Is it true about babies swimming underwater?


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The boy has had a bath every night from the day we bought him home from hospital and he’s had swimming lessons twice a week for 5 months. He’s no stranger to the water and is very comfortable splashing & playing in it.

But it was a couple of weeks ago when the wife told me that he was now able to swim underwater unassisted! I told her not to be ridiculous, of course he can’t; obviously you need to keep hold of him, especially when he’s underwater swimming.

Humble pie doesn’t taste that nice! How wrong was I?

There’s a lot of talk about babies being comfortable underwater from the moment they are born. That makes sense seeing as they spend the first 9 months of their lifespan living as aquatic mammals! Coming out into the cold air must be quite a shock for them. The reason they can swim underwater from birth is because they have what’s called a dive reflex. It basically means that they hold their breathe when they dive underwater. This is true! The boy holds his breathe when he goes underwater.

Another interesting reaction is the simple swimming reflex. If you hold your baby’s tummy and lay them flat on the water, they kick their arms and legs as if they’re swimming. They’re clever little things you know!

Anyway, to my disbelief and my wife’s gloating pleasure, she took me to the swimming pool to prove herself right. And we managed to film him in action. It was amazing to see the little fella glide through the water. The wife also showed me what she does in her swimming lessons with him and it was really cool to see what they get up to while I’m at work.  If you haven’t already, sign up for some baby swimming lessons!

Is it true about babies swimming underwater? I was proved wrong and the boy is a natural!


About Author

Al Ferguson is the CEO and founder of The Dad Network.


  1. This makes me smile every time I watch it. Good job, Ted!!

    My son loves the water too. Keeping them comfortable and not scared of water is a lesson better learned while they’re young.

  2. Wow!! That is super cool. I’m completely amazed. I’d heard of it but never seen it. In fairness I would be far to scared to even attempt it.

    The boys have both enjoyed water and water activities from day one. Shame I didn’t try this. Still amazing to see though!

  3. Amazing :) I have to say though able to or not I think I’d struggle to let my baby swim underwater without me holding them (well when I had babies) over protective dad here :)

    • Al Ferguson on

      I thought that too but the instructors really give you confidence. Thanks so much for your comment. :)

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