Baby swimming lessons – when to start

Friday, 20 December 2013

Baby swimming lessons

Getting your baby used to water as early as possible is not only beneficial from a safety point of view, but it’s also great exercise, lots of fun and the perfect way for you to spend time together.

Most swimming schools will do classes with you and your baby from when he is 6 weeks old. It’s advised you stay out of the water until then to reduce risk of infection and if you had a ceaser, it’s best to get approval from your gynaecologist before taking the plunge. He might advise you wait a bit longer for your stitches to heal.

Once you and baby are ready to hit the water, here are a few things to remember:

If baby is younger than 6 months old, only take him into a pool that’s heated to 32 degrees C. Big public pools are cold and a bit overwhelming for young babies, so stick to baby swimming lessons until he is older.

– Buy swimmer nappies. They are quite expensive, but you can reuse them. Just rinse them out after use and hang them on the line.

– Take along a towel with a hood, so when you take baby out of the water you can wrap him up and keep the cold air away from his head.

– If baby has started on solids, take a snack along for after the lesson. Swimming is hungry and thirsty work.

– Remember to relax. If you are confident and happy then baby will be too. If bath time is fun, then he will have positive associations with water and it will be easier to get him used to the sensation of swimming.

– If you are nervous around water and not a confident swimmer, then perhaps take a few swims on your own, this will help you get used to the surrounds and build up your skills.

– Baby swimming classes will take you through the steps and provide you with a controlled environment and the opportunity to meet other mums. They are a great way to build up both yours and baby’s skills in the water.

– Baby swimming classes are normally between 10 and 15 minutes and help teach baby skills through play. Young babies are born able to do simple swimming strokes and the teacher will build on these natural reflexes.

Swimming lessons won’t “drown proof” your baby. No one is ever drown proof and your kids should always be under adult supervision around water. However, as your child learns more skills in the water, they should eventually have an increased chance of getting to safety should they fall in.

If you are interested in taking your baby or toddler to swimming classes, there are lots of great teachers around South Africa.

Cape Town
Swim with Tandy, Bergvliet, 021 712 7380
Swim Baby Swim, Tygervalley 082 080 4939

Candy Bubbles Aqua Centre, Sunninghill 082 804 2050
Tiny Tadpoles, Mulbarton, 084 555 7064

Little Nemos, Bluff, 072 660 2883
The Travelling Swim Coach, Durban North, 083 451 0756

Other articles you may be interested in:
What causes nappy rash?
Multi-tasking beauty products for busy moms
Returning to the old you
Tips for protecting your baby’s skin this summer
Fragrant babies

Written by

Emily Pettit-Coetzee is a freelance writer and a blogger of lovely things. She spends her days writing about everything from corporate finance to teen fashion and has a weakness for vintage fashion and red lipstick.

Want to write a comment? Sign in here sign up now
Tell your friends
  1. RoseAngel

    We just built a pool and it is the best way to spend quality time with my girls!!! We all love the water! Due to the sensitive skin of our little ones we opted to put in a salt water chlorinator to avoid the complications from too much chlorine on the skin!!!

    6 years ago •


    It’s always so sad to read the articles where a child has drowned… They should for this reason make these swimming lessons not as costly, as many parents aren’t always able to afford this.

    6 years ago •

  1. ABeauty

    Swimming lessons are awesome, but quite expensive in our area. Our little sprog is nearly two and does great in water.

    6 years ago •

  1. foreverGLAM

    I didn’t know that there are swimmer nappies. What a great article :-)

    6 years ago •

  1. CherylGD

    As a long distance open water swimmer I train a lot in gym pools which have areas for toddler and junior swim training. I very often observe intensely unhappy children being coaxed/manipulated into the water by trainers/parents which disturbs me. Learning to swim at a very young age can be both fun but also terrifying and being terrified means you are not enjoying yourself; the screaming and crying says it all. But the swim teacher/mother insist they carry on. Swimming is such a wonderful amazing sport so if your child is not ready please be patient and wait until he or she is ready to enter the water. Being forced to swim at a young age will only create bad memories and a future reluctance to enter embrace a wonderful sport

    6 years ago •

  1. Khalisi

    Very informative article! I never knew they can go for swimming lessons so early, 6 weeks, wow!

    6 years ago •

  1. me

    Yes, yes I agree with you; no one is ever drown proof. But having a young child able to help himself in water is a great help in emergency. And it is such fun to be able to swim together, both in learning and afterwards.

    6 years ago •

BeautySouthAfrica - your pre-shop stop for all things beauty is South Africa’s most comprehensive online beauty magazine and your pre-shop stop for product information and reviews. From the latest international make-up trends to the hottest new products on the market, we offer insights into the glamorous world of beauty. Join like-minded beauty fanatics in our loyalty program and earn points, trial beauty products and share your experiences.

Become a beauty addict!

Get great deals and climb the ladder to a Gold Star!


Sign In