frequently asked questions

WHAT IS EARLY LEARNING SWIM ACADEMY?

 Early  Learning Swim Academy uses the tried and true baby swimming techniques  trademarked as PediaSwim®. This baby swimming lesson approach begins  your baby or young child’s swimming education with emphasis on survival  floating and swimming independently. This all begins with the baby  survival swimming or swim-float-swim techniques you have most likely  heard about from friends, seen online or in videos, or perhaps witnessed  in person. People are often shocked when they see this for the first  time, but the fact that young babies can learn to swim at such a young  age is becoming common knowledge and the word continues to spread. Early  Learning Swim Academy is extremely proud to be a part of this movement  and currently offers baby swimming lessons in Cocoa, FL and Port Saint  John, FL.

The right start is very important to ensuring that  students learn to engage the pool or aquatic environment in a safe and  effective way.

WHAT IS PEDIASWIM?

 PediaSwim  is a comprehensive swimming program teaching infants and toddlers to  swim-float-swim for fun and safety.  In four to six weeks children learn  to swim facedown, kicking in the correct posture and then rolling to a  calm float, then flipping back over to a propulsive swim.

WHY PEDIASWIM?

There  are lots of swim programs to choose from.  PediaSwim is the only choice  for the discriminating individual who wants the best for their  children.  

PedeaSwim offers  the gentlest, most effective lessons available teaching infants and  toddlers to swim and float independently for fun and safety.

WHAT DOES EVERY INFANT LEARN?

Each  infant learns buoyancy and balance in both a face down and face up  posture. Once the child can demonstrate the swim-float-swim sequence  comfortably, they can progress on to our cutting edge system for  learning strokes. The core strength and self-discipline attained through  swim-float-swim moves fluidly into freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke  and butterfly for our two and three year olds. Our four and five year  olds become confident and poised competitors.

WHAT WILL MY CHILD LEARN IN THE FIRST FOUR TO SIX WEEKS?

Babies  six to twelve months will learn to swim and roll to a float. Floating  helps them to relax and breathe, developmentally they are not capable of  turning their heads to breathe so this is the next possible option.  Every child is different and babies will learn to swim at their own  pace. Along with floating, babies will quickly learn to kick themselves a  short distance especially towards a target (i.e. step, wall, parent,  etc)

The next progression is the baby swimming swim-float-swim  sequence. Thus, a baby will swim until they need a breath of air, roll  to their back for a short period to breathe and rest, then roll onto  their front to continue swimming and repeating the pattern until they  get to their destination.

During your baby or young child's last  week of lessons we will do a "clothes check" which will have your child  performing their swimming skills fully clothed as if they fell in the  water in a swimming accident situation.

HOW VALUABLE ARE BABY INFANT SWIMMING SURVIVAL SKILLS?

The  ability to float and breathe, regardless of the water's depth, for an  indefinite period of time. Children are naturally drawn to lakes, ponds,  rivers, canals, beaches, and pools. It only takes a second for an  accident to occur no matter how careful a parent supervises their child.

If your child falls into the water knowing how to roll onto their back face-up it can save their life!

The  skills learned in our baby swimming lesson classes have far reaching  effects on our students and their families. Our parents report that  their babies and children become more self-disciplined, independent, and  confident in their daily lives. Many studies suggest "Children in  swimming schools appear to be more advanced in terms of their  development."

WHAT IF MY BABY CRIES WHILE LEARNING TO SWIM?

 Usually  babies learning to swim will cry during their initial baby swimming  lessons or when they first get into the water. We strive to minimize  this by making the baby learning to swim comfortable keeping the water  warm at all times and by providing toys to ease their apprehension and  take their mind off of the work they know that they have to do during  their lesson. Crying is often the baby learning to swim’s first reaction  but do not be alarmed by this and know that they do not usually have  any other way of communicating with us. Most often very quickly, once  your baby learning to swim realizes that they have mastered a skill they  tend to become very comfortable in the water.

This is most  likely the first time in your baby’s life that they are being taught  something they can't "practice" throughout each day (i.e. sitting up,  walking, eating on their own, etc). Your baby’s swimming skills will be a  great addition to this list! Also as a parent on the sidelines it’s  important for you to be excited for them but to also just sit back and  watch, whether that means talking to other parents or clapping for them  when they achieve a skill, this is a time for your baby to connect with  others and know that all of their hard work is paying off and that you  are proud of them (just signing your child up is a huge step for you as  parents, so congratulations!) Please do not start your child in this  program unless you fully intend on completing it. If you end your  child's lessons early in the program one of the first things your child  will remember about the water is the lack of self-confidence in and  around water. We have worked with many children who have a fear of water  and do not want to put them in a situation that they could be pulled  out of. Please make sure you understand these details of the baby  swimming program before you register.

WHY JUST TEN TO FIFTEEN (10 TO 15) MINUTES?

Studies  have proven that ten to fifteen minutes is the average attention span  for a young child and thus a baby learning to swim. Repetition is the  key to your baby learning the swimming skills needed and they will be  swimming non-stop which means they will also tire quicker. By the end of  four to five weeks (depending on where your baby is developmentally)  they will be able to swim-float-swim fully clothed.

So it is very  important for parents to arrive with their babies learning to swim at  least 10 minutes before your scheduled time slot to get your child ready  without having to rush. This also allows you to make certain your baby  doesn’t need to be changed or use the restroom.

WHAT DO WE BRING TO BABY SWIMMING LESSONS?

Please  bring at least two towels and a change of clothes.  When your baby’s  swimming lesson is done, they will normally be a bit tired and laying on  a towel will help them to relax before getting dried off and changed.  Children that are NOT potty trained should wear a snug reusable swim  diaper, please visit Diapers.com or iPlay; you may also find some that  are built into the swim suit.

WHY ARE LESSONS FOUR DAYS A WEEK?

Just  as babies learn to crawl and walk by 1) practicing the skill,  2)  taking time off for the brain and nervous system to register the  trial-and-error information acquired, and then  3) trying again with the  appropriate adjustments, that's how your child will learn his swimming  and floating. Short but frequent lessons is the key. That's how babies  are wired to learn.

DON'T BABIES JUST NATURALLY SWIM?

Babies  might kick in the water, which in video footage looks like swimming,  but staying face down won't get the child air. He has to be taught to  roll over into a float, which does not happen instinctively.

WHY DON'T YOU JUST TEACH THE CHILD TO SWIM TO THE SIDE OF THE POOL?

For  two reasons. First, what if the child can't get to the side before  running out of air? What does he or she do then? Our children roll over,  breathe, then flip back to comfortably continue their swim. No panicked  dog-paddling. Second, by keeping the head in line with the spine rather  than popping the head out of the water to get air, we're setting the  child up with proper form for learning his swimming strokes later on.

DO YOU DO MOMMY AND ME CLASSES, SING SONGS AND PLAY GAMES?

No.  We teach the skills right away. That way your child is safe and  confident sooner. The parent will be invited to join in a lesson as  their child’s skills advance. That's not to say we don't have fun along  the way! Toys are offered as a way to make your child feel at ease  during the lessons and to give the child a break in between skill sets  being taught.

DO YOU JUST THROW THE CHILD INTO THE WATER?

No.  The child with be introduced into the water, the side of the wall, and  to the instructor in a very controlled manner in order to gain trust and  build a relationship between the child and the instructor. It’s never a  good idea to “throw a child” into the water. This can cause a child to  become fearful of the waters when they encountered this type of  experience.

WHAT MAKES YOUR PROGRAM DIFFERENT FROM OTHER SWIM SCHOOLS?

We  don't require you to sign up for a succession of programs in order for  your child to learn to swim. From week one your child will begin to  learn:

  • to swim and float, not merely turn and grab the pool's edge
  • to rise to the water's surface automatically if he or she falls in. Every time. Even fully clothed.

The  Instructor will see what your child's skills are on Day One and will  teach him what he needs from that point on. That's the beauty of having  private lessons.

HOW MUCH DO LESSONS COST?

Lessons  are $75 a week, and there is a one-time administration fee of $35. You  can expect your child to be in four-days-a-week lessons for about  six  to eight weeks.

ISN'T THAT EXPENSIVE?

NO.  Unlike many other swim lesson programs, your child is receiving private  water survival and swim training. The price you pay for lessons will  impact your child and family for the rest of their lives. Unlike a toy, a  video game or new outfit, swimming is a skill set that a child, once  they have, will have and use the rest of their life. This allows them to  fully enjoy the water as a participant rather than a bystander. The  initial investment will go a long way toward ensuring your child's  safety, as well as increasing your family's water enjoyment and fun  factor. We believe this investment in your child is worth it and are  certain that you'll agree.

WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO TO PREPARE FOR A LESSON?

1.  Each child will need two large towels--one to lie on and one for drying  and a change of clothes.  When your baby’s swimming lesson is finished,  they will normally be a bit tired and laying on a towel will help them  to relax before getting dried off and changed.

2. Please arrive  5-7 minutes before your scheduled lesson. This allows time for changing  the child and to ask any questions you might have. This also allows time  to go over the child’s physical and mental well being each day: how is  the child feeling, how they slept, are they teething, etc.

3.  Children who are not yet completely potty trained must wear a cloth  REUSABLE swim diaper in the pool. NO DISPOSABLE diaper- No exceptions.  This is a Health Dept. regulation. The purpose of the swim diaper is to  keep (in the event of a poopy accident) fecal matter contained within  the diaper so the pool water does not become contaminated. Please have a  spare swim diaper with you to prepare for such an incident. This will  ensure that your child could continue with minimal interruption to the  lesson if an incident occurs.

Swim  diapers are available for purchase on site or through our website for  $12 each. Price includes tax. If you choose to buy a swim diaper from a  store, make sure that the leg elastic is tight around your child's  thighs.

4. Your child should not have anything to eat at least two hours prior to their lesson.

DO  NOT allow whole fruit, especially with a skin (such as certain berries  like blueberries, strawberries, grapes, sometimes apples, pineapple,  tangerines, celery, hot dogs, or anything else your child may not be  able to easily digest).

Recommended:  rice, applesauce, toast, crackers, cheerios, rice dream, water. Avoid  other foods that take time to digest and all other MILK products for  several hours. Babies do not chew; they just swallow, so any food that  is in the tummy may come up with a very strong burp. Your child may eat  anything immediately after his lesson. Children swallow lots of air in  the learning process so we want to avoid spitting up in the pool.

5. A baby or child who's had diarrhea must wait 24 hours before resuming lessons.

6. Please check with your child to see if they need to use the rest room before their lesson begins.

WHAT IF MY CHILD MISSES A LESSON DO TO ILLNESS, VACATION OR WEATHER?

Consistency  regarding attendance is very important part of baby swimming lessons.  Make-up baby swimming lessons will be made available based on time slot  availability. If you know that you are going out of town for an extended  period of time please plan accordingly. If your baby is going to be out  sick you must text or call at least 3 hours prior to their lesson time  each day they are out sick, it cannot be assumed that because your child  was sick one day that they will be out for additional days.

If  you know your child will be unable to attend at their scheduled time, 3  hours notice is required and if you would like another time slot on that  day the instructor will do their best to reschedule them. If lessons  are cancelled due to weather (thunder, lightning, too cold) the  instructor will take care of contacting all parents for a makeup  time/date. Please note that rain is not a reason for cancelling or  missing a lesson, thunder and lightning are, but in Central Florida it  could be storming at your current location but perfectly fine at the  pool.

ARE THERE SPECIFIC RECOMMENDED EATING TIMES OR DIET PLANNED AROUND BABY SWIMMING LESSONS?

Yes.  A good rule of thumb is not to feed your baby within two (2) hours of  their baby swimming lesson. Many foods and milk products take several  hours to digest. Exception: breast milk may be given an hour before but  all babies learning to swim swallow air and possibly water during their  lesson so following this guidance can help alleviate any vomiting that  could occur during the baby swimming lessons. Vomiting and burping can  happen during the baby swimming lesson but controlling the times and  selection of feedings will help greatly. 

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER MY BABY COMPLETES BASIC BABY SURVIVAL SWIM TRAINING?

It  is encouraged that your baby learning to swim attend maintenance lessons  once or twice a week to retain and build upon their baby swimming  skills. This is especially important during the warmer months when your  child may be swimming/playing differently than how they learned to swim.  Having them attend maintenance swimming lessons once or twice per week  encourages them to use, maintain and strengthen their newly learned baby  swimming skills. Once your child is developed enough, they can progress  to stroke lessons.For babies learning to swim under two years old, it  is especially important that they continue to attend regular baby  swimming lessons as they will outgrow their skills much faster than an  older child might. Your baby learning to swim grows so rapidly during  the first few years and their center of gravity tends to shift which can  affect their ability to float comfortably.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

WHEN YOU ARRIVE FOR LESSONS

Prepare your child for their lesson by  making sure they use the bathroom if needed and getting them dressed for swim.
Please,  no sunscreen lotions or oils on your child before their lesson. It  makes them slippery and hard to grasp in the water. After that ten  minutes you are welcome to apply lotion.
Please keep shoes on your child when they are not in the water. The pool deck can get hot and/or slippery.
No smoking on the pool deck or in the yard.
Other children who are not swimming must be supervised by an adult at all times

Although  we do our best to stay on schedule , we may be running late or early  depending on the arrival of each student . Please note that arriving  late to a lesson will have a direct impact on your child's lesson and  may result in missing a lesson for that day. Please be courteous to the  following student by arrive a few minutes early to prepare for your  child's  lesson. 

Don't hesitate to contact us with any additional questions and/or to discuss scheduling your children's lessons.

DURING THE LESSON:

Lessons  are conducted one-on-one with the instructor, with the parent observing  from the pool deck. Comfortable furniture is provided. For one lesson  you'll be invited to join us in the pool. You'll be asked a day or two  in advance, for that lesson.

When observing from the pool deck,  parents and guests are asked to stay in the furniture area rather than  hovering at the pool's edge. This minimizes distractions, and assists  with your child's concentration.

Both during the lesson and at  your time away from Early Learning Swim Academy with your child, it's  important that you exhibit a positive attitude toward the swim lesson  and learning process. I cannot stress this enough. Telling the child  "it'll be over soon" and similar statements don't encourage his  progress, and can in fact do quite the opposite. We don't want to add to  any anxiety he or she may be feeling. Instead, phrases such as "you did  so good today getting Miss Kim's hand!" and "I am so proud of you! I  can't wait for Grandma to come watch you swim!" or "We're going to call  Daddy, to tell him how awesome your float was today!" encourage them  that they CAN achieve the skills, so that they WANT to do that for you  and for everyone involved.

THINGS TO REMEMBER:

Your  child is learning to survive in the water and eventually how to  efficiently swim. This is unlike many other “water familiarity swim  lessons”. Your child will be working hard throughout their lesson and  will be tired once they're finished.

Your child will spend a good amount of time with their faces in the water.

Your child might/will burp throughout the lesson, food and water might come up along with the swallowed air

Your  child will cry, because until now the Pool = Fun, and now Pool = Work.  They are also in a new environment learning new things with a new person  all while being within sight of mom or dad. Remember crying is one of a  child's only forms of communication at an early age. As your child  gains more confidence and independence in the water, crying during  lessons will slow down. Most children seem to cry more when they are  made to float, as this can be a very awkward feeling at first. Some  children also cry more when parents are in the child’s vision so we can  tailor the lessons to make it most comfortable for you and your child.  The child may also cry when on the way to lessons, this is also quite  normal and comes with the apprehension that comes with learning  something new and working hard to achieve beneficial results.

A child never becomes "drown proof." ALWAYS supervise your child around the water.