Friday, July 8, 2011

A swimming soapbox.

I never dreamed I'd be a mom who took my kid to swim lessons. I know, I know, that sounds horrible. But, hear me out.

The truth is, I used to associate swim lessons with being a rich-mom-thing. Something that wealthy stay-at-home-moms could do with their kids and other SAHM friends. For, you know, recreation. I just thought, that won't be me. But, I was wrong. And now I'm realizing more and more that it's something I really can't imagine us without.

When Eme was a little over 9 months old, I decided to sign up for Mom/Tot's swim class. I had heard good things about it, had just gotten a check from google from the 'ole blog (which made me feel less guilty about spending the money), and honestly? It was the tale end of winter. We were dying for something, anything to make those months more bearable. Although I was a bit nervous I'd be amongst some snotty moms or something, that wasn't the case at all.

We attended six-weeks of swim lessons and I watched my girl fall in love with the water. I knew she really liked water, simply because bathtime was her favorite time of day. But a big, huge, pool? Yea. She loved it as much as I thought she would and more. 

We sung all the silly songs. I did all the patterning of her arms, and feet, and she watched me blow bubbles into the pool. After the 2nd class she was able to go under the water, and knew to hold her breath and close her eyes to the cue of "Eyes & Bubbles!" (said in high pitched mom voice).

Week after week I saw improvement.

When the class came to an end, I was totally bummed. I so very much had fallen in love with that time I got to spend in that indoor pool with my baby girl. Thankfully, my mom thought her swimming lessons were pretty awesome too and offered to pay for another six weeks of lessons. Sca-ORE.

We were thrilled to say the least.

Our only swim-lesson pictures-taken by my mom, on her iPhone.

That second set of classes is when she really started to get it even more. She could jump off the edge of the pool (and with my help) go underwater, turn to her back (the safezone) and float. Obviously, she was doing this all with my guidance. But, it was awesome.

I love the confidence that she displays in pools. I love that she loves the water. I fully attribute that to the swim lessons. I'm a believer now. Continue Reading the Post over at The Poop Whisperer.... 


  1. I think it is really important for kids to learn how to swim. And I wish I would have put mine in lessons sooner. I have a 4 1/2 and a 3 year old and they are just taking lessons now. It's harder to let them go because now they are in classes where mommy doesn't get to go in the pool with them. I have to trust my babies who don't know how to swim with a complete stranger! But after only three lessons my kids are becoming more and more comfortable in the water and I can't wait to take them to the lake.

    Swim lessons aren't recreation... they are done so that you can relax during recreation. Although as a former lifeguard I don't think I will ever truly be able to relax while at the pool/lake because I am watching the kids of other people who don't know how to swim well but don't seem to have a parent keeping an eye on them.

  2. My mom had me in swimming lessons before I could crawl :) Honestly, for her it was just as much about safety as it was mommy/baby time. She knew that if I ever fell off a boat or into a pool accidentally, I'd have SOME sort of instinctual reaction to hold my breathe and/or turn to my back and float.

    Besides, baby swimsuits? Too stinkin' cute!

    I'm bummed that Katherine's eczema means no chlorinated water for a while :(

  3. Yep, my mom did the lessons with me as a baby. And while it was fun mommy/baby time, my grandparents lived on the lake (and we were there A LOT). She wanted to take extra precautions.
    I ended up loving it and took lessons every year until I was like 9 or 10.
    I have the same problem as Erin. Noah's skin gets so dried out if we're in the water too much, so I have to be careful. But I definitely would love to take him. For now, I'm just teaching him what I know myself. :)

  4. Living in Florida and having a mom who owned a daycare (ie, knew all the scary statistics about drowning), I'm a firm believer that children should take swim lessons as young as possible.

    Not only is it a safety thing, but it does start them out early in the exercise/recreation dept.

    Yay for you and Eme!!

  5. I used to be a lifeguard and I think swim lessons are a must! I think it's wonderful that you are teaching her at an early age.

    3 years ago I witnessed the drowning of a 10 year old at our local YMCA and I will NEVER be the same. Every child needs to know how to swim!

    Not to mention the bonding and the things she's learning other than swimming while you go to these classes. Songs, hand gestures, trusting her momma, etc.

    It's good girl! Well worth the time and money!

  6. I agree - definitely a necessity! I remember being 4 & my mom had to bed & plead a local waterpark to let me into their lessons because their minimum age was 5. We learned to swim in the lazy river. :-)

  7. Not sure if you have any in your area but we've been taking Harrison to the YMCA since he's been a little guy. They offer a free membership to swim from 6-18 months so that you can go and practice or just enjoy the water on your own during open swim times.

    Now that I hear about what E learned I kind of wish I had enrolled H in the lessons, I was just too cheap at the time.

    Being around water all the time in the summer I feel it is so important to teach them how to be safe and to Respect the water at an early age.

  8. Feel like i'm repeating what everyone else has said but Swimming lessons are SO important!
    Here in Australia, I am shocked that there are so many people that don't know how to swim (I don't blame people for not wanting to go in the ocean...look up blue ringed octopus and you will NEVER go in the water again) but the amount of swimming pool deaths especially in children can all be prevented by learning to swim (and of course responsible supervision!)

    My friend came out to stay with us from the UK and every time we went swimming in our pool she made an excuse not to go swimming. Now, on a 98 degree day I don't know ANYONE who doesn't want to go swimming! It later came out that she doesn't know how to swim. At 27! One of her things to do on her bucket list is to learn how to swim, but she's embarrassed to go to lessons or ask someone to help her!

    So anyway, Yes! Swimming lessons are SO important!! Like learning to spell, add and say please and thank you. :P
    I know that our kids (if we evvvver have any *sigh*) will be in swimming lessons from the earliest opportunity!

    Also, I died at the cuteness of the photo. Died I tell you!


  9. As a self proclaimed water baby myself I think it's a must for kids to learn to swim!

    I keep saying I want to look into lessons for me and Jamie, but haven't yet. Perhaps this will finally motivate me to do it!

  10. I am so glad you posted this. I have been thinking about swim classes for C but want to wait until he can walk and is a little more mature. Sounds like the classes were great for her. And its always a great thing for them to learn safety around water.

  11. Swim lessons is so important! I know in Spain they teach their kids how to swim at birth (yes, birth)! Because of the ocean, they do it for safety reasons. I won't tell you HOW they do's hard to explain, but they do it. I am dying to put Isabelle is classes this winter because she has fallen in LOVE with the water this summer and I want her to be a little more cautious around it next summer.

  12. Awesome! I hear it's something every little kid should do. I have yet to do it, but I really want to! Soon... :)

  13. Awesome! I hear it's something every little kid should do. I have yet to do it, but I really want to! Soon... :)

  14. I don't have kids but when I do I will for sure put them in swim lessons. I didn't have them as a kid, I just learned from my grandma. I wish I learned all the different types of swimming. I look at my nephew (who is 9) and he is a fish in the water. He started swimming as a baby and he has never been afraid of the water and has been jumping off the diving board since he was 4 or 5.

  15. We did swim lessons too and loved them. We only did one round but it let me learn the songs, etc and now Ethan and I do them in the pool on our own.

  16. Alexa LOVES her swim lessons. We made sure to chose ones that were a parent and child class rather than one where you hand your kid over to an instructor. Peter takes her and they have their special time together. She comes home thrilled to have learned a new skills and practices in the tub (or on the floor). It's pretty cool. I think I'll sing up for the ones my gym offers in the fall and I'll take her :-)