Seeing your baby swim under the water is a magical moment for any parent. It’s a special time that you can share with your little one.
There are, however, some important reasons why you should get underwater with your baby and wear goggles when you are there!
Why get underwater with my baby?
Babies behaviour is their language, and we can tell a lot from body language if we are looking closely. Babies are communicating with us all the time, below and above the water. We encourage you to bring your own goggles and go underwater with your little one so that you can see how happy your baby is under there.
Without goggles on, or if adults remain above the water, we may miss the subtle signs that can tell us when little ones are ready to progress with their independent swims and stay swimming for a few seconds longer.
Equally we may miss the signs that tell us that baby needs your help to surface straight away. Careful attention to your baby's cues and communication in the pool is essential for building and maintaining the relationship of trust in each other, and in the water.
So what are the signs that your baby is happy under the water?
Look out for bright eyes, a relaxed face, relaxed kicking and body movement.
And what signs should we be looking for to indicate that baby is not so comfortable under the water yet?
We look out for a cluster of signs (not just one!) including tension in face or body, tongue poking out, arms splayed out or fists clenched and back arched.
Why do I need to wear goggles?
Many parents tell us they don't need goggles to be comfortable underwater. The goggles are not for our comfort, they can help us accurately see and read babies body language, which is much more difficult without goggles as they are just a blur!
Which goggles are the best for swimming with my little one?
The best goggles to buy are ones with clear straps and lenses, as babies can still see your eyes, rather than mirrored or very brightly coloured goggles which can unsettle them.
Babies get used to seeing you wearing goggles each time you swim, right from the start of their swimming journey, and tend to accept them as normal from the beginning.
Toddlers and goggles
Toddlers can start wearing goggles from the age of around 3 years old, although many other children will continue to swim without goggles for some time to come.
When toddlers start to wear goggles it can open up a whole magical world, when they can see clearly underwater!
We would advise that you let your toddler play and practice wearing goggles in the bath before wearing them in the pool, otherwise you may find you spend the whole lesson putting them on and off!
Pippa’s mum, Laura explains, “Pippa is a different child now that she’s wearing goggles, she just loves her underwater swims.
“I noticed that she was rubbing her eyes and did not like the water splashing in her eyes, so we went out and choose a pair of lovely pink goggles.”
“We played with them in the bath first before her next lesson, so she was used to wearing them. At her next lesson she eased herself under the water, after that I couldn’t keep her above it!”
Enjoy your underwater swimming with your little Turtle Tot and bring on the smiles!
Suitable goggles are available from your teacher or from Turtle Tots shop.