When Should My Child Start Swimming Lessons?

Learning to swim is an essential part of any childhood. Not only is it an exceptional exercise, but it also teaches children valuable lessons and safety tips they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. While it’s never too early to get your kids comfortable with the water, there is some debate over when the right time is to start swimming lessons. In particular, many parents wonder when to start infant swim lessons. If this is something you’ve wondered before, we will explore some signs that will help guide your judgment and determine if your child is ready for the water!

Group of kids of various ages taking swimming lessons

Best Age to Start Swimming Lessons

  • Every child is different and develops at a different pace, which means there is not one correct answer as to when you should start swim lessons. However, we believe that as early as 3 months is a great time to get them started, due to its physical and mental benefits. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, parents should encourage their children to start swimming by the age of 1 to reduce a child’s probability of drowning.
  • At the end of the day, a few factors must be considered if you are contemplating when your child should start swim lessons, such as physical ability, mental capacity for learning, and overall comfort level in the water. With our students, we’ve learned that the earlier they are exposed to the water, the more comfortable and confident they feel at the pool.
  • Just as every child is different, every parent is, too. Some parents like to attend baby swim classes with their newborns to increase comfort in the water and learn a few helpful tips along the way. In our Baby Blue classes, and throughout all of our class levels, we prioritize showing kids that they can do anything by unlocking their full potential in the water.
  • While enrolling your child in lessons before the age of 4 provides a helpful foundation, progressive skill development isn’t expected until 6-8 years of age. During early years, children usually learn the basics, such as getting comfortable having water on their face and ears, back floating, continuous breathing techniques, and the basics of the four main stroke techniques.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests enrolling a kid under the age of 6 years in a sport activity that focuses on basic skills, like swimming, instead of organized sports, such as soccer, due to the learning process of kids at an early age. At Big Blue Swim School, we strongly believe in the importance of the physical and mental development of our students through swimming lessons.
Little boy enjoying his time at swim lessons

Is My Child Ready?

While it’s difficult to know exactly when your child is ready to be enrolled in swimming lessons, there are some things to look for, which can help you determine the right time:

  • Expert Crawlers – If your little one is making impressive progress while crawling, climbing stairs, etc., it could be a good time to gradually introduce them to the pool.
  • Enjoying Bath Time – Does your child look forward to bath time? Are they constantly splashing and floating around the tub? If so, they might be ready for the next step!
  • Increased Energy & Creativity – Do you notice your child learning quicker or having more energy for activities? A swimming pool could be the next step to continue stimulating their developing brain.

Look for the Right Program

When you are ready to sign your child up for swim lessons, there are some important aspects to consider, including a comfortable water temperature, friendly instructors, and consistency. Depending on your child’s age, experience, or type of swimming lessons, you may be expected to join your child in the water for their first few lessons.

Little baby girl at the pool with her friendly swimming instructor

Even though there is not one correct answer when it comes to enrolling your child into swimming lessons, here at Big Blue, we take pride in building a strong foundation of water safety, building confidence in the water, and progressively conquering milestones at every turn to ensure your child thrives in and out of the water. Our weekly swim programs offer a strategic, objective-based learning atmosphere where kids can discover their best and have fun doing it!