Be flexible
Encouragement to try all activities
Let your baby/toddler be your guide
A partnership – work with you baby/toddler
Practise the tasks and make gradual transitions

Be Gentle
Slow movements
Be ready to respond with cuddles/positive reinforcement
Maintain concentration – keep your attention on their face for cues and stopping their head going underwater without preparation
Avoid hesitation which causes confusion
The above develops trust, especially when activities are completed and repeated.
Your teacher will discuss what comes next to eliminate any surprises. TRUST IS A MUST.

Keep trying and don’t give up
Patience – swimming and water confidence isn’t achieved overnight

Teaching method

Your teacher will show you first
Don’t attempt anything unless you fully understand

Keep practising in lessons and even at your own leisure swimming/bath time. You will get tired and possibly bored (this is where the patience comes in!) but for your baby/toddler’s benefit the effort is worth it.
Skills repetition promotes positive reinforcement.

Keep moving
To keep all swimmers warm, keep moving, even when listening and watching demonstrations
Your baby becomes aware that by moving their arms and legs they will stay afloat.

Praise is reward, ignore the negative
Express your pride in their efforts

Children eager to learn must be given freedom. Experiment to find the best way to hold your active baby/toddler – different for different ages and independence levels

Be on time for your lesson
Encourages a relaxed environment for all attending the class
Prevents class disruptions and the flow for other learners and the teacher

Come prepared
Swimwear for parent/guardian and baby/toddler
3 towels
A means of fastening back swimmer’s hair
Aqua nappy
Nappy changing / food for after as needed

Don’t set goals for your child too high
Goals can be changed to reflect achievement
Start small
Never show disappointment or scold for something not done to your expectations.

Give encouragement
Try not to show your nerves or apprehension as your baby/toddler will pick up on this and replicate themselves.
Understand swimming is one of the hardest skills to accomplish, yet some expect exceptional results within minimal learning time.

Crying is expected and OK
Your teacher will be able to advise and take appropriate steps to resolve

Don’t compare children
Encourage progress at the right pace for them
Again, patience
Teachers will use the appropriate learning style to best suit the swimmers.

Top tips for babies and toddlers