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If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw the many videos I was posting in my stories of Kennadi’s infant survival swim classes that she finished last month. I received SO many questions about these lessons over the course of the six weeks so I decided this post could be helpful for any moms thinking about these classes. I hope to cover everything about our experience with infant survival swim classes for you Moms in this post!
We found our local instructor through Infant Swim and this post is based off their principles and swim lessons.
Please note, I am not a medical professional and this is NOT medical advice. If you have any medical related questions regarding infant survival swim classes, please discuss with your child’s primary care provider.
What is Infant Survival Swim?
Infant Swim’s mission is “Not One More Child Drowns.” ISR classes are a one-on-one swim lesson between an ISR certified instructor and your child.
“What your child will learn depends on his or her age and developmental readiness, but in all cases, at minimum, your child will learn to roll onto his or her back to float, rest, and breathe, and to maintain this position until help arrives.”(Infant Swim, https://www.infantswim.com/lessons/isr-lessons.html)
What is the Commitment for Infant Survival Swim Classes?
I will be blunt; it is a pretty big commitment. The lessons are five days a week, for 10 mins a day, for six weeks. Thankfully, our instructor’s residence was only ten minutes from us but depending on your area, you may be driving a bit for lessons.
It was a big change in our schedule for six weeks but luckily, we had a time slot first thing in the morning which worked out well with Kennadi’s schedule. One thing we did not know ahead of time (and thankfully just worked out) was that your child cannot have milk two hours prior or food one hour prior to lessons.
For reference, Kennadi had her morning bottle at 7:15 am, ate breakfast around 8 am, and then her lesson was at 9:20 am. We never had an issue with her spitting up or throwing up but definitely something to keep in mind when you are looking to schedule ISR classes.
What is the Financial Commitment?
ISR lessons are much more costly than your standard swim lessons. But, standard swim lessons don’t teach your child how to self-rescue. We paid $105 registration fee and then $110 a week for lessons.
Is it worth it? Yes, a thousand times over. You just can’t put a price tag on a child’s safety and drowning prevention.
Funny story about the cost… We had to pay for lessons each Monday. On the first day of lessons, I paid our instructor. Well, on the second day, my husband started freaking out when we got there saying we forgot the money. I was so confused and kept asking what he meant because I had already paid her. Turns out, he thought we were paying $110 per lesson! I was laughing way too hard. Goes to show he was willing to pay even more to make sure Kennadi was water safe.
How do I find an instructor?
I would start with Infant Swim’s website! I have the link below to their instructor locator. We found a few in our area and I emailed them to inquire about their schedules for lessons.
If there isn’t anyone in your area, I recommend doing a Google search for ISR instructors in your city.
Will my infant really be able to learn how to self-rescue?
Yes! I was AMAZED by what Kennadi learned and in a matter of just a few weeks. By week two, she had already made huge strides and was close to floating on her own. The last two weeks of lessons were nerve racking. It was scary but so impressive to watch Kennadi do turns and rotations under water and then be able to get herself onto her back in her self-rescue position.
ISR lessons can be started at 6 months old. Kennadi was 8 months when we started the lessons. If your baby is 6 months – 1 year, they will learn the self-rescue of getting onto their back to float and breathe.
For infants older than one years old, they will learn the ISR swimming sequence of swim, float, swim.
One thing to be prepared for is the screaming and crying. You are not torturing your child and the screaming is completely normal. As our instructor put it, they are leaning a new skill that is tough and forces them to use their body in an unfamiliar way with a complete stranger. Don’t be alarmed by your child’s tears… know that they are okay and you can trust the instructor with them! The screaming got (a little) better as she progressed through the lessons.
Water Safety Tips
Whether you are ready to invest in ISR lessons or not, these are some other things I learned that will help make your child safer around and in the water.
- Stop using “vertical” floatation devices
- Think floaties, puddle jumpers, life vests, etc. Most parents don’t think twice about it (why would you when they have been used for decades) but these devices give children a false sense of safety in the water. These forms of flotation devices promote keeping your child in a vertical position. If they fall in the water without these, their body will enter the vertical position which is the drowning position.
- Pool fences
- Everyone who owns a pool and has children around should absolutely have a locked pool fence. It is not enough to rely solely on adult supervision.
- Pool alarms
- Same reasoning as above for the pool fence. If a child gets through a door or anywhere near the pool fence, you want to be alerted by an alarm.
I must make it very clear, these classes do not guarantee that your child will not drown. They are a preventive measure and make your child safer in the water. However, no child is ever exempt from drowning.
Clearly, I am a firm believer in investing in these infant survival swim classes for your child. You will be amazed by the skills your child learns and will not regret the time or financial commitment. I am already so excited for Kennadi’s next round of lessons in the Spring!
If you have any other questions about our experience, please comment below or connect with me on Instagram! If you have done ISR, I would love to hear about it! And don’t forget to subscribe to be notified of new blog posts.
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