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Getting your little one in the water with you is such a fun experience, and such an important one! But because tots are so unpredictable, sometimes those first lessons can include a little bit of tears and uncertainty.

If you stick with it though, it will become such a fun and special experience for you and your baby! Here are some tips to survive—and thrive—parent tot lessons.

Just Keep Swimming

Your little one might cry their entire first parent tot lesson. As hard as it is, we encourage you to stay in the water and not get out of the pool. Many of our own staff members have been in parent tot lessons with their crying swimmers so we really do feel your pain! Just remember, even if they are crying, they can still be learning.

Three-Lesson Rule

Not all swimmers are the same, but with consistency many swimmers start to enjoy parent tot lessons at or around their third lesson. If your swimmer is having a hard time those first couple of lessons, we bet their tune will change pretty soon.

Bring a Helper

Changing baby and getting changed yourself after the lesson can be a bit tricky. Soon enough, you’ll get the hang of it, but it might be helpful to enlist a spouse or mother in law to help out for that very first lesson.

Come Prepared

Make sure you have both required swim diapers for the lessons as well as clothes and diapers for after lessons. A wet/dry bag and a snack are also super helpful.

Practice at Home

There are many ways you can practice with your little one at home! Some simple things include blowing bubbles, kickers, pour overs, back floats, and playing “I Spy.” Watch this video to see these skills in action!