Babies Are Learning To Swim Before They Can Crawl... And It's Brilliant

June 14, 2014

You must learn to crawl before you can learn to walk, but what about swim?

infants under water
Credit: Seth Casteel for The New York Times

But this isn't what you think. It's for survival...

infants under water
Credit: Seth Casteel for The New York Times

It's a program called "self-rescue," in which babies are taught to hold their breath underwater, kick their feet, turn over to float on their backs and rest until help arrives.

infants under water
Credit: Seth Casteel for The New York Times

The technique was pioneered in the late '60s by Harvey Barnett, who at 18 became determined to teach infants to swim after the drowning of a neighbor's child.

infants under water
Credit: Seth Casteel for The New York Times

"It gives the baby the best possible chance," he says.

infants under water
Credit: Seth Casteel for The New York Times

His methods have spread around the world.

infants under water
Credit: Seth Casteel for The New York Times

Over 300,000 babies have participated in this infant-swimming program and it is growing...

infants under water
Credit: Seth Casteel for The New York Times

And the lessons also provide an opportunity for adorable photo shoots.

infants under water
Credit: Seth Casteel for The New York Times

Via New York Times

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