Water Wobbles. There is a really frustrating and persistent period when your child goes from enjoying the water to refusing to do anything in it. Laughter turns to crying and your baby will develop a grip tight enough that you may struggle to breath.
It’s believed that the water wobbles is associated with your child’s development milestones. As they learn to move and communicate, you might find that they struggle with the balance of being independent out of the pool but reliant on you in it.
You will get through it, it is definitely a phase and they will come out stronger for it. They will do this in their own time, perserverence and consitancy is key, here are some ideas for supporting them and you through this time!
It is not fun that your baby has clung to you for a whole 6 weeks and it can also feel embarrassing when nothing works and you’ve spent all that money on swimming lessons. Regardless the best thing to do is definitely to relax and remain calm, remember you will get through this and they will enjoy the water again and even better!
Laugh and have fun
When things aren’t going well the time has come to up the anty on the fun factor! make the jumps larger, throwing them around as much as they want to and make them laugh. Do everything you would do at home, blow rasperries on their tummy and neck, pull those funny faces and laugh your way your lessons and time in the water. If they have older siblings get them in the water too and enjoy as a family. It’s the best way to get through this!
Don’t push them too hard too fast
As a swimming teacher it can be tempting to get over enthusiastic about getting them back into the water especially if they used to love going underwater previously. It is definitely the best thing to take your time with progression, let them go at their own pace and choose when they are ready to push forward. If you go too quickly then you can make bad associations and make things worse, listen to them as you go!
Go swimming as a family
Take the time to go swimming together at the weekend or whenever you can, without doubt the best thing for any child is to go swimming with the family. Don’t do everything you would do in the class let them play on the steps, with their favourite toys and generally do their own thing in the water. Remember it’s not just about lessons but about your future as a family enjoying how much fun the water is that is key to moving through this stage.
Do not give up!
Never give up, lots of parents do but the best advice I can give you is talk to your teacher who will advise you if they think it’s a good idea to take some time out. Sometimes it can be a good thing but often you just need to get through a few weeks and they will come out enjoying the classes and your water experience again.
Please do let us know if you have any questions, but they are my top five bits of advice for getting through the water wobbles! Feel free to comment below!