Here's why you're never too young to start swimming

Katie Towner, Swim England’s Head of Learn to Swim, explains why it’s important babies and infants get to experience swimming at an early stage in their lives.

They say you’re never too old to learn.

And while that certainly applies to swimming, you’re also never too young to start enjoying a lifelong love of the water.

It may seem a daunting experience but there are many advantages to taking your baby swimming. From helping to improve coordination and balance to strengthening muscles as well as providing quality bonding time and improving sleep, there are plenty of reasons why parents shouldn’t put off their little one’s first trip to the pool. Infants can start enjoying the benefits of the water from birth and most swimming lessons start from around three months old, although it’s wise to check with your health visitor before enrolling.

Before visiting the pool, check out the facility first and find out where the changing rooms and lockers are. Getting a baby and yourself ready for swimming can put some people off but a little bit of research can make it much easier so you’re feeling calm and relaxed before going into the water. And it’s always a good idea to check out the different types of swimwear for youngsters. It’s important to remember that babies can chill easily so always consider the temperature of the pool.

Lessons should always be run by teachers holding an industry-recognised swimming qualification, such as the Swim England Level 2 Teaching Swimming to Babies and Toddlers, while there should also be a trained lifesaver and first aid member of staff available at all times throughout the class. Most importantly, though, the lessons should be enjoyable.

The Swim England Athlete Development Support Pathway for Swimming highlights the importance of starting swimming early in life – with fun being a key aspect from an early age to encourage a lifelong participation in aquatics. Youngsters between 0-4-years-old can make an Active Start through unstructured and structured free play in order to develop children’s basic movement skills. It will also develop their general confidence and help prevent a fear of the water from developing later in life. 

As they get older, the Swim England Disney-inspired family fun sessions are ideal for youngsters aged three upwards. They feature some of Disney’s most-loved characters and include essential swimming skills to help them stay active and healthy in the water.

So don’t be put off by the claim your baby is too young to go swimming… it’s in fact the ideal age to start.

About Swim England

Formally known as the Amateur Swimming Association, Swim England is the national governing body for swimming in England. It helps people learn how to swim, enjoy the water safely, and compete in all aquatic sports.

Swim England’s vision is of a nation swimming and it strives to inspire everyone to enjoy the water in the way that suits them. Each month millions of people are able to enjoy swimming, diving, water polo and synchronised swimming, having been through the Swim England Learn to Swim Programme.

Swim England also supports its members, clubs and athletes, and runs qualification and education programmes to develop the workforce. For more information visit