Your baby 0-1 year

His first swim: the big dive

His first swim: the big dive


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It will be necessary to wait until the age of 5-6 years for your toddler to be able to learn to swim. But in the meantime, he can worship the water. Our tips to help you tame the water gently and safely.

While waiting to know how to swim, your baby can love the water, dabble on the beach or even at the pool, throw his arms to slip to his dad who hands him ... and without drinking the cup! The key is to go gradually and reassure him to a maximum.

Jump in the water ... together

  • Accompany him. Step into the water with him and gently wet his legs, arms and neck. Hold it in front of you so that he can see you and discover the surface of the water safely. Encourage him, smile at him. To see you relaxed reassures him. He should not be long in feeling more comfortable. Part of your attitude depends on his pleasure in paddling and it is in your arms that he rediscovers the universe in which he bathed for nine months. Do you feel calm? Detach from him gradually by holding him under the armpits. He will be able to tap the water and pedal to seek to move.
  • Help him to have fun discovering new sensations. Keep him lying on his back and lighten your support. Relax! Let him move his arms and legs: he could almost float alone. In this same position, your baby can turn his head and leave his eye wide open in the water. If he drinks the cup, straighten it and pat his back reassuringly. On his own, he will retest the next bathing experience, triggering the apnea reflex once his face is submerged.

A misstep ? It's not the sea to drink ...

Some signs do not deceive. Watch your toddler's reactions and postpone this big event if he's not ready.

  • His hands are soft, his body is relaxed, unfolded, he laughs? It's won!
  • He stands in a fetal position, he cries, he is tense? Have you burned the steps? Maybe he has too much excitement around him? Staying on the edge can be enough to reassure him. Otherwise, postpone this first, even if you want to prolong the evening bath in the bathtub to make it safe.
  • He trembles, his nails, lips and extremities start to blush? It's cold and it's time to go out. Before 1 year, the bath should not exceed ten minutes. And until 2 years, half an hour is enough. Plan a small snack out of the water. Success assured.

Suzanne Perinelli with Dr. Martine le Conte, pediatrician, and Véronique Delaune, teacher of EPS, lifeguard *.

* Trainer approved by the Faael for baby swimmers.

How to make water love your baby? Our video