at its strongest in babies up to 6 months) – at Splashbabies you can begin as soon as you feel comfortable (even after a few days of the birth).

We do not use flotation aids or armbands as they offer a false sense of security and children become dependent on them. Emphasis on fun as well as education is promoted and a parent/carer participates in the pool, maintaining a bond with the child.