Sunday, February 15, 2009

ISR "Float" Lessons

As most of you know we enrolled Nathan in the ISR (Infant Swim Resource) program.  They teach babies 6-14 months how to float on their back if they ever fall into a body of water.  You may have seen the clip of "Miles" falling into the pool in his pjs and then floating on his back until someone came to get him.  We saw this clip and thought that this was something that we needed to teach Nathan.  We looked on the website for instructors near us and we got the last slot for the winter session with Jessica.  She is a new instructor and was having these classes at her house in her heated pool. 

The classes were for 10 minutes a day for five days a week.  The session was to be five weeks, but longer if we needed it.  Part of this program is documenting EVERY time Nathan pooped, peed, slept, ate, drank, had medicine, went to the doctor.  I also had to document everything that he ate.  Nathan was also not allowed to have certain foods at all times, certain foods some of the time, and have limits to when he could eat before class.  It was a lot of work on my part :)

Jessica started Nathan off with getting him to float properly.  His biggest problem was that he wanted to keep his arms real close to his body and with time Jessica was able to get him to spread his arms out to his side.  The next step was making sure that Nathan had good breath control when he was being turned down into the water.  Jessica would make sure that he was closing his mouth when he was getting close to going under water.  Then when Nathan would turn back on his back she would make sure that he would spit out any water that he swallowed (he is really good at this).  She then would make sure that Nathan was taking good deep breaths when we was floating.  At the beginning he would only take short fast breaths.  Once they are able to take deep, relaxed breaths she starts working on flipping the babies face down in the water and helping them turn over onto their backs.  Jessica helps out the babies less and less until they can rollback on their own.

For three weeks Nathan needed Jessica's help to roll over onto his back.  He would always be searching for her to help him out.  We were going into week four and he was still unable to do it on his own and I thought for sure that we would have to go longer than five weeks.  Then one day Nathan just got it.  It was amazing to see.  She flipped him over and he rolled back like a cork screw.  It was so fast and so smooth.  She did it several more times and he kept doing it.  He didn't need her help at all anymore.  It really was funny how it just "clicked" for him one day.

Now that he could roll back every time Jessica rolled him into the water it was time to move onto the next step.  She would flip him backwards into the water from the pool.  She would put him on the edge of the pool and toss him into the water at different angles.  She would also drop him down into the water as if he was jumping in.  Every time she did this he managed to roll on his back and float.  It was incredible to watch.  Once he got down this part it was time for the clothes!  The first clothing lesson Nathan had to wear summer clothes.  We had him in a regular diaper, shorts, t-shirt, and flip-flops.  He did all of the flips and rollovers in these clothes.  It was hilarious to see him in the pool in flip-flops.  I didn't bring a camera so I don't have pictures but trust me, it was hilarious.  The weight of the diaper when he got out was so heavy!  After summer clothes it was time for winter clothes.  He was wearing pants, socks, boots, a long sleeved shirt, and a jacket.  He was able to float on his back with all of the weight of the wet clothes.  He was so heavy from all of that water weight and it was great seeing that he could float on his back.

Christopher and I are confident that if Nathan fell into our pool he wouldn't drown because he would be able to turn over and float on his back.  I am still amazed that a 9 month old could figure this out.  The program is great!  Once Nathan is over 14 months and walking we will do the swimming portion of the lessons.

Below is a video we took on the last day of classes for Nathan.  I think that it is amazing to watch Nathan.  I also want to mention that out of the five babies Nathan was the 2nd one to graduate from the classes!


1 comment:

kate and ed said...

That is amazing! And hilarious! Nate is most surely the next Michael Phelps (with or without the whole bong thing...)