Bath time is swim time!
Many parents do not realize that how you play with your child in the bath will greatly determine how your child will react to the water. The idea behind bath time is of course to wash and get clean but also to show your child that there is nothing to fear when it comes to the water. If your little one screams and cries when the water is poured over their head it important to show them that they are ok. We’re not telling you to water board your child, just gently pour water down their face and then celebrate with them, make it fun! This is the first step to swimming.
Here are some things that will help them get more comfortable in the water.
Have your child splash around (to a certain extent you don’t want to turn your bathroom into an ocean). Why splashing? Because as they splash water will get in their eyes and face simulating how it will feel when swimming. Have them blow bubbles. This is to get them to start controlling their breathing when their mouth and nose are under water. If the bath tub is big enough fill up the tube with a little bit of water (And I do mean a little bit, in an inch no more.) Then place them on their stomach (aka tummy-time) and have them splash and kick. This is great for body position in the water, when swimming you want them to want to lie flat in the water because that is how you float and swim.
Last but not least it is important to show your child how fun this all is, if you look like the water is horribly scary they will feed off of your emotions creating them to become afraid.
*Make sure you are always supervising your child the entire time they are in or near the water.