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Introducing Your Baby To Swimming | Puddle Ducks

hello I'm Victoria from puddle ducks we

teach babies and children across the UK

to swim and we're here with simply swim

today to talk you through some advice

videos I'm going to talk you through

safe entry into the waters day for your

baby firstly what you need to remember

is that you don't ever carry a baby down

steps or down a ladder into the water

the reason for this is if you slip

you're going to take your baby with you

which we don't recommend at all what we

do recommend is a change in mat which

you can get wet so you get the changing

mat wet in the water first and then lay

it on the side of the pool right next to

the surface of the water

you can then kneel down and lay your

baby flat on that change mats it's nice

and warm this stops them going straight

onto the cold concrete on the side of

the pool which isn't a great

introduction to their first lesson into

the water when you're laying your baby

down on the mat ensure that their feet

are pointing towards the water with

their head the other way you can then

sit down next to them you put one arm

across your baby this is your safety arm

this is to stop your baby rolling either

side and ensures that it's safer for

them before they get into the water and

ensure they can't roll into the water on

their own once you've got this safety

arm across your baby you can then gently

slide into the water yourself turning as

you do so once you're in the water you

then put both of your hands behind your

baby's head and neck to make sure that's

fully supported in your own time gently

lean your baby towards you and bring

them in towards the water safely this is

a much more controlled way of taking

your baby into the water rather than

carrying them down the steps if you are

going swimming with somebody else they

can help you by putting their arms

across their baby on the change mat what

we don't recommend is that that other

person passes the baby to in the water

and passes them across the air this is

also because if they slip or if they

drop the baby that's quite a long way

for them to fall so it's much safer to

lay that baby down on the mat and bring

them into the water safely in this

advice video we're going to talk about

swings and dips swings and dips is an

activity that encourages your baby to

spend a little bit

of time in the water flats on their back

to start with you swing your baby up in

a seated position always supporting

their head and neck and then gently rock

them flat on the surface of the water if

your baby is happy flat on the water

then you would keep them there for as

long as possible and then sit them up

just a little bit if your baby isn't too

keen on being flat on the water on their

back then you can sit them up for a

little bit longer and then gently rock

them flat on their back to give them a

few seconds in this position and then

sit them back up again when your baby is

flat on the water it gives them a chance

to have their ears in the water and get

used to that pressure change and what it

feels like to have also going in there

is before you sit them back up again

it's a really fun activity and a great

way for you to bond with your baby for

lots of smiley faces and lots of eye

contact try and make it as fun as

possible thank you for listening to our

video about swings and dips in this

video we're going to talk through

breathing activities and why it's

important to teach breathing activities

from a young age as early as possible we

introduce these activities to encourage

your baby to learn when they're swimming

to breathe in above the water and

breathe out under the water which is a

very natural way of swimming you support

your baby's head with two hands behind

their head and neck and bring them in

towards you sitting them up a little bit

breathe in above the water and then

gently blow bubbles into the water your

baby won't be copying you yet but they

will be watching and learning and when

they're a bit older they'll want to

start copying you if your baby does have

good head and neck control then you can

go to a slightly more supported hold

either side of their tummy which is one

hand either side of their tummy nice

relaxed hold and again practice those

bubbles breathing above the water and

breathe out onto the water make it

really fun and in little a while your

baby will start to copy you in this

video we're going to explain how you can

help your babies start to learn how to

keep their legs in the water always need

to make sure their head and neck is

supported you can bring their head in

towards your chest a bit more or if not

keep them high up on your shoulder so

you note their mouth is clear of the

water you can use your hand or hands to

help them kick their legs depending on

how you're supporting their head and

neck this will eventually lead to them

learning how to

use that propulsion in the water by

kicking their legs you can do lots of

games of seeing lots of songs in the

water to keep them entertained whilst

you're practicing kicking their legs

builds up the muscles in their legs and

through their spine as well so you can

help them either side of their legs

using your hands to help them kick those

legs whilst they're in the water all of

these activities are really good

restricting your muscles and help them

learn how to push themselves forwards in

the water in this video we're going to

talk about splashing hands in the water

when you're swimming with your baby

splashing hands is obviously a really

fun thing to do first it gets little

bits of water flicking up onto your

baby's face which if they start to learn

that from a very young age they'll

understand that's very normal and if

they're going swimming they will get

bits of water in their face and they'll

learn that's very normal when they do go

swimming with you you can help them to

start with so you can support them with

one arm across their tummy and chest and

use your spare hand to help them splash

their hands in the water if they're not

so keen on it then you can let go of

that hand that's helping them splash

their hands and do it for them splash

next to them say get a feel of what it's

like and then as they get a bit older or

maybe a little bit later on they might

then want to help and you can hold their

hand and help them splash again it's a

really really fun activity and our

movements in the water do lead to

paddling and then obviously on to

swimming on their front putting that

water behind them we're going to talk

you through walk floating now and this

walk floating will be with your baby on

their tummy this is for babies that are

a lot more wrigley and often don't like

being on their back anymore or it's

unsafe for them to be on their back need

to make sure that we have a light hand

supporting either side of their tummy

and your thumbs can be in a V position

to start with this is to support their

head and neck a little bit and if their

chin starts to drop your hands are there

to support them you still move backwards

so that your baby is going forwards and

their head is going first

it's a really good chance for you to

have a bonding experience with your baby

and to give that good eye to eyes

contact

lots and lots of smiley faces to

encourage your baby to stay relaxed in

the water you can gently move them side

to side to get them used to that water

moving across their body if they're

still very relaxed and if they've got

very good head and neck control you can

then go to a bit more of a

laxed hold this is where you tuck your

thumbs underneath the shoulders of your

baby and your hands are flat underneath

their tummy you can position your hands

slightly pointing upwards a little bit

to encourage their chin in their mouth

to be above the water you're still

moving backwards and your baby is still

going forwards but this position gives

them a lot more freedom in the water

again nice relaxed hands and you can

gently sway them side to side as well if

they want to feel that water moving a

little bit more we're going to talk you

through walk floating now and we're

going to start with walk floating on

your baby's back so the important thing

to remember is that to start with you

always support your baby's head and neck

and you also support underneath their

seat this is so that it's not too much

strain on their back when we're

practicing walk floating on the baby's

back it's to encourage that movement of

water across their body and to get them

used to what it feels like to be moving

in water when you do start to move and

your baby has got a bit of momentum in

the water you can then release that hand

that's underneath their seat this gives

them a lot more independence and a lot

more freedom in the water to feel that

water moving all the time that you're

moving backwards and your baby's head is

going first you can just keep that one

hand underneath their head and neck this

is because the water is supporting the

back of their body and their seat and

their legs the muscles in their legs are

much denser generally than the fat that

is in their tummy and their arms so all

the time that you're moving it's fine to

keep that one hand underneath their head

and neck however if you stop moving at

any point you must put that hand back

underneath their seat if you don't it

can cause their legs to sink a bit in

the water and it puts a lot of strain on

their neck now if your baby is starting

to move a bit more or you'd like to give

them a little bit more independence but

they're still happy on their back we

then go to what's called a cheek support

which is two hands either side of their

cheek again all the time you're moving

this is fine but if you stop you need to

go back to supporting underneath their

seat again we keep babies on their back

for as long as possible

firstly it's a good survival skill to

learn how to float in water and how to

keep their mouth above the water but

it's also very good for their alignment

when they're swimming

it's much easier to teach a flat natural

swim alignment with a baby on their back

than it is if a baby is on their tummy

we're going to talk through a safe exit

out of the water now when you're

swimming with your baby again the same

as when you get a baby into the water we

would recommend that you use a change

mat and get it wet so it's nice and warm

and lay that flat next to the pool if

you're swimming on your own and the

freeboard is quite low freeboard is the

edge of the pool in comparison to the

edge of the water so if there's not much

difference there you can lay your baby

on that change map again with their feet

pointing towards the water you then put

one arm across your baby and climb out

onto the side of the pool next to your

baby the reason why we recommend that

you keep that arm across your baby at

all times is because if they do roll

your arm is there to stop the rolling

into the water if the freeboard is very

high and there are integrated steps in

the water like there is at this pool

here we can lay them out as close to the

steps as possible again you lay your

baby on this change mat in the same way

as before so their feet are pointing

towards the water you can then start to

walk out of the steps keeping your arms

either side and then when you feel it's

safe to do so you can climb out on the

side of the pool next to your baby if

you're lucky enough to be going swimming

with somebody else that can help you

then one of you can get out of the water

first and go around next to the change

map and the other person can gently lay

their baby on that warm change map again

with their feet pointing towards the

water you can keep your arms either side

of your baby whilst the other person

then takes a baby from the mat up into

the air as normal that then gives you a

chance to get out of the water without

having to worry about carrying them out

of a ladder or steps and slipping and

possibly taking your baby with you this

is a much safe way to get out of the

pool thank you very much for watching

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