New parents will often bring their babies to the pool at a very young age so they get used to water early in life. If your baby is younger than six months old it's best to go to warm pools suitable for young babies - about 32 degrees C. Together parents and kids can enjoy the time learning about water and often this is when kids can gain early confidence with water and swimming.
But when should you start formal swimming lessons for your kids? Most kids begin to formally learn with instructors at around three or four years of age. Any younger than this and a parent would need to be present ( such as parent and baby/toddler swim class) as kids as young as two years old cannot take instruction for any length of time and need to be potty trained.
Children who grow up in the pool with their parents are less likely to be fearful but if your kids are scared of water it’s best not to push the issue until they are ready. If they are happy to begin lessons with other kids and an instructor at your local pool then here is some general information of what parents can expect:
At beginners group swimming classes, a qualified instructor will show a group of kids how to gain confidence in the water with lessons on jumping in the water, water safety, floating, and ducking their head under. Once the child as passed these activities, classes will move onto other confidence building exercises such as retrieving objects under the water, and techniques such as the breast stroke and crawl.
As your child becomes more and more confident they can join appropriate swim level classes to suit their ability. Once your child can swim happily he/she may join an advanced or intermediate group level where an instructor will begin teaching proper swim techniques and how to build strength speed and stamina.
Swimming lessons around Ireland start from around €80 (for 8+ lessons) in a group setting or €20/30 per lesson for private tuition.