Author: Douglas Doman
Paperback: 120 pages (over 160 photographs)
Publisher: Square One Publishers
Teaching an infant or toddler to swim is not only a matter of safety, it’s also a great way to stimulate the child’s physical coordination, concentration, and intelligence. That’s right. By teaching your baby the proper swimming techniques, you can actually enhance his or her learning ability, while also making your child happier, healthier, and more self-confident. Based on the revolutionary learning principles developed at The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential, How To Teach Your Baby To Swim is a clear and easy-to-follow guide to teaching your child swimming basics.
With over 160 illustrative photographs, this important book present detailed instructions on all the core skills necessary to swim properly, including breath control, kicking, and submersion. All of these skills come together as you teach your baby to dive, float, and swim – as well as to love being in the water.
Thousands of young children have utilized this swimming program with excellent results. Now for the first time, child development expert Douglas Doman makes this time-tested program available to the general public. With How To Teach Your Baby To Swim in hand, you can be certain that the time spent with your child will pay dividends that last a lifetime.
A child’s level of physical activity is directly related to, and is a vital component of, overall health and fitness. This includes assisting in the development of virtually all systems of the body and stabling a life-time of various mental and physical benefits. Physical inactivity is damaging, and is the start of a long process of injury that can only worsen with age. The decision to be active, and its implementation, is best made early in life, ideally immediately after birth.
Of profound importance is the impact swimming has a on a baby’s developing brain. This includes not only physical development, but intellectual proficiency as well. The sooner a child is exposed to these great benefits, the sooner and more effectively the brain responds to them. After all, next to eating, the baby’s primary task is learning. Babies should be raise on purpose, not by accident.
The period to take advantage of this phenomenal development is relatively short, as the child’s brain essentially reaches maximum growth by around six years of age.
Newborns can perform very little physical activity, except when in the water. At this age swimming is the best way to pursue a healthy and fit life, including the encouragement of optimal brain growth and development. The only other factor needed is you.
You and your baby will embark on an incredible journey, and this book is a roadmap. The author provides a simple program with a very high level of effectiveness. It’s the result of more than fifty years to search and discovery with both rain-injured and well children by the staff of The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential. This continuous quest for answers to the problems children face has taken the most senior members of the team around the world – from the Xingu in Brazil Centrale to the Bushman of the Kalahari Desert – and back to mankind’s earliest beginnings.
The author literally grew up at The Institutes, founded by his father, Glenn Doman. Glenn’s half-century of helping brain-injured children function better through crawling, creeping, walking, swimming, and running, and of helping well children to achieve extraordinary brain function, is discussed in his books How to Teach Your Baby to Be Physically Superb and What to Do About Your Brain-Injured Child.
I was asked to edit this book because of my extensive experience in working with some of the world’s top swimmers and other athletes, and because of my work at The Institutes in the area of brain development.
The program outlined in this book will not only be a great beginning for your child’s overall development, but it will help you recover from pregnancy and further strengthen the family bond.
As a mother, perhaps your most important responsibility is to help your child develop into the best human being possible. There is no better time to provide this opportunity than now.
~ Dr. Philip Maffetone
Consultant to professional athletes, past president, The International College of Applied Kinesiology
Babies love to swim.
They should have the opportunity to swim right from birth. In fact, swimming helps to stimulate brain growth and development at a critical time. Swimming also provides an excellent opportunity for the newborn baby to develop physically when it is difficult for him to move on land.
It is especially important for the newborn baby to have the opportunity to move in the first few days and weeks of life. When born the baby has the advantage of being light in weight but the disadvantage of being inexperienced in movement. If given the opportunity to move each day, the baby will gain much-needed experience, but will also gain weight. This makes his job more difficult.
The newborn is in a race against time. The baby must gain mobility function before he gains too much weight. Swimming provides an ideal opportunity for the newborn to move in an environment where he will actually be buoyant and where baby fat will be advantageous rather than making life more difficult.
In truth the newborn has actually been “swimming” in utero for months. Swimming is one of many ways that we can provide sensory stimulation and opportunity that grow the brain. If we are smart about providing appropriate stimulation and opportunity, then teaching the baby will be a joyous process for mother and baby.
It is common for the children we teach at The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential to be excellent swimmers, but they also excel in running, biking, gymnastics, and ballet by the time they are six years old. The sum of these activities is much greater than each alone.
Since 1977 thousands of mothers have attended The Institutes How To Multiply Your Baby’s Intelligence course. These mothers returned home to help their babies develop to very high levels of brain function.
Our work with brain-injured and well children has supported what we know to be true – all babies are “water babies.” The mission of The Institutes is to teach parents how to help their children reach high levels of physical, intellectual, and social ability.
The Institutes is a research and teaching organization. It is our responsibility to create new methods to develop the brain of both the brain-injured and well child, and teach those methods to parents. This book is part of that process.
The baby will reap many benefits from learning to swim right from birth. He will develop better physical strength and coordination. These abilities will enhance the ability to crawl on the belly and to creep on hands and knees. Our babies are “floor babies” and they learn how to move against the force of gravity. It is truly a miracle in twelve months that the baby’s brain – which had very little information about moving in gravity – has developed intricate sensory and motor areas in such a short period of time.
As a baby develops these mobility functions, breathing will become deeper, more regular, and more mature. This enhance respiration helps the baby to be able to make sounds, which improves communication and overall language development. When the baby is able to communicate better with mother and father, baby is happier and more content. These are all valuable “side effects” of learning to swim.
The newborn progresses, becomes more confident, and becomes a true “water baby.” The baby learns how to handle himself in the water. Ultimately the baby will be much safer in the water than other children who may be twice the age.
An adventure has begun from the newborn’s initial swim to the first walking steps. Along the way the baby will make a thousand mobility experiments to discover what to do and how to do it. Swimming is literally the springboard for this adventure and these discoveries.
The objective of this book is to teach mothers and fathers how to teach their baby not only to swim, but to adore swimming. By so doing, the baby will gain many other abilities that will serve him throughout life.