How to Prepare Your Baby for Swim Lessons 0 to 8 Months

This introduction to baby swimming lessons occurs in the bathtub. Includes extra pool skills for the 4+ month-old baby.
Free tutorial
Rating: 4.9 out of 5 (23 ratings)
1,688 students
32min of on-demand video
English [Auto]

You will learn how to condition your baby to hold their breath.
How to encourage independence.
Get your baby comfortable with floating on their back.
Extra lectures included for the 4+ month-old baby to practice in the swimming pool.
Swimming pool skills include types of holds, kicking and how to stimulate your baby's senses.


  • There are no requirements necessary to enroll.


I'm going to show you how to introduce your baby to the water with my gentle teaching approach. This proven method is the best way to develop a love of the water in your baby. With early exposure to water, your baby will never develop a fear; instead, they will learn to love and respect it.

You can start teaching your baby from the day they are born. A child who respects the water understands the dangers that lie within. With this knowledge, they're less likely to put themselves in danger. Instill this crucial message in your child today.

I understand, however, if you feel a little nervous. Not to worry, your confidence will grow as you see how easy it is to learn this gentle teaching method.

Several years before I became a swim instructor, and I was a new mother, I felt a little nervous being around water with my baby. But then my husband, Ross, quickly turned that around for me when we gave our son one of his first baths. At one point, Ross poured the water over our son's head, and I was taken aback by the dumping of the water over his head and down his face, covering his eyes, nose, and mouth for what seemed like an eternity, but probably lasted two seconds, to be honest.

Ross said, "don't worry, it doesn't hurt him."

He seemed very confident in his statement, and I trusted him. I was right to trust him. Our son never developed a fear of water on the face. So, learning how to swim was second nature to him.

Everything you teach your baby from this course takes place in the bathtub except for some extra swimming pool skills for the 4+ month-old baby. You will learn how to condition your baby to hold their breath, prepare them for back floating, and encourage independence. If you do this for your baby, they will never develop a fear of water on the face, and swimming lessons will be a breeze.

I originally introduced this course to the public when I launched my Online Swim Academy in June 2020. Here are some reviews from actual students who have taken the course.

"Keeping it simple & teaching the basics. Conditioning a baby is so important to having fuss free and fun lessons; Tessa's class consists of basic steps with very easy to follow instructions :)" - Aly T

"Wonderful!! Thank you Tessa, for sharing your knowledge and kind spirit. I love that you can start to teach babies to swim at home in the bathtub. These are excellent tips to get started! Thanks again." - Clive R

"Enjoying the course! It's very helpful." - Megan L

"Great tips! The free course had some very helpful tips to try together." Jennifer L

Why Early Exposure to Water is Important for Your Baby

  1. It's easier to introduce a baby to water than an older child

    It's easy to teach babies to develop love and respect for water. And that's just it. It's about love and respect, not fear. Babies must be exposed to water from the day they enter this world. It's much easier to introduce an infant to the water than an older child. Babies don't know to fear anything yet and especially not water. In the first nine months of their lives, they were immersed in liquid, and it is for this reason that you must continue to expose them to it since they're already used to it.

  2. With early exposure, your child will never develop a fear of water

    As I mentioned earlier, due to early exposure, my son never developed a fear of water on the face, so learning how to swim was second nature to him. Not only will early exposure prevent a fear of water, but it also teaches respect for the water. Babies and children learn through exploration, and when you allow your child to explore, while strictly supervising, they realize their boundaries and limitations and thereby gain an understanding of the dangers that water possesses, thus respect for the water.

  3. Without early exposure, your child will likely need to overcome their water anxiety before learning to swim

    Most of my new students, between the ages of two and even as old as nine years, spend several to many lessons with me just getting comfortable holding their breath and putting their faces in the water. These kids didn't have early exposure to water and were possibly even told to fear it or their parents unwittingly passed on their fears.

  4. Swimming lessons make your baby smarter

    • Babies learn through their senses, and swimming lessons provide a multitude of opportunities for sensory play. This sensory stimulation supports healthy brain growth and development. It causes synapse formation and the strengthening of existing synaptic connections. On the other hand, the child who receives less sensory stimuli receives reduced synapse formation, and therefore fewer connections are made in the brain.

    • Also, the bonding in a parent/child swim program increases cognitive and social development.

By the end of this introductory course, you will feel your confidence grow when handling your baby around water and understand the benefits of early water exposure. I will walk you through the entire process step by step.

Who this course is for:

  • I designed this course for the parent who wants their baby to develop a love and respect for water or the swim instructor who wishes to expand on their current skills.


Swim School Owner and Instructor
Tessa Rhodes
  • 4.9 Instructor Rating
  • 23 Reviews
  • 1,688 Students
  • 2 Courses

Tessa helps children of all ages to develop a love of the water. She teaches to respect it, not fear it.

Several years before Tessa became a swim instructor, she was the mother of a newborn and didn't have the body of knowledge that she has today in the matter of handling a baby around water.

For this reason, she understands that most parents feel a little nervous about introducing their baby to the water. But not to worry, because Tessa will walk you through the entire process step by step. You will feel your confidence grow and understand the benefits of early water exposure.

Tessa started her career working with children in 2005. Before she became a certified American Red Cross WSI (water safety instructor), she was a drama and gymnastics coach. Of the three, swimming is by far and away, her favorite to teach, and it happens to be the most rewarding. As she sees the progress her students make, she can't help but love what she does.

In addition to opening her swim school, Desert Aquaventures, in 2013 from her home in the Palm Springs area, in California, she also launched the Online Swim Academy in June 2020. Today, she is fortunate enough to have a thriving business with a full roster and a waitlist.

Tessa also belongs to an ongoing professional development academy that allows her to continue to enhance her skills and pass on her knowledge to her students who are benefiting greatly and becoming very confident in the water.

She has been featured as a successful small business owner in such online publications as Voyage LA, and Shoutout LA for her prominent swim school touted as being one of the best in the Coachella Valley in Southern California.

More recently, her article entitled 10 Reasons Why Baby Swimming Lessons Are Important was highlighted in Light The Minds, a global multi-topic website, who's mission is to educate people to solve their problems and spread knowledge.

When she's not teaching swimming, she loves to stay in shape by, you guessed it, swimming. She also enjoys yoga, jazz dance classes, strength training, hiking, and spending time with her family when there isn't a global pandemic preventing them from getting together.

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