Question and Answers
You may have some questions which we can hopefully answer here. If you cannot find what you are looking for, please contact us.
What are the benefits of learning to swim at an early age?
There is a wide range of benefits to babies and children who are taught to swim in a gentle, gradual, child-led way. Researchers have documented some of the measurable positive effects of baby swimming, and parents around the world have witnessed first-hand the many enhancements to mental, physical, emotional, developmental, and social well-being that result from teaching their children to swim.
Please click here to read my blog about Studies on Baby Swimming.
What is the best age to start the Mini Water Adventurers SWIM programmes?
From birth to nine months, babies adjust easily to a water environment. The later babies are introduced to the water, the more likely they are to object to the unfamiliar sensations and thus experience fear.
I recommend following Bath time Babies program until you feel comfortable and ready to introduce your baby to a swimming pool. In my experience, I think it is sensible to start around 3-6 months old, this is when your baby's head and neck control has developed, and their level of alertness has increased.
Level 1 - is designed for 3 months - 1 year olds.
My child fears the water, can Mini Water Adventurers programmes guide me to try and gain their confidence?
Absolutely, our programs are designed with a child-centered approach that enables you to progress though the different levels at your child's pace. Although, we have suggested a specific age for the different levels, children learn at different rates. Therefore, taking a proactive and positive approach without any accelerated expectations helps the successful development of your child in the water. You can choose any of the levels and use the activities as many times you and your child want to. The most important thing to remember is when you're having fun and enjoying yourselves, the learning process comes naturally.
Please click here to read my blog about Positive Teaching Methods.
How often do you recommend taking my child to the swimming pool?
A little but often approach is best, however due to many other family commitments this may not be possible. I do recommend visiting the pool twice a week if you can. The learning will progress smoothly over a more extended and gradual time frame.
When is the best time to practice?
Babies and young children learn best when they are comfortable, well rested, alert and fed. Choose a time midway between nap times. Nap times vary and often change for individuals during the course of learning to swim. This is normal and can be due to age, development growth, change of schedule, or even the seasons, so adjust your swimming sessions accordingly.
How much time should I leave between feeding and swimming?
Young babies can be fed at any time, including immediately before getting into the water. They rarely regurgitate milk or vomit in the water. Older babies who are fed solid food, may bring it up in the water if they have eaten just before swimming. I would recommend waiting 20-30 mins after eating but bring a healthy treat for after the session whilst you are getting changed as a reward.
Should my baby be vaccinated prior to entering a public swimming pool?
Just as you would do for any other physical activity, your baby and young child should be cleared by your doctor before starting swimming sessions. However, the NHS does state that you do not need to wait for them to be vaccinated.
Is my child likely to develop an ear infection as a result of swimming?
If you take preventative measures your child is unlikely to get a swimmers ear infection. Unless your baby has a perforated eardrum, it is possible for water in the outer canal to flow in to the middle or inner ear where ear infections start. Simple habits with your baby after swimming are very helpful such as drain the water from your baby's ear by rolling them on each side and wiping the ears dry. You can use home-made (find how to make it in the blog below) or ready-made ear drops from the online shop.
Please click here to read my blog about Baby's health related concerns.
I am not a teacher, how easy are Mini Water Adventurers programmes to follow? (Online programme - coming soon)
Your child will succeed best when your baby or infant has a trusted, familiar person with them. So you're already a natural teacher being in the water with them. The programmes are specially designed to be simple and skill-based with fun and engaging activities. There is a clear goal and a step by step process to guide you through every session. The prompt sheets can be taken with you to poolside, they include a pre-session checklist, activity ideas and helpful hints. Also there are instructional videos that show you what each activity is and how to carry them out effectively and safely.
We offer a free online support service, therefore if you have any questions you can contact us.
Why have the Mini water Adventurers prompt sheets? (Online programme - coming soon)
Taking the prompt sheets with you to the pool creates a structure and a routine for you both. Familiarity and consistency is key to learning and they provide you with a wide range of activities to keep your child interested and engaged during your time together in the pool.
When do I know my child has completed a level and ready for the next one? (Online programme - coming soon)
Children who are relaxed, receptive and happy in the water will progress quickly through the levels, while hesitant or cautious children will need to spend more time simply playing using the water confidence prompt sheets. Do not rush. The activity ideas are progressive so once they are comfortably doing all the specific skills listed then they are ready to move on to the next level. The levels are age-related but if you find they are ready, strong and confident enough to move on then do so. Please contact us if you are unsure.
How long should our sessions in the water be?
Use your child to guide you on how long your sessions last. I recommend you aim for around 30-45 minutes working through the Prompt Sheets and activities. Younger babies shouldn't be in the swimming pool for any longer than 20-30 minutes, as they will get cold and tired quicker. However, don't rush through the activities just to get them done. Concentrate on the things they find interesting first, then work your way though the suggested games and activities.
Is it ever too late to start teaching your child?
It is never too late to learn how to swim. It is an easier journey the earlier they start. For older children, fear may be more of a factor due to the child's increased understanding of their physical world, their actions, and the concept of danger.
Beginning at 3-4 years old requires more patience, more play experiences, and more trust building, but their imagination is better developed and they are more verbal making it easier to communicate with them. It may take your older baby longer to adjust to the water and learn the initial skills, but once they gain confidence, they are more mature physical, coordination is better, and their ability to comprehend and follow instructions will allow them to move more rapidly through the program than a younger baby.
What training aids do you recommend?
Level 3 - (ages 2-3 years old) and Level 4 - (ages 3-5 years old) programs require a flotation aid which you will use 80-95% of the time during the sessions. For Level 6 - Fire Fish (ages 5+ years old) some may require the flotation aid.
The flotation aid recommended by Mini Water Adventurers advances your child's swimming ability by enabling your child to have the required support in the water which aids the natural swimming motion and therefore, improves their strength and confidence. The floats pads can be removed one at a time, as your child's swimming ability improves. They create a learning environment where your child can be independent but safe and secure. I must add that this is NOT a lifesaving device and is only to be used as a training aid.
Please read my blog about Why a flotation aid.
What other equipment do you recommend? (Online programme - coming soon)
Your prompt sheets will have a checklist on them so you know which items you will need at each skill or activity. The instructional videos will show you when and how to use them. We provide a one-stop-shop service so you don't need to spend time trying to find them individually.
Click on our Online Shop to see what we recommend and read my blog Recommended Equipment.
When should my child start to wear goggles?
It's advised to start wearing goggles when your child is doing submersions on a regular basis. This helps to stop their eyes from getting sore when opening their eyes under water and so they can see where they are going. Wearing goggles also can give a less confident child a boost to start doing facial submersions if they can see underwater.
Please see my blog about Recommended Equipment.
When will my child swim?
Many parents expect their baby or infant to be able to swim soon after they are introduced to the water. It all depends on what is meant by swimming. While some infants may move freely in the water after just a few sessions, it is rare that they become able to swim unaided to a target before entering their second year. Focus on enjoying being in the water with your child as your main goal, is to work through your prompt sheets and avoid putting pressure on achievement and expecting quick results.
Can parents who cannot swim teach their child to swim?
Many parents who are not confident in the water can be motivated to help their child swim without fear. As long as you can comfortably stand in waist-to-chest deep water, you should have no problem. You don't need to go underwater if you don't want to or be able to swim in order to teach them to swim. Try to act confidently and happily so you don't transfer any anxieties you may have to your child.
I am pregnant, can I still teach my child to swim?
As long as you get clearance from your doctor, there is no reason why you shouldn't teach your child to swim. When you are in the 3rd trimester just be careful with possible strong kicks from your child whilst practicing their kicking activities.
It is my first time attending a swim session, what should I bring?
Please read my blog "Swim sessions are about to start - what do I need to bring?"
If you have any other questions please call or email anytime.