Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Teaching Babies to Swim and Other Summer Things

::It was a really festive weekend: My birthday, our Anniversary, and then a holiday on Monday to boot!  I don't remember the last time my birthday was on Memorial Day weekend.  It felt like the best present!  Both Ben and my Dad gave me a beautiful bouquet of flowers, which means I have rotating vases through the house.
::The key to a hot and muggy Virginia summer is staying wet, and I think that these babies have caught right on!  Some of you might remember that last summer we started working on making the babies really comfortable going under water.  

Basically, it goes something like this: when your baby is about three or four months old, you can start working with them in the bath.  Take a cup of water bath water, say a key word (ours is "Dive in!"), and pour the water over their face.  It sounds kind of crazy, but believe it or not, our babies didn't cry a single time.  Babies have a natural reflex to "turn off" their breathing when they go under water (after all, they were in water the whole time they were developing in the womb), so it's really less about teaching them something new than about helping them remember their natural instincts.  Do this every day for a week, and then you're ready to move to the pool.  

Now, just get in the pool together, hold them up in front of you, and say your key word ("Dive in!") before dunking them under water, just for a second or two at first.  In all likelihood, your baby will look a little surprised and confused, but will remain quite content (and will not inhale water). Continue doing these little dunks every now and then (maybe just two or three in a day).  As they become comfortable with this over the coming weeks, you can put them in for more and more time, ultimately even letting go of them under water.  This is when they can start to experiment with swimming towards you.  Skeptical?  Check this out!

After a long break this winter, we were curious to see if the babies "remembered" their diving instinct again this summer, and with the pool opening up, we've had the chance to observe.  Dorothy (pictured above holding the hose) is obsessed with going under water, you guys!  Immediately after you dunk her, she says "Again!" grins, and starts trying to dive under.  Clara tolerates it, but is sort of meh, whatever about the whole thing.  We'll see what developments this summer may bring!  Obviously, we are going to need to take some videos of our little swimmers in training!

(And if you try this at home, I would say the key is to make sure your baby is happy throughout.  If you have a baby who is sensitive to any of this, just hold off and try again later!)

:: All of a sudden, the babies are (not quite) 18 months going on 18 years and request to sit in a regular chair, eating all of their meals with utensils.  This is really amusing to me, but I would say that slightly more food ends up in their tummies than on the table, which makes it mommy approved!

::What's Memorial Day without a little time working in the yard, and a fire in the outdoor fireplace?  Hugo and I were determined to offer a helping hand together, although I did not plan on putting down my coffee (which I was sipping on, thankyouverymuch), and Hugo couldn't quite hold up his end of the wheelbarrow.  That's okay, we got it done eventually.  Our deck, front step, and bathrooms are all draped with drying pool towels and bathing suits, Hugo is at a little summer camp as I write, and if you stand outside for more than five minutes, you will break a sweat (and the gnats will find you).  I dare say summer is here!  I just love it!

On the days that I am out and about with kids, I tend to be a little bit more reliable snapping and posting pictures on my phone-- find us over here for more of the day to day!

1 comment:

Margo said...

okay! I will try the baby/underwater thing! We tell our kids they must like the pool and the beach to be in this family :) Phoebe will be 3 months in August - we'll give it a whirl.

Love your yardwork with coffee. yesterday evening I tried pulling weeds while holding the baby.