August 07, 2010

Are you ready for submersions?

Swim nappy pictured: Splash About Happy Nappy

You know it’s going to happen soon after you start your first course of lessons and you have read or heard that a baby has a natural ability to swim underwater.

You have seen many babies swim happily underwater, your baby is prepared and ready for their first submersion and today is the big day.

You feel excited but a little nervous and apprehensive. However, you tell yourself that baby is ready, that you are ready and know what to do and you have full confidence in your instructor - no problem.

Then the big moment for you both arrives, with confidence you look into your baby’s eyes with the biggest smile ever. Adrenaline kicks in and then you do it! You can’t believe your prize possession is actually under the water and your heart swells with pride at your little one’s achievement.

Submersion tips for parents
1. Only do submersions when your baby is comfortable with water poured on their face and you are confident to carry out a submersion, never be intimidated into doing submersions.

2. Try to stay relaxed, calm and confident as your baby will feel any anxiety you may have.
Get your baby’s attention and ‘cue’ your baby in a smooth, continuous and consistent manner. Once you initiate the submersion, continue with the movement and do not stop in the middle.

3. Give lots of hugs, smiles and praises.

4. In the early stages limit submersions to brief dips building up to a maximum of 6 submersions spaced out over a 30 minute session.

5. Never submerge a crying baby, if your baby is upset, discontinue submersions for that day.

6. Occasionally, your baby may cough from a small amount of water. Stay calm, distract your baby with a toy and in a few moments, they will stop coughing. Overreacting creates an unnecessary fear in your baby.

7. Be patient, provide lots of encouragement, have FUN and cherish every wonderful swimming moment with your baby.

Please Note: Do not allow your baby to swallow excessive amounts of water as this could pose a serious hazard to your baby’ health.

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