The importance of learning to swim

So this week I saw a video of a young baby floating in a swimming pool trying to keep above the water. There was so much debate on whether it was child cruelty or actually a really smart thing to teach them.

As we all know, we cannot keep our eyes on our children every second of the day. It just isn’t possible. We obviously like to think that we do, but we can’t – that’s life.

I made the decision to take my little man to swimming lessons from about 3 months old. I am not a confident swimmer as I wasn’t taught from a particularly young age. That is why I wanted to make sure that little man had no fear of the water.


On maternity leave it was definitely easier than now I am back at work. But hubby and I made a decision that it is such an important life skill and shouldn’t be put off.

So every Saturday morning we go to swimming lessons with Puddle Ducks. Even though it is a morning of our only 2 days off as a family, the benefits are huge.

Little man has gone from strength to strength and shows no signs of fear in the water. If anything he doesn’t even want me to hold him anymore, and would quite happily attempt to kick and swim on his own.

Having been swimming for over a year of his life already, it is the best class we have ever taken.

I cannot defend the way in which the mother of the small baby decided to raise awareness of how important teaching young children to swim is. It wasn’t a nice video to watch.

puddle duck

However I do agree that awareness needs to be raised on safety in and around the water for young children.

Children love water and love to splash around. There will be a time when we are on holiday, and around a pool. I feel better knowing that my little man could get himself to the side of the pool or float to the surface if he was to ever fall in.

rubber dingy

I honestly hope he doesn’t, obviously, but it may be that 1 second in 24 hours that I take me eye off him, that is what might happen.

We are only human. We cannot keep them on a leash or hold on to them every second of the day. So as long as we are there to help teach them these skills, then we are giving our children the tools to swim or float should they need it.

So what are your experiences of swimming? Does your little one love the water? Do you see it as an important survival skill?

Busy Working Mummy XOXO


4 thoughts on “The importance of learning to swim

  1. This is a subject really at the forefront of my mind at the moment as my two year old gets more adventurous near the duck pond, on visits to the coast where my parents live – this is starting to terrify me as at age 41 I cannot swim!! Husband is a strong swimmer (triathlete) and takes our daughter swimming but it’s about time I (literally) took the plunge and learnt to swim myself!

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  2. We always had the intention to teach our eldest ourself but now she’s four and it hasn’t really worked out how we hoped! I just booked her onto an intensive week before we go on holiday to try and boost her confidence and skills…thanks for linking to #coolmumclub…you’ve made me think that it’s not too late to start

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  3. It’s a pretty controversial area & there is a lot of disputed advice I found when I looked into it all! I do think being able to swim is important. I was never a child who liked stuff like water slides or diving (don’t like heights), and I still don’t do those things, but I was always a strong and confident swimmer, which I think is what really matters. Even when you are a good swimmer, it is so important not to get overconfident or complacent when it comes to water, especially water with strong currents, as strong swimmers get into trouble too – water is very powerful. As regards kids, I do think it is important to try to get them used to and happy in water from a young age, and teach them to swim as early as possible. I think it is personal choice if you want to do it by lessons or just yourself when they are babies & young toddlers. Personally, however, I do believe it is important that people don’t develop a false sense of confidence about what swimming lessons for babies and toddlers can do, and I do agree with concerns raised about the claims some lesson providers make. I tend to agree more with the people who say that very young children cannot truly learn to swim or to save their own lives in water – they generally say that they will only start to retain the learning to a sufficient degree around 4ish. So I don’t think there is anything wrong with going to classes with little ones – I think they’re great in many ways – but I do think the people who run them should be careful about overstating how much they can learn or how safe it will make them. In my view, it is more dangerous if people have been misled into thinking that their small children or babies are safer in water and could save themselves, if that is not true. As for the video, no I wouldn’t do that myself! I know they say younger babies often have more natural instincts for what to do in water, which they then lose and have to relearn, but I still wouldn’t be inclined to test that out myself! But I’m neurotic! #justanotherlinky

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