You shouldn't have to wait to enjoy the pool until your child gets a little older. Whether your baby is terrified of water or is overly eager, a baby swim class can help ease water fears, teach safety and even drowning prevention techniques. Most baby swim programs start at 6 months of age and require a parent to fully participate. If you are looking for a baby swim program in New Jersey, a few notable private and public programs offer classes at multiple locations throughout the state.
New Jersey Swim Schools
New Jersey Swim Schools (njswim.com) provides parent and child swim lessons for babies between the ages of 6 and 30 months in its Parent Tot program. For infants between the ages of 6 months and 15 months, the little swimmers -- with the help of a parent -- are introduced to the water slowly, through assisted floating, learning balance and buoyance. Babies between 16 months and 30 months learn breath control. The program starts weaning children off of parental assistance to prepare for more structure lessons with an instructor. New Jersey Swim School has three locations: Warren, Florham Park and Sparta.
Many of the YMCA's (ymca.net) throughout New Jersey offer parent and baby swim classes for children from 6 months to 3 years of age. For 6- to 18-month-olds, the Shrimp & Kipper class help kids get acquainted in the water with the help of a parent. Music and games where the babies get to splash, clap and kick their feet in the water help ease any fears about being in the water. All infants must wear rubber swim diapers for this program as well. The Inia & Perch class for 1 1/2- to 3-year-olds introduces children to basic swimming skills with mom or dad still there for support. Check with your YMCA for an aquatics schedule.
Take Me to the Water Swim Schools
Take Me to The Water Swim Schools (takemetothewater.com) offers a variety of swim classes for children, including Baby & Me classes for babies 6 months to 2 1/2 years of age. These 30-minute classes help babies and toddlers, with a parent's guidance, to get acclimated to the water, learn breath control, and arm and leg movements. Music, games, floating mats and water toys are also a part of the class. Take Me to The Water has four locations in New Jersey: Teaneck, Englewood, Park Ridge and Fort Lee.
Infant Swimming Resource
Infant Swimming Resource (infantswim.com) is a national program focused on teaching infant swimming survival to prevent accidental drownings. Certified instructors around the country teach ISR self-rescue classes. All classes are one-on-one and instructors teach infants as young as 6 months of age how to roll over onto their backs in the water to float, and how to maintain that position for rescue. Babies 12 months of age and older are taught to swim, stop to breathe, and then continue swimming to reach safety. For safety purposes with infants, classes are only 10 minutes a day, five days a week for four to six weeks. Children are taught first in swim suits, and then regular clothing since most children are fully clothed when accidents occur. Several ISR instructors are available throughout New Jersey. The ISR website provides the most up-to-date listing of certified instructors.