When my daughter was 16 months we started swim lessons with her… she learned all the survival moves:
- What to do if she falls in
- How to float
- How to swim to the edge and scale the wall to the steps
- And, of course, how to blow bubbles/hold your breath under water.
She did so well after just a couple short months of swim lessons- we were super proud of our little fish!
The swim teacher said that putting swimmies or life vests on your child while at the pool will give them a false perception of safety in the water and, in turn, rely on these flotation devices even when they aren’t wearing them and forget the survival tactics they just learned in lessons. So, being the rule follower I am, I ditched her swimmies and said – we will do this the right way!
Well, when we moved to Texas in October we didn’t have too long before the weather quickly shifted to too cold to practice her moves on her own in our neighborhood pool. Now, Summer has come back along but, with a newborn baby in tow, unfortunately we haven’t dedicated enough time for Ella to brush up on her swimming skills. She’s also recently, for some reason, gained a small fear of the pool/deep water in general. I’m not sure if she saw something in a show that scared her? But now she never wants to get in, accept for splash pad areas.
Last week, we had a play date at the neighborhood pool with her friends and their families and all the kids had their puddle jumpers on and were having a BLAST in the pool. Jumping in, swimming so well… but with these floaties. Ella was chasing after them & playing but then avoiding the pool. I was a nervous wreck the whole time that she would just stop being so worried about the pool and follow suit by jumping in after them!
Prior to this day, I had a major internal struggle of whether or not to put Ella in swimmies because of her teachers advice. I know Ella will learn to swim once I get her back in lessons and I need comfort in knowing she’s safe at the pool, so I broke down and got her this puddle jumper, too!
She loves it! Not only is it cute with flamingos on it, it’s small and easy to bring along to the pool, lake, etc. It’s also giving Ella better confidence to have fun in the water instead of being so worried about her safety and gives me peace of mind that she will be ok when playing with friends… especially since my attention is now spread between 2 kids and not just one!
So, did I make the right choice?? I have no clue, but I definitely made the best decision for my family, and as a mom, which is all I can do!