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All babies are born with the natural ability to swim, but we lose that ability pretty quickly. It is an essential life skill to teach your toddler how to swim to prevent a higher risk of accidental drowning. The recommended age for babies to start swimming has recently reduced from 4 years old to 1 because of accidental drowning cases.

Depending on how early you get your toddler into the water, the activity can severely help your baby’s motor skills, coordination, and the neurons on your child’s brain. When you have a highly active baby, a good swim can help them release any pent-up energy, or swimming can give them an outlet for their energy. If you have been wondering if your tiny tot is ready to begin swimming—here are four surefire signs you should sign up for swimming classes for toddlers!

Following Instructions

Is your toddler a rule follower or a rule bender? How does your three-year-old respond to instruction? By this age, your child should be able to listen to instructions such as “drop that toy,” “come to mommy,” or “bath time!” and comprehend their meaning. These are considered one-part instructions. However, they will begin to understand more complex instructions within the next year before starting primary school.

If you find that your toddler is well-receptive to instruction and attentive, they will do great in swimming lessons! Maybe they aren’t so great with the following instruction, but if that’s the case, you can sign them up for private instructions until they are ready to join the group. When your toddler follows the instruction, remember to encourage and celebrate this. If they don’t follow instructions well, you must gently reprimand them.

Comfort With Water

Do you have a regular fish out of the water on your hands? Or maybe your little one has a natural fear of the water? Whether it is the pool, the beach, bathtime, or a lakeside camping trip, there are many ways to begin exposing your toddler to the water. They might naturally begin to splash, kick and paddle their feet when you float them in the water, which is a good sign that they are ready to learn how to swim.

Motor Readiness

Your toddler is a little sponge who is often ready for things much faster than you. Do you have a little one who loves to blow bubbles? Maybe they enjoy shoving their face into the water at bathtime? If you find your baby naturally floating as you glide them through the water, the motor skills for swimming are already in place!

An introductory, beginning swim class for toddlers will teach your tot how to float and doggie paddle under your guidance. However, if your baby is kicking and screaming as soon as they touch the water, you will want to wait to expose them more to the element before they are swimming ready. Make sure to show them how they are safe in your arms as soon as they hit the water.


A toddler swimming class is a lovely way to bond with your little one, as a parent is required to be present with their tot. The classes usually begin with about five to six other toddlers learning to swim. As they move up in levels, your little one will learn to interact with the other swimmers along with the CPR-trained staff. You want to socialize your baby as soon as possible to lay the groundwork for the future. However, if your baby is already used to the stimuli of social interaction, they’ll be ready for swim classes!

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Digital Product Creator at Kori at Home
Kori is a late diagnosed autistic/ADHD mom. She is currently located in Albany, NY where she is raising a neurodiverse family. Her older daughter is non-speaking autistic (and also has ADHD and Anxiety) and her youngest daughter is HSP/Gifted. A blogger, podcaster, writer, product creator, and coach; Kori shares autism family life- the highs, lows, messy, and real. Kori brings her own life experiences as an autistic woman combined with her adventures in momming to bring you the day-to-day of her life at home. Kori is on a mission to empower moms of autistic children to make informed parenting decisions with confidence and conviction.

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