How to Teach a Child to Swim in the Bathroom

The best way of preparing a child to swim in a swim­ming pool is to start with a thorough preparation in the bathroom.

Newborn babies are not afraid of water. Their fear comes from negative experiences or is sensed from their mother’s attitude toward water and swimming. Similarly, a child who has never seen a dog will be unconcerned, and will walk up to it and pet it, but if his mother says, “Don’t touch it, it’ll bite you,” the child will become frightened or at least wary.

All the mothers I have known, except the rare few, were terrified of giving their newborn baby the first bath at home.

Those mothers who handle their baby inexpertly and hesitantly affect the child adversely. If a mother knows what she is supposed to do and handles the child confidently, the child will benefit from that and be secure too. But of course no new mother is very expert to begin with. As for me though, after having my baby I could hardly wait to get home from the hospital to give her her first bath and begin the long road to swimming.

At the hospital, the nurses advised me to get into the routine of bathing the baby before the ten o’clock meal. I did this for about a week and then I had to do some serious reevaluation. The baby was yelling and screaming from the minute I undressed her to get her ready for her bath, and the planned playtime in the bath was nothing but a screaming session.

I intuited that she was crying so much because she was hungry. So I changed tactics and from then on I fed her at ten, let her rest for about ten to fifteen minutes while I got the bath ready, and then we started our daily fun session. It was a wonderful change: her belly was full, she was happy and com­pletely relaxed in the water, and, boy, did she sleep after her bath!

In three weeks she was floating on her back, with a little support from me under her head. I made sure that she was in and under the water as much as possible. Lying on her back, her ears were completely submerged, and while I was holding her I would gently splash some water on her face. Neighbors and friends who came to see me at bath time were horri­fied.

“What are you doing to her? You’ll kill her!” “Don’t worry, I know what I’m doing.” I must add, none of their children were swimming at a very early age.

Filed Under: Sports & Fitness


About the Author: By profession, Ralph Crutcher is a swimmer but enjoys playing football, Golf, and regularly goes to the gym to keep himself fit and healthy. This is one of the reasons; he likes to write about sports and fitness.

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