What Age Should My Child Learn to Swim?

Kevin Smith


There is no perfect age to start children swimming! Different children have different needs. Their and your desire for them to swim, has the greatest impact on what age to start. 

Are There Benefits to Learning to Swim at an Early Age?

Yes, absolutely! There are many benefits to learning to swim at an early age. 

A few common benefits are:

  • Starts your child building the foundation of a healthy lifestyle
  • Confidence in knowing what to do if they fall in the water
  • Encourages new interests and breaks away from screen time
  • Helps develop your child physically and mentally!

Swimming Lessons for Babies

Many swim schools have classes for children starting as early as 6 months old! This may be a tad early for some families, but it is a great way to kickstart your child’s motor functions in a low impact way. Before age 4, most children should not be expected to actually “learn to swim” but rather gain better motor function. 

Age 4 is a Good Time to Start Learning Swimming Basics

Children four years old tend to be the most enthusiastic about learning to swim. But most children lack the focus and retention necessary to learn swimming strokes. This stage is usually more treading water with a little freestyle.

Swimmers Age 6-7 are Primed to Learn

Age 6 seems to be the age that young swimmers really take off! All the foundational swimming lessons from an early age really contributes to 6 year olds improving. At this age, children are highly excited learners. This also is a great age for a child to understand direct instruction in a scholastic manner. Swimming is a good outlet for energy, and most kids take to swimming like a fish to water!

What Helps a Child Be a Good Swimmer?

Consistent swimming lessons are crucial. Just like anything in life, practice makes perfect. Depending on the type of swimmer your child wants to be, will ultimately determine how often your child should swim.

Even non competitive swimmers find 2 weekly sessions to be ideal with motor retention and developing the child's interest in swimming. 

How often should my child take swimming lessons?

Schedule dependant, and of course your own family budget. But regular practices will certainly speed up the learning process and comfort level of your young swimmer. Even if you can’t make multiple swimming lessons per week, the more your child is in the water, the better they will get.

Child and Youth Swimming Lessons Should Include:

  • Qualified and experienced swim Instructors
  • Parents should be able to watch swim instruction
  • A clean and sanitary pool facility
  • Small classes with more individual instruction
  • Low pressure atmosphere for parents and children
  • Teaches good safety habits around water
  • Teaches kids what to do if they accidentally fall in water
  • Parent participation with infant aquatics
  • CPR Certified instructor

Swimming Lessons DO NOT Prevent Drowning!

Never leave your child unattended in the water!

No matter your child’s skill level at swimming, the water is dangerous and must be treated with respect and caution. Never leave your child to swim alone, even if they are fully competent. No amount of swimming lessons can substitute adult supervision.

Sign Up for Youth Swimming Lessons When You Join the Jersey Aquatic Center!

Get your family swimming at the JAC by signing up today! You can register for swimming classes or call our office at 973-487-6954 if you have questions.