Submerging is an Essential Swimming Skill

20 July 2017

Submerging your baby can be a very confronting thing to do, and babies will do it in their own time. If a baby learns to respect and not fear the water, and is confident with their parent in the water, then the skill of submerging will be one they thoroughly enjoy.

Why do we need babies to be confident with submerging?

It is important that babies feel happy going under the water because if they fall into a pool, or slip over in the bath they are less likely to panic.

Submerging also allows the baby to fully enjoy different aquatic environments including swimming lessons, the backyard pool, the beach, river, paddle pool or bathtub.

By teaching babies to put their face in the water we can teach them to blow bubbles. Blowing bubbles is not just a fun thing for babies to do but it provides them with the foundation for when they start learning the breathing technique for freestyle. And this comes around a lot faster than we think!!

Submerging also allows the skill of front floating possible. If a baby is not happy with their head in the water then forming that horizontal body position for floating is difficult. Floating on their front is important because this is the beginning part of teaching a glide, torpedo and eventually full freestyle.

Submerging is one of the essential building blocks in learning to swim. Submerging will allow the swimmer to learn and master all the strokes.

The State Swim way of submerging:

  • We never force your baby to go under the water or push them into the pool. They will do it in their own time.
  • We ensure that submerging is fun and we do it through games and rhymes. We have lots of different ways of submerging, as one way may work for one baby and not for another, and the age of the baby needs to be considered too.
  • Before a baby attempts the skill of submerging, they need to be confident with having water splashed on their face and water gently poured over their heads.
  • For the younger babies we instruct parents to gently blow in their child’s face before they put them under the water. By doing this, the baby takes a quick breath in which stops them from swallowing water when they go under.
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