We’ve taken our son swimming a few times and while he loves being in the water, at 20 months he’s not quite got to grips with maintaining buoyancy yet, and has a tendency to sink. So my question is kinda two-pronged: can anyone recommend a good technique to teach a toddler how to float, or alternatively can anyone recommend any sort of buoyancy aid? In my head I’m visualising something thin and unobtrusive like a wetsuit vest, which provides minimal buoyancy – certainly not something bulky like a PFD/life-jacket – but just enough to assist him learning to do it himself. Does such a thing exist, and would it just hinder him learning the proper technique?
Buoyancy aids for toddlers
You can get wee vests with removable floats, aye. He might find it easier to float on his back.
Armbands appear to work fine as well and cost not a lot. Get the ones in a sort of triangular shape instead of the disks or roll-on-all-round-inflated things.
He'll nail it soon enough - enjoy yourselves in the meantime.
Gordy - Member
You can get wee vests with removable floats
another vote for those - as said it'll happen some kids just take longer - I think you'll find that those kids that can't swim never got taken to the pool. If you've friends with slightly older kids that swim some sessions together might help - our youngest just wanted to be one of the crowd and that seemed to work
Cheers folks. I've seen a few vests online with floats in, but they all seem quite bulky. Might need to keep looking. Good point about swimming with older kids, he's the youngest at his daycare (small group, in-home place) and has come on in leaps and bounds. He's ahead of where he 'should' be with a lot of skills and watching him play with the others I think it's due to trying to keep up with the big kids.
Just don't bother IMHO. My kids have never used buoyancy aids or armbands for swimming, going for the just getting on with it (with a bit of help from mum and dad) and at 4 and 6 are now very good swimmers. They did do structured swimming lessons with aquatots from a lot younger than yours is - which doesn't use any floatation aids in the lessons, apart from floats they hold onto themselves. The thing is, any floatation aid doesn't help teach them to float or to swim - it teaches them to rely on the floatation aid.
Of course this is exactly like the debate over stabilisers on bikes.
Baked beans will make him more buoyant!
My kids went from the bulky swim vests, swim fins (around 18 months) and then nothing, swimming with no buoyancy aids by the age of 4. Six year old has just got her 400m medal and both are total water babies.
I brought a swim fin for my daughter, they work really well, dont get in the way of arms and give the buoyancy while getting the position right.
It works when she will wear it but she is being a bit of a Madam over swimming at the moment
My kid's been using armbands, and loves to swim about. I really need to get her lessons though I think.. it's high time she learned to do without the armbands.
Just wait a bit.
Kids learning curve for swimming is super steep.
Just keep taking him and watch him improve week on week (there will be the odd week when he seem to go backwards... don't worry the next week he'll be double good)
Both of our boys have been in the pool from very early on (3 months I think) . We used a neoprene waistcoat thing with blocks of polysterene. Start with 8 blocks I think, remove them as they get better (and bigger). Gives them confidence, lets them enjoy it more, and more importantly, gives your arms a rest!
Eldest was swimming without it by the time he was 3 I think.
I view armbands as like bike stabilisers. Learn with them, when you take them off you almost need to start from scratch, waistcoat allows gradual reduction, to the point of wearing the wasitcoat with no floats. I remember my school swimming lessons the policy was to downgrade to a single armband, so you'd roll over in the water!
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