What Is the Best Age for Swimming Lessons?

age for swimming lessons

For every human who can, learning to swim is a must.

The ability to swim can help in all kinds of situations, from being able to have fun at pool parties to staying safe around water. But, as most of us know, learning to swim isn’t always easy and teaching your child can be just as tough!

This is where swimming lessons come in, helping everyone get their water wings and become comfortable in the pool and the sea. But do you have to be a certain age for swimming lessons?

Find out everything you need to know in this guide.

Is There a Best Age for Swimming Lessons?

In general, it is best to learn to swim when you’re young. You’re at an age where learning is second nature and the fears that can often hold adults back are less influential. We all know that little ones are like sponges ready to soak up new skills, and swimming is one of them!

But as to the best age, that’s completely personal. Some little ones will be happy splashing in the water before they can walk (held by a parent or guardian, of course!) while others may have to wait a few years to build up confidence. It definitely isn’t a must that your toddler spends time in the water, so don’t force it upon them if they’re not ready.

In general, most children start learning how to swim from 4 and upwards. They may have lessons at school or at classes outside of school, and they should be both emotionally and physically ready to swim from this age. If they’re scared of the water, make sure you find a class that helps ease them into it, building their confidence rather than dropping it further.

Is My Child Too Young for Swimming Lessons?

Swimming is for all ages, and there isn’t really an age that’s too young! Of course, you can’t expect a baby to start learning to swim, but you can take parent-child lessons that will get them used to the water. At White Fish Wave, we offer Aqua Tots classes for children aged 6 months to 3 years which are designed to help familiarize your baby with the water (not learning to swim).

So, how do you decide if your 6-month-old baby is water ready? Not every child is going to take to water happily, so look out for indicators that they are or aren’t ready to help you decide.

If your child has been exposed to water frequently and is happy splashing around in it, that’s definitely a good sign! Any signs that your baby is scared of the water, like crying when placed in it, is an indicator that they’re not emotionally ready yet and forcing them into swimming lessons could end up doing more harm than good. If your baby seems happy and may even kick their legs or try to paddle in the water, then definitely try out a class with them!

There are tons of benefits of swimming lessons for young kids and babies, including giving them a headstart at swimming. If you get them in the water at an early age, they’re going to be more comfortable and less scared in it, and start learning techniques to stay afloat early on. It’ll also help you as a parent to do a parent-child swimming class, teaching you ways to keep your little one safe as they splash!

Swimming Lessons Age-by-Age

If you’re thinking of signing up for classes, here’s an overview of what to expect at different ages. Remember that every swimming school will be slightly different, but this is what’s recommended for little ones at each age.

Babies Under the Age of 1

It’s recommended to avoid swimming lessons for infants because there’s little evidence of any benefits. However, parent-baby classes are great! They’re a fun way to introduce your baby to water safely and spend time together in the swimming pool.

Children Aged 1-3

If your child aged between 1 and 4 is used to the water from infant classes, they may begin learning some techniques for how to swim during swimming lessons for toddlers. However, their head should never go below the water and teaching will be done slowly and safely. Again, these classes are more to get your child used to being in the water safely than teaching them how to properly swim.

Children Aged 3-5

If your little one is comfortable in the water, now is the time to start swimming lessons! Our preschool swim classes will teach your child a range of different skills, including being underwater, floating, and eventually swimming without aids, like armbands and kickboards.

Swimmers Aged 6 and Up

If your child is over 6 and can’t swim, they’ll start doing the same lessons as those in the preschool class. Once they can swim, they’ll move on to learning more advanced swimming skills like different styles of swimming (breaststroke, dolphin kicks, butterfly etc.), headfirst entry into the water, and swimming underwater.

Is It Too Late to Learn How to Swim?

It’s never too late to learn how to swim! If you have a child who can’t swim while the rest of their peers can, you can still start swimming lessons and help them get to the same level as their friends and classmates. If they’re quite old then they may want private, one-on-one lessons with an instructor rather than a group lesson with kids much younger than them.

Even adults can learn how to swim – it really never is too late! Here are some tips to help you out as you begin:

  • Start getting used to water in the shallow end
  • Buy goggles to prevent water splashing in your eyes
  • Spend a lot of time in the water
  • Get used to putting your face in the water before you start learning to swim
  • Take swimming lessons!

We offer both private and group adult swim lessons, helping people of all ages get into the water. Learn more by setting up an account with our club!

Start Making a Splash!

There’s no right or wrong age for swimming lessons. The rules are simple; if you don’t know how to swim, you can take lessons! Just be sure if you’re taking your baby in the water to do it carefully and with the proper supervision from a professional.

If you’d like to learn more about swimming lessons at White Fish Wave, get in touch with us on (406) 862 2444 or become a member at our pool today!