I was a lifeguard for years before I was a parent. As soon as I had Moochi, I knew I wanted to teach him to swim as soon as possible. It sounds cliche, but as when you have something that you cannot imagine living without, you will do anything to protect it. I simply cannot imagine my life without Moochi, so I do everything I can to ensure that he is safe.
When I heard about ISR lessons, I was skeptical… is it really possible to teach a 1-year-old how to swim? They can’t talk… most can’t walk very well. I watched some videos online, it looked too good to be true. ISR’s mission is “not one more child drowns.” They basic ISR technique teaches a baby to alternate floating and swimming until he or she reaches safety. During the swimming portion, your baby will hold their breath, the floating portion is when baby rests and catches their breath.
I was on board with the mission and wanted to believe that my 1-year-old could learn to swim, so I decided to give it a shot. I looked for a teacher on the ISR website (https://www.infantswim.com/) and found a woman in Carmel, Indiana who teaches the lessons in her private pool. The sign up had a 6 month wait. We started our lessons when Moochi was just over 13 months old.
The first few lessons are hard to watch. Moochi was inconsolable. Moml was with me and hissed at me (loud enough that the instructor could hear), “this is baby torture, he can’t catch his breath.” After about 5 days of torture, something happened… he calmed down and started to make progress. We are now three weeks in. Guess what, Moochi can swim! The videos are real, the techniques totally work. I’ve inserted a couple of videos of Moochi swimming below. The lessons are absolutely amazing. I highly recommend that anyone with a baby or a small child who cannot swim consider enrolling their child.
What to expect:
1.) The lessons are 5 days a week, for 10 minutes. Our instructor sets a timer. It’s difficult to arrange my schedule to make this work every day, but I keep telling myself that it’s only for 6 weeks and that its for Moochi’s safety.
2.) Most instructors charge $75.00 per week. I was told that the average child takes 6 weeks to complete the lessons… some take more or less.
3.) Our instructor allows us to miss lessons on occasion as long as we prearrange our absences and does not charge us for these missed lessons…. some instructors may have a different policy.
4.) Bring LOTS of towels. Your child will be very tired after his or her lesson. You’ll want to lay him or her on the towels for a few minutes immediately after the lessons until she or he catches their breath.
5.) Your instructor may invite you to get in the pool with your child during the lesson… ours does. Moml even gets in with Moochi.
6.) Your first few lessons may be very difficult to watch. Your child may scream the entire time. The instructor will continue the lesson and dunk them under the water anyway. It gets better and will be worth it, I promise.
7.) My swim instructor prefers the reusable swim diapers. She says they are actually more effective at keeping solids in the diaper if Moochi happens to poop while he is in the pool. Moochi tested her theory the other day… the reusable swim diapers work.
For anyone in the Indianapolis area, our instructor is Yiwen Fung. Her website is Indyinfantswim.com. She is incredible and extremely dedicated to the program. She is very patient and has an incredible knack for dealing with screaming kicking babies with grace and understanding. I highly recommend her and the program.