With my background in swimming, there really wasn't a question about putting Peter in swim lessons. He started around 4 months and then took a break when we moved. But now we're back! Peter is going underwater and beginning to relax. It's so wonderful to feel his little body find comfort and joy in the water. Swim lessons are so much fun but there is the practical part too. In Arizona pools are EVERYWHERE. While many of those pools have gates, just as many don't. Water safety is essential. It's important to start early so that your little one isn't terrified of the water. Young kids who are scared of the water are very difficult to teach later on. A healthy fear is good but if they get to the age of 4 and associate the pool with a parent yelling at them to stay away, they'll never want to be in the water. Start them young, help them be comfortable in the water, while at the same time gently reminding them that they only go near a pool with a grownup.
Peter and I go to Demont Swim School here in Tucson. The school was founded by one of my old coaches at the UofA. He and his wife run the school with an incredible philosophy and an emphasis on child safety. I highly recommend them for lessons if you're in Tucson. However, no matter where you live, start doing some research and finding swim lessons for your kids, especially with summer 2013 upon us. Floaties can only do so much. They give the child a false sense of buoyancy so if they were to accidentally fall into a pool they won't know what to do because all they have ever known was swimming with a flotation device. I could go on and on... but I won't. Check out the Demont website for more info.
Anyway... Here are some pics from our lesson yesterday!