As your baby grows more confident in the water, adding a few games to baby swimming will help encourage her to be a bit braver and try new things. Repetition, smiles, hugs and praise will help her explore and enjoy new activities.
Here are our favourite games for boosting baby's water confidence:
An important hurdle to overcome in the water is getting your baby used to having a wet face and putting her head below the surface of the water, as both of these are unavoidable when learning how to swim independently.
Start by blowing bubbles together! While holding your baby under her arms, put your mouth just below the surface of the water and blow some bubbles. Do it a few times before encouraging her to give it a try. Once she’s happy to put her mouth in the water, you can move on to more adventurous games.
1, 2, 3
Get your baby used to dunking her head under water. Hold her under her arms and put your face close to hers while keeping eye contact and giving her a big smile. Bounce her in the water as you say 'one… two…' and when you get to 'three' quickly dip her head under the water and bring her back up, giving her lots of praise.
Hold baby under her arms, or hold her hands if she's wearing armbands or a floatation vest, and bob her round in a circle while you sing 'Ring-o-roses'. When you get to the line 'we all fall down' try dipping her a little lower in the water or even dip her head under the water if she's not wearing a floatation aid.
Sit your little one on the side of the pool and gently bounce her to the tune of 'Humpty dumpty'. When you reach the end of the rhyme, lift your baby off the side and dip her into the water with a splash!
More activities to try
Zoom your baby round the pool like a race car, float her on her back while you support her head and bottom, encourage her to kick her legs and splash her hands – all these new activities will teach her skills that prepare her for proper swimming in the long-term.