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When To Start Swimming Lessons?

“When is the best time to start swimming lessons?”

This is the most common question we receive from prospective parents with young children. Our answer? “The best time to start swimming lessons is, as soon as your baby is born.” While the number of drownings is still going up in our country, the one thing you can do as a parent is provide that barrier against it. We are sorry to say this, but your backyard pool is not the place to learn.

  • Children under five have the highest rate of non-fatal drowning of any group and are more likely to drown in swimming pools and bathtubs than adults.
  • Last year 248 people fatally drowned and 504 were involved in non-fatal drowning incidents. Although the highest number of deaths occurred in an older age group, the number of near deaths among children should not be underestimated.
  • About 85% of non-fatal drownings in swimming pools are children. For every Australian child under five who fatally drowns, about eight children survive but with brain injury, paralysis, and other serious and lifelong problems (Australian research published in medical journal BMJ Open).



How young is young?

Whilst we know infants are too young to learn formal and complex skills such as strokes, experience in swim programs bears witness to infants and toddlers being able to swim from an early age. Babies in water will instinctively close their mouths and make motions to propel themselves through the water. Starting your baby in swim lessons affords a further means for babies to learn to relax in water and develop confidence in the water, and they provide a wonderful opportunity for bonding between baby and parent. It is the only activity where babies are completely independent, especially before they can walk or crawl unaided. The water supports their weight, and they are free to move their legs and arms.

For an infant aged 0 to 18 months, there is a natural association between immersion in water and the fluid environment of the womb. From the standpoint of an instructor, this natural affinity of the child with the water is seen to decrease between birth and 14 months, and to decrease further between 18-24 months as toddlers enter the terrible two’s phase when it can become increasingly difficult to teach water awareness and breath control. A creative and interactive swim program can help overcome the obstacles inherent in this developmental swimming stage.

Furthermore, there are some encouraging results from world-leading research led by Griffith University, showing that children who learn to swim demonstrate more advanced cognitive and physical abilities, reaching milestones earlier than other children. They will be ready for school before you are ready to let them go!

Do you have a baby under 6 months of age? Keen to meet local parents with babies of a similar age? Our FREE BabyBegins Swim Program is perfect for you!
The program offers parents and their babies an intimate bonding experience through gentle, teacher-led activities that aim to build your babies comfort and confidence. The program includes:
  • Nicely heated pools
  • Nurturing teachers
  • Gentle introduction to water
  • Learn to breath control preparation
  • Grow water familiarity
  • Meet local parents with babies of a similar age
To find out more or to book, visit our website www.hamptonswimschool.com.au/programs/baby-begins, or call our friendly team on 07 3399 2004.




To view our learn to swim program and read more about our swim levels, please visit our website. Or feel free to call our friendly enrolment team 07 3399 2004.