Dive into swimming with your baby

There are plenty of swim classes for babies offered in Maryland but do you wonder if signing your baby up for a swim class is worth it?

Swim baby WWhen my oldest was a year old, we signed up for a parent/child swim class at the Severna Park Community Center. Each week we held her in the pool as she learned to blow bubbles and submerge her face underwater. Over the course of five weeks, she never quite figured out how to swim, but we felt good that she had taken her first steps toward learning.

“The earlier a child is involved in swim lessons the more comfortable and proficient he or she will be around water,” says Gary Roth, owner of Kids First Swim Centers, which teaches parent/child swim classes at more than 26 swim centers in the mid-Atlantic with several in the Annapolis area. “Swimming is a life-saving skill and when taught at an early age, this skill can be used their entire life.”

Parent/child swim classes can teach babies and toddlers water awareness and safety skills like floating on their back. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that although swimming lessons do not provide a safety guarantee around water, enrolling at an early age may lower the risk of drowning for kids younger than age 4.

Teaching babies to swim can also aid in development. According to a recent study by Griffith University in Australia, toddlers who learned to swim from a young age reached cognitive and developmental milestones earlier than average.

Brandon Sollars, of Crofton, signed both of his kids up for parent/child swim classes at just 3 months old.

“When you start them early, they still have the instinct of holding their breath,” Sollars says. “We started them young and that’s all they ever knew, so now that they are older they are fearless and very adept in the pool.”

Sollars also credits the classes with establishing dedicated time with his kids.

“From a father’s perspective, it was a great way for me to have a special activity with my child each week. To be able to have that skin-to-skin time with them at the pool — it’s priceless.”

Click next below for parent/child swim classes in Maryland.


Parent/Child Swim Classes in Central Maryland

Kids First
Locations in Bowie, Severna Park, Columbia, and Laurel
Mommy and Me class (3 months and older)
Cost: Prices vary by location (approx. $96/6 week session)
kidsfirstswimschools.com

Big Vanilla, Pasadena
Parent and Child Water Exploration (6 months-3 years)
Cost: Members, $65; Non-members, $85/8 week session
bigvanilla.com

Calvert County Parks and Recreation
Edward T. Hall Aquatic Center, Prince Frederick
Parent and Child Swim (6 months-3 years)
Cost: $52-68/6 week session
co.cal.md.us

YMCA of the Chesapeake
Easton Family YMCA
Parent and Child Swim Classes (6 months-3 years)
Cost: Member, $45; non-member, $80/8 week session
ymcachesapeake.org/easton/

Severna Park Community Center Aquatics
Waterbabies class (6 months-3 years)
Cost: $44/5 weeks
spcc-aquatics.org/home.html

By Katie Riley

Photo courtesy of Kids First Swim School.