Using baby steps:
Be patient with your child. If you get too task-orientated, you will likely make the mistake of pushing your child too hard for skill mastery. This mistake can easily lead to an upset child, taking all of the enjoyment out of the process. You want your child to love their swimming lesson which is why it is so important to be patient.
Tech your baby what to expect. When you are going to pour water over their head or face, first use a start signal, a signal that you will use each time. Usually it will be counting from one to three, taking a breath and then pouring the water. If you use this signal or your own signal each time, your baby will then become conditioned to expect it and this will make the first time facial expressions easier too. This technique works so well that oftentimes you will find that babies as young as 12 months old can start putting their heads down all on their own as you begin to say your start signals.
Take it one step at a time. Once water on your baby's face no longer bothers them, go to the next step of the progression. Start with one dolphin dip, then two dips and so on. The key to controlling the breathing is to evaluate each dip as an individual attempt. The babies in this stage of learning are not always going to be consistent, the same baby who comfortably does five dips on Monday may only be happy to do one or two on Wednesday. Your first priority should be the baby's happiness.
Do not just dunk the baby. You are able to help the baby with breath control or help guide them through a brief swim while having their face in the water. Dunking the baby is exactly what scares them. So what is the technique you might ask? Simply put, hold the baby in a horizontal position with their face out of the pool, after giving your signal, gently put their face into the water. If you would like to know more about infant and toddler swimming techniques, contact Swim Baby swimming school in Ballito where teaching your baby to swim is our profession and passion.