Dangerous Children Often Learn to Swim Before Learning to Crawl

Dangerous Children are trained to feel at home in the water, on solid ground, high in the air, and in other environments that would frighten most “ordinary” children — who naturally pick up the fears of their parents.

Infants Take to the Water Naturally, if Taught https://www.infantswim.com/
Infants Take to the Water Naturally, if Taught

The image above illustrates infant swimming and infant self-rescue.

… “self-rescue,” [is when] babies are taught to hold their breath underwater, kick their feet, turn over to float on their backs and rest until help arrives. The technique … was pioneered in the late ’60s by Harvey Barnett, who at 18 became determined to teach infants to swim after the drowning of a neighbor’s child. His methods have spread around the world — taught in clinics and imitated widely. “It gives the baby the best possible chance,” he says. Julie Bosman

Residential swimming pools in the U.S.: 10.4 million

Accidental, nonboating drownings of children 14 or younger in the U.S. every day: 2

Babies who have been taught ‘self-rescue’ technique through Barnett’s infant-swimming program: Almost 300,000 __ NYT

There are plenty of techniques and schools for teaching infants to swim. Before the age of 6 months, children possess a “diving reflex,” which causes them to hold their breaths automatically, when submerged. More

Here is one mom’s experience of using the Doman method for teaching her baby to swim.

Basic Safety Rules:

1. Always, always, always supervise your baby. It doesn’t matter how good of a swimmer they are – they need adult supervision at all times. Do not become complacent thinking that your baby can save themselves if they fell in. Ever. You need to have the same (or more) vigilance as if they had never seen a pool a day in their life. Drowning is a leading cause of death in young children and 85% of these deaths were completely preventable with proper supervision.

2. Strongly emphasize from day one that baby may never, never enter the pool without you first giving the signal and being right there. Be consistent and they will learn.

3. Be joyous in your teaching! Your baby will pick up on your attitude. Always be enthusiastic, happy, and full of laughter and excitement, even if your baby might be timid. Babies will feed off of your composure.

4. Watch your baby carefully for distress, and never push him beyond slight discomfort. The key is to be gradual and patient. If he does not like something, do the exercise for just a split second and then praise him profusely. Hug him, kiss him, tell him how wonderful he is, and celebrate his accomplishment. Perhaps repeat one more time, then go onto something else. A little bit every day leads to substantial progress over time.

5. If your baby does not enjoy the water at all, do not try and do these exercises until he is comfortable in water. Start small, just by getting him used to walking around in the water while you hold him. Encourage him to splash, watch you get your face wet or blow bubbles, or play with toys. Once he is comfortable, gradually build in more exercises into your routine. The bathtub is also a great place to introduce splashing, bubble blowing, floating on back, and getting their faces a little wet while you rinse them off.

6. Try to swim at least three days a week to achieve the best result. Swimming every day is ideal!

As some encouragement for you, here is a video of my baby I took two days ago of him swimming underwater. If it makes anybody feel better, just a few weeks ago he hated putting his face in the water and would often swallow water whenever I put him under! Now he swims with great joy and even since this video, he has progressed! He now kicks his little feet and swims farther and longer underwater, and he also no longer nose dives to the bottom of the pool but stays relatively near the surface! __ DomanMom

Amazing baby swim videos:

The idea is not to make children so fearless that they will take ridiculous chances. The idea is instead to build a child’s confidence through accomplishment and guided challenge.

Dangerous Children are not meant to spend their lives sitting at a desk like a wage slave, or lounging on a sofa like a couch potato. They are meant to move through water, over land, into the sky, and beyond.

To that end, they should be packed along with parents when backpacking, sailing, skiing, and other outdoor activities. They should learn bungee jumping and bouncing at an early age (with professional assistance), as well as zip lines (video).

Pregnant mothers are encouraged to stay active, while observing safe limits — no high dives off Acapulco, no fast downhill skiing on ice, no frozen waterfall climbing free solo, etc. Dancing, swimming, brisk walking, and low impact aerobics are fine. Babies like to move — even before birth.

Babies can hear spoken language and music while in the womb. They learn to adapt to a mother’s style of movement and voice tones before birth. An active mother is more apt to birth an active child, via both nature and nurture.

Dangerous Child training is all about giving the child an early start, then building up from there — with everything geared toward the child’s aptitudes and personality type. For the early years, playfulness is key, along with love, honesty, and close watchfulness.

Early years foundational training provides a solid base of competence and confidence on which to build. Playful movement, music, language, and art are accessible to babies and extremely potent for brain-building and brain-body coordination.