Both Price and I grew up on the water- Price on one of the Finger Lakes in NY, me on Long Island Sound- so it is important for us to have Autumn comfortable with the water. We wanted her to approach playing around and in water in a confident, safe manner. Most importantly we wanted her to respect the water and be very safe when she was around it so we enrolled her in swim lessons.
We signed her up for the 6 lesson class at Boston University (rates depended on if you are a BU student/alumni- we weren’t so it cost us $95). She was in a group with a few other kids ranging from ages 6 months to 18 months. Since we started her right at 6 months she was the youngest there but did well in the water. The teacher was very kind and accommodating making each child feel comfortable in the water.
With the exception of the weekend I was in Florida, every Sunday morning we went to Boston University’s fitness center for Autumn’s lesson. But I didn’t slack off the weekend as my mom took us to one of the local pools in her complex.
During the 30 minute lessons we would have the babes sit on the edge of the pool (I’d support Autumn from falling over) and count to 3 and give them permission to come into the pool, which then prompted a bunch of babes to flop into the pool (I just pulled her in then). This was to teach them from the start that they can not assume they can just enter a pool without asking for permission.
We would play games and sing songs during the class so that being in the water was fun and they would learn skills along the way. We would splash around to the “Hokey Pokey” and “The Wheels on the Bus”. There were points when they kids would put their face in the water and blow bubbles (at the “you put your whole face in…” part) but that was too much for Autumn so I would just get her chin in since the few times she got a mouthful of water she would grip my arm for dear life and cough and cough. I’m sure I could have pusher her a bit more but for this class the goal for us was for her to be comfortable in the water and not be scared.
Price took these photos on the last day of class when photography was permitted, (I did sneak a photo of Price and Autumn in the pool when he took her on Father’s Day!!) and I’m pretty sure she knew it was the last class because she didn’t want to give that rubber ducky up! Her favorite parts of class always revolved around the ducks. We would put them in the water in front of our kids and as they splashed around and kicked we would move them closer to get them to simulate swimming for them. The older kids also played around with noodles, rings, and even got a boat ride on the last day, but Autumn just loved the rubber ducks.
I just ordered an Otteroo just to give it a try. It’s a funny looking inflatable that SAFELY goes around your kid’s neck that allows them to float around freely (but this is not an excuse to let them hang out in the pool, they still NEED hands on supervision!). Autumn likes to float when I am supporting her head up out of the waterso I figured this might be fun for her as well. Or just a waste of money if it spooks her. I figure we’ll start in the tub at home with it and just see how that goes. Keep ya posted!
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