3 steps

1. Jump in, and hold on.

2. Jump in, Submerge and then hold on

3. Jump in, Submerge and resurface to the bar and hold on.

Intro: Start with practices of turning around in the water, above the surface.  

Games and songs involving turning baby at shoulder level in water to get parents and baby’s used to the rotation movement and changing direction.

Being able to turn and hold on to the side, is a safety skill that we want to teach baby from as early as possible. Conditioning baby to turn and hold on to side after entering water, could potentially help save their live.

1. Jumping in and Hold on.

Parent holds baby/toddler steady in an underarm hold in sitting position on the side.

Parent supports baby/toddler through jump/ ‘fall’ in, baby enters to shoulder depth, in a fairly straight position.  

Make sure there is splash on entry, conditioning baby for water on the face/submersion.

Then turns baby around to hold on at the edge.

Only start Step 2 and 3 – when ‘Submerge and Let go’ has been achieved.

2.  Jump in, Submerge, and Hold on.

Parent holds baby in a sitting position, on the edge and cues baby, supporting baby leaving the edge and then loosely supports jump/’fall’ in.

Starting with submerging face or whole head into the water and progress to parent letting go underwater.

Collect and praising give as turning baby around to finish holding on to the bar/edge.

3. Jump in, Submerge, and Turn around (underwater) to Hold on.

Parent holds baby in a sitting position, on the edge and cues baby,  supporting baby’s jump/’fall’ in.  

When baby is submerged, parent supports baby in turning around while underwater, back towards the edge/bar. Baby finishes holding on at the bar. Parent holds seat if needed and praises!

Once baby is happy performing step 3, parents can work on the depth before turning.  Taking babies further under the water before starting to turn and resurfacing to the side, first with assistance and then reducing support given.

Under 12 Months maximum depth: 1 metre.

Over 12 Months can build to maximum depth: 1.5 metres.


  • Floating hold
  • Parent shoulder supported back float
  • Head and shoulder supported back float
  • Bobbing/ Dragging
  • Zig-zagging/ Snake Floating
  • Independent Floating (option)
  • With 2 short woggles drag backwards across/around the pool.

Arms:  Voluntary more continuous arm swishing in the water, stretching arms out to the sides, or by body (on tummy or at sides)

Legs:  Voluntary more continuous leg movements, legs bending, stretching, wiggling in the water. “Kick, Kick”

Head:  Back of head and ears in the water

Body:  Buoyant, Floating. Relaxed wiggling movements.  Learning to correct body position when falling out of float to maintain it.

2 Years – 3 Years

Progressive Practises:

  • Swing Dip’s to Open Cradle/ Floating Hold and movement on the spot.
  • Swing Dip’s to Open Cradle or Floating Hold and move across/around the pool.
  • Side to Side Swishing
  • Bobbing and Back Bunny Hops
  • Zig-zagging/ Snake Floating across/around the pool.
  • Supported / Head and Shoulder Supported/ Independent floating. (Stationary)
  • Supported Back Float and move across/around the pool.
  • Supported Back Float, and roll baby into front swim position.
  • Head and Shoulders Supported Back Float and move across/ around the pool.
  • 2 short woggles – encourage independent swims.
  • 1 woggle boat – promoting independence.
  • Independent Floating option.

Holds and woggles

With 1 Woggle

1 woggle boat – baby lies with chest on the woggle with woggle under both arms

Parent and baby together in boat – Woggle in front of parent with ends tucked under their armpits, making a circle in front for baby – parent holds baby’s waist to support, can use knee support too until comfortable in position.

Older babies/toddlers can have their own woggle independence.

Launch from steps on 1 woggle.

Knotted woggle ring – tie a knot in the woggle and place baby/toddler through creating a ‘rubber ring effect’ – parents support seat for young babies.

Seahorse/ Horsey ride – Straddling the woggle and sit on like a horse, can be done on own, with parent support or together with parent.

Parent is supported with woggle under their arms (with ends behind them) while holding baby front facing hold

Parent is supported with woggle underarms and around their back with baby/toddler sits on parents tummy. Parent can keep feet on floor, or float/swim.

Use the woggle to collect toys in.

Use woggle to support walking toddlers – just hand/s on for stability.

2 short woggles

2 short woggles: create a boat supporting baby/toddlers underarms with the two separate woggles.

Parent is supported with woggles under their arms, while holding baby front facing hold.

Toddlers to walk and get feet off the floor/swim with 2 woggles under armpits for support.

Parents hold woggles and approach toddlers on the steps encouraging them to hold on and launch from steps.

Toddler sits on steps with the 2 woggles under armpits and launches themselves into the water parent or towards toy.