So by now you know we live in Florida and like most people we spend an abundant amount of time in or around water. I mean if you don’t believe me go back and read my post about springs in the summer(proof). After my daughter was born I knew I wanted her to learn how to swim and be safe in the water early on. My mom sent me and my brother to camp which is where we learned but growing up I knew it was not a common thing to learn. Even now I still have friends and family members who don’t know how to swim. I started looking into it when she was a few months old but we didn’t find something that worked for us while also being within our budget until she was about 6 months old. At this point I found swimming safari. It was close by, fully functioning and had an option between group or individual sessions, she went once a week for 30 minutes and we paid about $75 a month depending on how many weeks in the month. The start up fee was I believe $50 which was also the annual fee but this was paid based on the month you enrolled not just the start of the year. Great! Let’s begin!
It started off good it was skyler, the instructor, maybe 6 other kids and myself(or other family member) in the water with her. She did great! But soon we realized as we continued on a lot of other babies did not either they stopped coming or switched to a different time. This became a problem in the group setting as with beginner babies and parents started we were forced back to square one so everyone could learn and adjust. After almost a year of this my daughter seemed to be at a standstill with her skills so we decided to take a break at least until she was out of the baby class and able to move to the next class that allowed kids to move up based on their skill set. Fast forward to my almost two year old starting back up with swim again. This time I did again attempt to research other options but decided to stick with what we knew. It went slightly better. She was now in a smaller group between two and four kids a class and had to sit on the sideline and wait her turn to attempt the lessons. But again I didn’t feel like she was learning what she needed to know. Don’t get me wrong I am very thankful she learned some skills but she didn’t know safety. At one point she got so comfortable with someone being in the water to help her I now had to sit on the sidelines to keep her from jumping in when it was not her turn and stop her from taking time from the other students. (Just great) Needless to say we stopped lessons again last year when I was pregnant with my son. Sitting poolside at an inside pool on the hard concrete was not doing anything for my already aching back. She knows how to swim, grab items from the pool floor and jump in but she doesn’t know how to float on her back or come up for air or tread water. This just didn’t sit well with me. So this time around I decided to do a little more research. I talked to my husband about our plans for the boy and of coarse the girl and we both decided trying something different couldn’t hurt. I reach out to a girl group I am apart of (GirlGang-check them out on facebook) and asked if anyone knew of any places for swim lessons for babies and immediately got a response regarding ISR Swim. ISR stands for Infant Swim Rescue and a women also included in this group actually taught lessons. She immediately sent me all the information on what ISR was and how to get signed up and even options to apply for a scholarship if I needed assistance with paying for the lessons. The price and dedication seemed a little much to me at first but again I talked it over with my husband and we decided to make the commitment. With ISR swim lessons are five(5) days a week for between 10-12 minutes a lesson. That means carving out time in your day every weekday to attend lessons. Our lessons are outside so we are subject to the weather but our instructor is always accommodating and able to adjust. Repetition is key and I see this is something that has worked out great for my kids this time around. Pricing for lessons may vary so I suggest going to their website and searching your area for a licensed ISR instructor here. http://www.twosavelives.com or email Heather firstname.lastname@example.org if you are local. There is an application fee and start up fee roughly around $200 so upfront it seems like you are paying so much but in the end you get so much in return.
My son has been in her care for 5 weeks now and doing beautifully! Typically they suggest between 6-7 weeks of lessons for each child and they are evaluated before lessons start for any health concerns or adjustments that need to be made as was the case with my son. He was set to start the same week as his surgery but we pushed it back a week and updated his information for his recovery before he was able to begin. Everyday we go I am asked how he did that day, how he did the night before and when is the last time he ate. After 2 weeks I was ready to sign my daughter up as well because as I said she can swim she just can’t float. We knew when we decided to put them in swim we were going to have to cut back on others things I mean it’s an investment in itself and with us not having our own pool we were limited with the options we had.
BEST MONEY WE HAVE SPENT SO FAR!!!
My son can float on his own at almost 10 months old. He knows how to blow the water out of his nose and how to go into what is called “the starfish” and relax once he is fully submerged under the water to allow himself to float back to the top. The only thing he needs to master at this point is to roll to his back when he goes under. He does it sporadically but it seems more of a he can’t decide which side he wants to roll to in the moment. My daughter great swim, not so good on the float but two weeks in and she can atleast get into the float position now and knows not to just jump into the water until she asks if the person in the water with her is ready. The kids instructor is great, she is super sweet and calm even when I am not! My son has acid reflux and seeing and hearing him burp and puke a little the first time Oh Boy! But now he pukes a lot less and doesn’t need to be burped nearly as much as when he first started. I encourage all parents to do your research and find a program that works best for you and your child. Also while it is called infant self rescue it is for people of all ages. Basic rescue skills can save your life, can save a child’s life, there are so many childhood deaths due to accidental drowning if you can tighten your belt just a little to teach your child a life skill isn’t it worth it? Besides I’m spending half the amount of money on both of my kids to learn self rescue skills now than I did on the one kid for nearly two years learning somewhere else.
Check out our instagram @niftymamablogger_ to see for yourself. I am so happy with the results this time around and so grateful that I found another option for my kids. If you can’t find a local Infant Swim teacher in your area input your information they are always looking to grow and expand their reach. I’m sure there are other options and other ways to learn. My youngest brother and best friends son learned great skills at swimming safari but they were also pre-exposed to being in the pool. As always find what works for you and your family but mostly don’t make the easiest choice or less expensive. Take your time your invested in your kids so be sure to invest in their safety.
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