C.L. asks from Arcadia, CA on August 22, 2011
Your Experience with Infant Rescue Swim Vs. Traditional Swimming Classes
I'm seeking your feedback concerning the infant rescue swim classes (which go up to 5 or 6 years, actually) vs. traditional swimming classes. Have any of you enrolled your babies or toddlers in the infant swim classes that actually teach them to swim (not the mommy and me classes). Did the class work? Do you later enroll your child in traditional swim classes, or do they stay on a different swimming track?
I have an opportunity to take a lessons with a teacher (http://www.swim2dave.com/) in Pasadena who claims to teach infants and young children to swim in 9 days (front float with kick, head underwater). I have a 4 year old who took traditional swim lessons at the YMCA this summer and is still unwilling to put her face underwater, and feels much more comfortable with floatation devices. I would love her to gain confidence in the water and real swimming skills but wonder if it's "too late" to enroll her in the rescue/safety type lessons. That is, has she been "ruined" for these other methods? It seems that with traditional lessons it will take FOREVER for her to go underwater, but do you think that is simply developmental- for example, do 5 and 6 year olds understand how to hold their breath more than 4 year olds, even if they haven't taken lessons, and therefore more "ready" to learn to swim?
I also have a 14 month old who I would love to have learn to swim but wonder if the Infant Rescue Swimming method lessons are necessary or if I could use a book like Teach Your Baby To Swim.
Would love your opinions.
K.S. answers from Miami on August 23, 2011
I did the sink and swim cause my daughter fell into her uncles pool. Tried to walk right on the blue tarp on the pool. She passed the test. I hated it cause she cried and I'm not one to have let my daughter cry. But really if I had a chance at that time to take the easy swimming lessons I'm not so sure I would not have done that. I think the sink and swim was tramatic but really it was necessary to protect my daughter at the time.
E.S. answers from Jacksonville on August 23, 2011
A friend of mine has a pool so she did the rescue classes. My understanding is that they are in case your child falls in the water he will know to turn over to float. At the last class her son had to jump in with all of his clothes on an float. We don't have a pool or access to one, so we signed my son (32months) up for classes at the Y (mommy and me). He doesn't like to be on his back, but he puts his head in the water and holds his breath for short periods. He's not close to actual swimming but he loves to be in the water and practice.We've never used flotation devices with him, so I think a lot of it has to do with the class you are in.
S.T. answers from Denver on August 23, 2011
From what I understand the Infant Swimming Resource class doesn't teach infants to SWIM, but turn over and float on their backs in the event they fell in to water. We looked into these classes because our friends that have a pool swore by them. But if you do research, you'll find strong opinions both ways. We chose not to do it just because I went to a lesson to see what happened and it bothered me that the (7 month old) baby was crying the whole time and looked terrified. I know it has its benefits, but my mommy instinct said no, so that was my personal choice. Just contact your instructer, ask LOTS of questions and ask to see a couple lessons first. It's also VERY expensive. However, this was the ISR class that is very in-depth, every day for 4-5 weeks, and it sounds like your course is an abbreviated version of this. Doesn't sound like the actual ISR course.
For the 4 year old, I don't think it's too late at all. The lady I spoke to about the courses said they don't start really teaching them how to "swim" until 1-2 years old and before that's it's just a survival method. Good luck! :)
M.L. answers from Colorado Springs on August 23, 2011
One of my granddaughters (who will be 2 next week) has been in one-on-one self-rescue classes. I don't know if there are different kinds of these classes, but she in learning how not to panic if her head were in the water, how to surface and get on her back, and how to get herself to the side of the pool. Her parents have friends with home pools and decided this training would be very worthwhile.
It has been fun to watch the videos. Last summer, as an infant, she fussed big time when she had to do all those things in the water. However, although she fussed, she did them. The teaching was discontinued over the winter because even in Texas an outdoor pool can be too cold. This summer she went back for more. She "fell" into the pool (supervised), righted herself and, instead of crying, she was floating on her back making conversational comments to the teacher! (Was she trying to converse last summer, too?)
I'm so happy that she is learning to handle herself in water in both winter and summer clothes (including shoes) AND with a full diaper.
Her mama tells me they hope to put her in regular lessons later on.
Back in Medieval times, when my own mama registered me for group swim classes, I was well over two years old. But If they had had these rescue classes for kids all those decades ago, I think I'd have wanted to take those first. I might even have learned to swim! I was much too afraid of what *might* happen to do much in class. If I'd known I could handle myself, it might have been great learning to do the proper strokes and build endurance.
But I imagine that if you need to ask someone if the early classes would "ruin" a child for traditional lessons, the traditional-class swimming teacher would be the one to ask.
K.O. answers from Atlanta on August 23, 2011
If I had the money and the time, I'd put my kids in infant swim - they really get swimming. I've seen kids that have done it and there is a world of difference between that and lessons.
C.J. answers from Milwaukee on August 23, 2011
Last year when my son was three we did private lessons and he has no FEAR of water. That's all I wanted out of it. He loves putting his head under water and ASKS to be put under the water.
This summer I put him in swim class ONLY because he already had a year of pre-school and seemed to do well in a group setting. He did well and even had to be fished out of the water by a lifeguard (that's another story) and was right back in the water three minutes later.
He didn't do any rolling over stuff, he went into survival mode and was trying to swim. I question how many kids THINK to roll over when in the situation?
Like I said, my first goal was to get him use to the water and not be scared. He's well on his way now. It's amazing how fast they progress when they enjoy it. :)