2.5 - 3 short distances. He swims widths now and is working on improving his stroke technique (this is quite tricky because he doesn't completely understand the directions the teacher gives!). He just really enjoys it and I'm happy enough with that.
Daniel has been having lessons on and off since he was 2years old. He can swim a little on his own but he really struggles with confidence. At the moment i'm keeping up the lessons as i really want him to swim well - we live right near the beach and spend a lot of time there in the summer so i thinks its really important.
In a former life (before career and mummyhood), I used to be a swimming teacher and lifeguard. One of the worst things you can do if you are trying to get a child to swim is to introduce armbands. I hate the things.
Nothing can beat being in the water with your child on a regular basis and they will easily pick it up on their own timetable. As with anything, all kids are different but the main things to get them comfortable with are splashes/water on the face and being able to let go of you and know that you are there to grab them if necessary but far enough away to let them try safely.
Make it fun and do it often, they will be swimming in no time
EDIT: Just looked at the age of your LO - congrats BTW - Mum and Tots sessions are great and used to be my favourite lessons to teach. If they are used to the water from a very early age it comes much more naturally.
I've been taking Madeleine since she was six months old. She could swim very short distances without floats at age two, at age three she could swim a width, and now age 5 she can swim a length on her front and back.
She has a natural talent for it though. A six months old most babies come up crying if they're put under water but she always came up grinning. She's such a water baby, we went to Majorca last summer and she spent so much time in the pool, mostly under the water pretending to be a mermaid or a dolphin!
My son has always hated it though, even as a baby so I stopped taking him. He's scared to go in the water at all. I don't push it, he'll no doubt find something else to be good at that he enjoys. In Majorca he spent the whole time just walking round and round the pool splashing in the puddles, he refused to go in at all!
My DD started swimming independently shortly after turning 5 years old and within about 3 weeks of learning that independence was happy to go down a super tube/water slide all by herself with no flotation devices. Her confidence is growing rapidly. We have a pool at home, but she has not had formal swimming lessons.
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