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A mum who has overcome her fear of water thanks to baby swim lessons

A mother and her six-month-old baby attended a baby swim lesson for the first time. The girl was touching the water with a smile, learning about its depth and width, while at the same time her mum's face and body were completely stiff. It was more than obvious. Mom was afraid of water, and she still didn’t know how to swim… but wanting her baby to learn to swim and enjoy the water was stronger than her fear. This is a story about how a parent's fear of water can still be overcome with ease, without being passed on to the child.

Baby swimming for parents who love water and swimming is always a new and unexplored field, because it’s the first time they are faced not only with parenting on dry land, but also in water. And that is a usual thing. After a few swim lessons, the babies feel free in the water, like fish, playing and enjoying themselves. When parents see how happy and joyful the children are while in the water, they are even more relaxed. However, there are those moms and dads who are afraid of water, but do not give up on baby swimming, swimming for the youngest.

After spending nine months cocooned in their mother's womb, babies are ready to "learn" to swim right after they are born. While having their parents around, of course. These are the most beautiful moments that are unique for both parents and children. Babies in the pool always have their parents with them and the supervision of a professional. It all starts when the babies are six months old. However, for those passionate water lovers it is possibility to enjoy the water at the age of four months. It totally depends on the child, but also the parents. A mother who was afraid of water and did not know how to swim wanted her baby to have the opportunity to enjoy the water, learn to swim, feel relaxed, play and be safe in the first place. And she did it. How? Gradually, day by day, we worked not only with the baby, but also on the mother's fear of water. It was unbelievable, but in this case, the baby and baby swimming were actually the mom's therapy, a cure for her fear of water.

Here are five key moments in the "therapy" of overcoming the mum’s fear thanks to baby swimming, based on my experience:

1. First of all, parents should know that the entire baby swimming programme is done in the shallow part of the pool, which is less than 1.2 meters deep. There are no sudden movements. We are close to the edge of the pool, so that we are always at the reach of all parents and babies. Parents do not need to be afraid because they are doing a great thing, both for themselves and for their child!

The first step is to get into the pool safely with you baby. In this way, the parents accept this step more easily because the focus is not only on them, but on their baby in the first place.

2. It is important for parents to know that if they are relaxed in the water, so are their babies. The babies simply feel everything - the touch, the grip, just as we feel theirs, and when they are scared, they squeeze us hard in order to be as close and safe as possible in our arms.

The second step is the position of holding the baby in the water. In this way, we are trying to make them relaxed as much as possible.

3. If at any time the parents do not feel comfortable in the water taking a new step with the baby, this should be clearly indicated and made known to the instructor, so that they can work on it together and overcome it more easily. With no hesitation. Because, just as children have their own pace of learning to swim and get rid of fear, so do parents.

The third step is to move slowly to the rhythm of a song and singing. This element helps babies make the first steps through the water without holding onto a wall or other props in the water.

4. Parents are here primarily because of their baby who needs to learn to swim and their role is giving support by getting relaxed and enjoying the water together. In baby swim lessons, the focus is on babies, but if parents want to relax in the water and swim, if they want it, they can do it…

The fourth step is catching the baby jumping into your arms from a sitting position. Mums and dads accept the role of a confident and safe parent who controls the situation in the water.

5. The parent’s motive, feeling as well as knowing that they will feel better after every baby swim lesson means a lot to mum and dad throughout the process, especially to their baby. Lesson by lesson and the parents will feel free in the water on their own, while also holding the baby in their arms at the same time. Every new dive or dip in the water brings something beautiful and exciting for both parents and their baby.

The step number five is often the baby's first dive, which probably precedes the one mum or dad makes, as well as the experience of that magical moment. In this way, parents and their baby come to know that diving can be a very pleasant and exciting experience. If a baby can do that with the help of the parents, why wouldn’t you parents, moms and dads do it too?!

Of course, all of the above is done gradually under the supervision of a person who is an expert not only in baby swimming, but someone who also has experience in making children and adults overcome their fear of water.

The time passed. The girl grew up swimming. Today she is 5 years old. She feels relaxed in the water. A mother who used to be afraid of water is now sure that she made the right move when she got into the pool with her six-month-old baby.

The best part of the story is that after the baby swim lessons, mum and her daughter didn’t quit swimming! Quite the opposite, the girl later continued going to a swim school at the age of three without her mother. She still swims today. She spent eight weeks of her school break attending an intensive swim course and played in the water… She swam 30 minutes with her friends every day. It is a pleasure watching them swimming and growing up in the water. Meanwhile, her mother was swimming recreationally, having her time for herself.

When I got myself into the baby swim story and had the opportunity to work with a large number of babies, especially when my Little Shark and Little Fish were born, I realised that the mother nature had designed it all quite nicely, and that babies enjoyed the pool while swimming. It is up to us, the parents, whether and how we will use what we have been given.

Life is more beautiful when you’re swimming!


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