Learning Breath Control

Baby Splash Program: Your baby is born with incredible aquatic skills which will be seen in many ways during Baby Splash Classes.

woman holding baby in pool and pouring water on head

We are often asked “what if my baby puts their face in the water?”. Our response is simple “we came from water, and we have the innate skills to be in water”. The good news is the earlier your baby is in the water, the better it is for these innate reflexes to be stimulated and stored for their long term benefits.

So how does breath control work? In one word – slowly. Remember when we talked about being aware of ways to prevent startling your baby while they learn to swim; the same principle applies with breath control. The reflex commonly known as the breath holding reflex, is ‘woken up’ when the sensitive area around the forehead, nose and mouth are touched or stimulated.

By using a gentle flow of water across the body, combined with ‘ready go’ your baby will be ready for the brief gentle flow of water across their face.

Always start with slow and gentle flows of water. When your baby is comfortable with the small amount of water, gradually increase the flow.

Aquatic readiness is the sign that your baby is ready and predicts that a change is about to occur. What you are looking for is fluttering eyelashes and a dropped head, just before the water flow occurs.

This conditioned behavior is the foundation for all aquatic activities. ‘Ready go’ means, “get ready for water over your face”. This may be when coming off a mat, a short swim to you, coming off the wall or simply water over the face. Their ability to learn and retain this skill is remarkable. It is important to maintain and reinforce these cues consistently from week to week for long term learning and development. The Rackley Swim Teachers will support you to understand how to read the facial and body tone signs, that your baby is relaxed and ready for short swims.