What Age to Start Swimming Lessons?

Updated on June 12, 2011
J.O. asks from Lake Villa, IL
23 answers

My son will be 5 at the end of the summer and we were thinking of starting swimming lessons this summer. He doesn't like getting his face wet in the bathtub but loves the water. When did any of you start your kids in lessons and what do they do with them this young? Do you think it was helpful in the long run or should we think about waiting a year? He'll be going to the lake and the pool plenty as he is a waterbug but just wondering if 4 is young for "lessons".

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thanks for all the input. We registered him and I'm sure it will be a blast. Maybe if he sees other kids getting their faces wet, he'll join in!

Featured Answers



answers from Laredo on

My husbands little brother & sister are both lifeguards. My son has been in the water since he was 6 months old. They started working with him when he was 2. & he was in lessons with them @ their city jobs when he was almost 3. Now he is almost 5 & an excellent swimmer. He has been swimming on his own(always supervised) for over a year now. In fact this summer he has been working on his swimming stroke.

I would say now is a good time! Especially if he is going 2 be around water. There was a girl in the class with my son who wouldnt put her face in the water while her mom was around but with the instructor she was doing it, & by the end of lessons was on her way 2 swimming.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Youngstown on

I had my daughter start last summer at 4 1/2 . She loved it and is looking forward to taking them again this summer. I think 4 is a great age to start.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Chicago on

Our pediatrician pressed us to make sure all three of our kids learned how to swim. Our local YMCA provided lessons for child with parent to emphasize safe entry into the water at a point where parent is ready to interact with child in the water - for children younger than three. They provided lessons for child without parent starting at age three. Its important for young children to learn as opportunity for swimming lessons becomes available.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I started both my kids at 6 months. The sooner the better.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

We're starting my son in a few weeks. He's two. The earlier the better. I really wanted to start him last year, but we were in a budget crunch. They teach you the basics. How to float, how to swim correctly, putting your face in the water, water safety, etc. It will be very helpful. Not too young, at all. Like I said, the earlier the better. My parents said we were all in lessons at 6 months. We are great swimmers.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sherman on

Heck no!!! My oldest has been swimming, no floaties, since age 2 and my girls since 3.5. We got them in and under the water ASAP as babies and toddlers. Water safety is a must!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

Start now!! My daughter was exactly the same way! She loved swimming, baths, etc, but would have a fit if water got in her face. We started her in swim lessons at 3 1/2 and after about 1 month of lessons, she had no more fear of "face water!" She will be 5 at the end of the month and can now fully swim in a pool without floaties, etc and loves to dive down in the water to find things!



answers from Denver on

We started my son in lessons (without me) right after he turned 3. They will ease him into getting his face wet, or they should anyway. The younger the better for sure! They have taught my son so far how to float on his back and how to blow bubbles and kicking techniques etc...



answers from Erie on

Our boys just turned five and this is their third summer of lessons. The first summer was pretty much getting comfortable in the water - learning to put their faces in, learning to kick and paddle while someone held them up, and learning basic safety lessons. Last summer progressed to learning to float on their backs and their bellies (still with much assistance since neither of mine have any body fat at all to help them float), combined with continuing to learn to stroke and kick. This summer is supposed to include an introduction to deep water, but I don't yet know what that means....

Our community uses these introductory lessons for kids younger than six, followed by a different set of abilities for older kids. I would definitely try to get him into something this summer if you can...


answers from St. Louis on

It is never too soon to start swimming lessons. I strongly believe that everyone should know how to swim. You never know when you may be in a situation where you have to save someone's life.



answers from Sacramento on

You can TOTALLY put him in lessons now. My son (5) did lessons at 18 months (although they were one-on-one) and learned to swim for real.

He still loves doing the parks and rec lessons every summer (even though he can swim and for his age group it's still beginners) because they are just so much FUN!

I say, sign him up :)




answers from Los Angeles on

We started swimming lessons at 3 months. My six and four year olds swim like fish. My four year old performs a proper racing dive! My three year old is still struggling with swimming, and lost his confidence after a scary incident when he was 2.5 years old. We are working on this, and he's getting better. I don't think 4 is too young for lessons, at that age they should really enjoy it, and have teachers who are used to instructing littlies.


answers from Santa Fe on

4 is a great age for lessons, but every child is different so he might or might not get super comfortable with putting his face in the water this year even with lessons. You can do lessons again next year and the next year. It never hurts to learn as much swimming skills as possible! My son hated putting his face in the water at 4 too. But he enjoyed lessons if I was sitting there watching. He enjoyed them again at 5 and 6 and slowly got more comfortable and learned more skills. This year at 7 he swims and jumps in and goes underwater constantly. He can still improve but he's a pretty good swimmer and I don't have to worry!



answers from Chicago on

Both my 6 and 9 year old started lessons at 4. I had read in a parenting magazine that 4 was the age to start as they have the ability to comprehend better. I followed that and it has worked well.



answers from Boston on

Mine started at 3 only because there aren't any toddler classes or mommy and me baby classes or we would have started sooner.



answers from San Diego on

I've heard 4 and up is perfect age to start since they will retain what they have learned. Earlier is fine, but I guess they don't pick up the skills until 4 or so. My mom waited until I was older than I was afraid and quit. 5 is a good age where they are more willing to try.



answers from Chicago on

I'm going to ditto what everyone said...the earlier the better. I have 3 boys and they all started around age 2. My oldest who is now 6 is on the Park District swim team and is learning the butterfly and breaststroke. Water safety is a must! We've done year round swimming lessons and not just summer lessons. Do it now, don't wait.


answers from Kansas City on

my son never did lessons, but we had him in the pool from about 18 months. he did great. yes, it is a challenge to get past the initial uncertainty and start having fun, but it's just like teaching them anything else. you teach them how to do it, how to do it safely, etc. lessons imo can help a hesitant swimmer, or if your family doesn't really "do" the water, but they're really just more to have something to do, more a social thing, to me. there's nothing they can teach them that you can't. he is plenty old enough. just make it positive, whatever you do. no running at the pool, only jump where the water is deep enough, etc. basic manners, basic safety, and other than that, just let him get used to it and enjoy it at his pace. good luck!


answers from Chicago on

What a great question! My son was invited to a birthday party yesterday and it was at the local water park, there was a 2 year old swimming like a PRO! I was amazed! End's up being the mother had her in swimming classes since she was 1! I am actually going out in a bit to register my 3 year old for swimming classes! The more they learn the better!



answers from Chicago on

My daughter is 16 mo old and we just started swimming classes. There are kids in the class as young as "6 mo. I think the younger they start the better.


answers from Los Angeles on

All my kids started Level 1 of The American Red Cross Swimming Lessons at the age of 3. At Level 1 they learn to blow bubbles, get comfortable in the water and eventually (hopefully) submerge their faces in the water...among other things.

I think now is the perfect time for your kiddo. I bet you anything that once he is in the 'class setting' amongst all the rest of the kids and sees all of them doing it, in the warm water, he will be OK.



answers from Phoenix on

The earlier the better, I say. At this age, they have developed & are more aware of fears.



answers from Chicago on

I took my grands to swim class every Saturday at the Y while both were in diapers. They loved it, me too. They have kept the skill of swimming close as they aged, now they are 20 and 21.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions