TAP Tested: Infant/Toddler Swim Lessons

Tester’s Take:

I’ve always loved the water, and Dex seemed to enjoy the pool last year (when he was just a few months old), so it seemed like a no-brainer to sign him up for swim lessons this year. I heard numerous horror stories from friends and acquaintances about near-drowning incidents (and then there was that article circulating on Facebook), so I figured the sooner I could teach him how to keep his head above water, the better. I registered my 14 month old for the 2-week session in July, assuming that the weather would be hot and humid–perfect for the pool. My friend, Karen, suggested that it might be better to attend indoor classes in case the weather turned sour, but I couldn’t imagine anything other than an occasional rainy day ruining our planned swim lessons. I was wrong.


To teach babies and toddlers how to paddle and swim to safety

Age range:

0-3 years


$18 for YMCA/JCC max members; $50 for associate members.


10:00-10:30, but class times vary depending on the YMCA/JCC.

Things to consider:

I should have listened to my friend and picked an indoor pool. The pool was not heated, and surprisingly, the July weather never went above 74 degrees for the entire two weeks. An indoor pool also would have helped contain my active son while drying off and changing. I ended up chasing his naked little behind around the pool, lugging our bags and dropping things as I tried to scoop him up.
Additional benefits: If the chilly weather had not prevented us from attending most of the lessons, then theoretically Dex would have learned how to swim back to the edge of the pool if he fell in.

What It’s Like:

Since we only came to one lesson due to the unusually chilly July weather, and as the pool was freezing cold when we did attend, we unfortunately did not learn much, other than how to blow bubbles in the water. However, Dex thinks blowing bubbles is hilarious, so that trick has helped us out, so I guess the lessons were helpful for that alone. During the lesson, the instructor encouraged the toddlers to kick, which Dex already knew how to do, but it was so cold that he refused to loosen his grip on my shoulders. Overall, I’m sure the lessons would have been wonderful, but the chilly weather and frigid pool overshadowed most benefits.

Life lesson:

If your child is under the age of 6, swim lessons inside would probably be best.

YMCA/JCC, Toledo. 419.729.8135. YMCAtoledo.org.