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How to teach your baby to go under water

Watch the video for this lesson:
* FOR BABIES UNDER 6 MONTHS:
1. At home:
  • Blow like a gentle gust of wind onto your baby's face.
  • If your baby takes in a gulp of air and makes a funny face, then you can use this technique to teach your baby to go under water.
2. In the baby bath or tub (before washing the baby):
  • Make eye contact with your baby.
  • Count to three (or say "name, ready, go!") to set the signal.
  • Blow quickly on your baby's face.
  • Watch your baby make the funny face then pour a little water on his face.
  • Practice this many days until you no longer have to blow on your baby's face before you pour the water on his face.
3. In the pool:
  • Get your baby comfortable and playful.
  • Hold your baby under the arms facing you, and make eye contact with your baby.
  • Count to three (or say "name, ready, go!") for the signal, blow quickly on your baby's face
  • Watch your baby make the funny face then pour a little water on his face, and smoothly and gently lower your baby's head completely under the water for one second.
  • Bring your baby up and smile and laugh and give your baby a toy to hold.
  • Do not act concerned.
  • Play a while, practice the back float activities and do it again.
4. Gliding:
  • Hold your baby under the arms and set the signal: Count to three, or say "name, ready, go!"
  • Raise him up a little and gently put him under the water
  • Letting go, put your hand gently behind the baby’s head gliding the child to the other person.
*FOR TODDLERS AND YOUNG CHILDREN Talk to young child about what you are doing, always explaining each step

5. At home:
  • Watch movies of kids swimming (dvd lessons part and others.)
  • Talk about how much fun it is and how you love going under water.
6. In the bathtub and edge of the pool:
  • Count to three (to set the signal) and pour water on a toy then wipe the toy’s face.
  • Have your child pour water on his own face and on your face. You pour water on his face.
  • Have your child count to three and put the toy under the water and wipe the toy’s face.
  • Laugh and have fun.
  • When your child is used to having water on the face, he will be ready to put his head under the water.
7. In the pool: On the steps first practice the above bathtub activities.
  • Tell your child that you are going under the water together.
  • Count to three, do a little jump and both of you go under the water together for a second.
  • Come up and wipe his face.
  • Distract your child by making spitting noises, asking your child to wipe your face or giving him a toy.
  • Even have him push YOU under the water.
  • If YOU don’t want to go under the water, find some other way to make it fun!
  • Alternate going under water with some fun activities or playing on the steps.
  • Practice five to ten times the first day!

** HEAD DOWN: It may be a challenge to get your child to get into a prone position – head down/bottom up. There are lots of things that you can do.
  • Place a toy under the water on the step so that the child has to put his face down to get it.
  • Crash the wall: Have the child hold you on the shoulders in a prone position. He kicks hard you walk backward and crash the wall wit your back. Tell your child to put his head down and kick!
  • See “the bumper fish” in the swim solo lesson

** EYES OPEN: Try these to get your child to open his eyes underwater.
  • Let the child see you open your eyes under water as you swim to him and get the toy from his hand
  • Tell the child to wave to you when you go under the water
  • Have the child get a favorite toy from under water
  • Buy good quality swim goggles. Read Miss Bea's Baby Swim Blog on the dangers of becoming dependent on the goggles

**OTHER:
  • When you raise the baby, you can wipe the baby's nose so that not even a tiny water bubble will go into his nose.
  • Never say"hold your breath." The child doesn’t know what that means. If an older child is swallowing water, Say “Close your mouth.” Show the child how to make chipmunk cheeks. Hold up a finger like a birthday candle for the child to blow out when he comes up from under the water.
  • Teach the child to stand up by himself and grab the side when he gets to the steps. Drowning may occur when a child cannot stand up by himself when he gets to the side and you are not there to help him.
  • Never step back as the child is swimming to you . The child must trust you and master each step with confidence.
***If you have the LEARN TO SWIM WITH MISS BEA - DVD, all of this will be shown with real children acting out their activities. Be assured that you will not be hurting your baby. You will not be holding your baby under the water long enough for the baby to swallow water. Add your own games and toys to distract the child, praising and clapping for each accomplishment. Until a baby learns to swim, holding his breath may save him if he falls in the water. You will see as you hear me talk and explain the progression and you will be able to teach your child to go under water too!

Now get in the water and do it!!

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