How To Teach Your Toddler to Love the Water With 5 Simple Steps

This post was sponsored by SwimWays as part of an Ambassador Program for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

Teaching my toddler to love the water and to not be scared of learning to swim was something that I really tried to instill in my daughter last summer when we were on vacation on the east coast. But when we got back to Alaska, we stopped going to the pool and Madison forgot everything I taught her.

This Spring we started going to Toddler Time at the pool on base and Madison HATED it at first. I’m talking crying and screaming “I want to go home” the second we walked out of the locker rooms. My husband and I both grew up living close to the water, so it was important to us to make sure Madison wasn’t afraid of the pool. Since my husband is in the Coast Guard, we’ll live near some form of water as long as he is Active Duty. So we really wanted to make sure Madison wasn’t scared of the pool and grew to love it.

How to Teach Your Toddler to Love the Water With 5 Simple Steps

May 19th is National Learn to Swim Day, and the perfect inspiration to learn more about teaching your child to swim. National Swim Day was started in 2012 by SwimWays and caters to educating parents about water safety and the benefits of teaching their children to swim at an early age.

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So what do you do when your toddler hates the water?

How to Teach Your Toddler to Love the Water With 5 Simple Steps

Keep Trying

Consistency (and persistence) is key! Don’t give up on the pool after taking your toddler once. Continue to take them until they begin to warm up. Make sure you comfort them and that they know you’re there to support them. The first two times we took Madison to the pool this Spring she hated it. She cried the ENTIRE time we were in the pool. But the third time was the charm and she LOVED it!

 

Ease Them Into It

Let your little ones sit on the steps or walk through the shallow end to get accustomed to the water. Hold their hand and let them know you’re right there with them.

How to Teach Your Toddler to Love the Water With 5 Simple Steps

Use SwimWays Spring Floats

The SwimWays Baby Spring Float Sun Canopy is an excellent way to help your baby or toddler feel secure while in the water. The SwimWays Baby Spring Float Sun Canopy is for babies/toddlers 9 -24 months and is the #1 selling baby float in the United States. I love using this float with Madison because not only is it fun for her, but it offers the safety features that I love! The SwimWays Baby Spring Float offers an inner and outer ring for added stability. The seating is a soft mesh that adds durability and comfort for your little one. Madison loved being in her SwimWays Baby Spring Float Sun Canopy and kicking her legs! The longer she was in this float, the larger her confidence grew.

How to Teach Your Toddler to Love the Water With 5 Simple Steps

Sun protection is very important and I love that SwimWays offers a removable and adjustable canopy on this float with SPF 50. When we’re visiting Florida, this is really needed! While Madison always wears sunscreen, the canopy adds extra protection to keep the sun out of her eyes and harmful rays from burning her sensitive skin.

SwimWays had parents in mind when they created the mesh play space on this float! It’s big enough to hold a few toys or for your little one to splash in the water. Madison just wanted to splash! Her favorite was splashing my husband and I!

You can purchase a SwimWays Baby Spring Float Sun Canopy or the SwimWays Baby Spring Float Activity Center from your local Target.

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Dress Accordingly

This one may apply more to me since I live in Alaska, but sometimes the water is just cold! And nobody likes cold water! If you think the water is chilly or your little one is swimming indoors like my little Alaska baby does, you may want to dress them in a long sleeve rash guard or something similar to keep them warm.

How to Teach Your Toddler to Love the Water With 5 Simple Steps

Make Swimming Fun

Keeping your baby/toddler distracted with fun games and toys can help ease their fears and escalate their love for swimming! When Madison learned she could splash Mommy and Daddy, throw toys in the water or kick around in her SwimWays float, her fears subsided and were replaced with joy.

The most important thing to remember here is to have fun! Be patient, consistent and know that this is a learning experience.

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  1. Lauren | 23rd May 18

    I’m storing this post away for next year!! My little one is about to turn six months, so while we will introduce him to the water this summer, I want to make sure he gets used to being around it and learns how to swim for the future!!

    • Brittany | 24th May 18

      That’s how I was. I hope he loves it!

  2. Vox | 23rd May 18

    Unfortunately, we didn’t start my kids in the water that early. However, we did have them take swimming lessons when they were in elementary school, so that they would not be scared of it. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Autumn | 23rd May 18

    That pink float is absolutely adorable!! Love these tips as well, especially with summer right around the corner

    • Brittany | 24th May 18

      Thanks!

  4. K. Elizabeth | 23rd May 18

    I’m enrolling my daughter in swimming lessons to help her get more comfortable with being in the water. While she loves water, she’s not a fan of actually getting in it.

    • Brittany | 24th May 18

      I WISH they had swim lessons for toddlers here! I hope they go well for your daughter 🙂

  5. Kate Andrews | 23rd May 18

    I want that pink thing. Do they make them in my size? I used to love the water but not so much now. I think someone needs to use these tricks on me!

    • Brittany | 24th May 18

      Haha!! My daughter loves it!

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