Survival Swimming Lessons for Peace of Mind Around Water


In our first week in Montana my husband Stano mapped out in a conversation one night all the “fun” things he wanted to do with our crew during the summer. I quickly noticed that almost all of them had something to do with water. Deep water–Flathead Lake.  Quick water–Clark Fork River.  Deceivingly fun water–Grandma’s pond.

rafting with kids. Water fun. Things to Do with kids in Missoula, MT.

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We had done your usual “Baby” classes or toddler swimming lessons in Seattle but this gave me little (actually no) comfort when it came to my husband (with or without me) trying to juggle two or three kids, a fishing pole, a boat, the need for exploration, the “I can” confidence of a three year old, and anything else that might decide to happen during one of our many upcoming adventures.

After having expressed my concern and urgent desire to enroll the kids in swimming lessons to my mom, she shared a link with me that had me saying, “WOW”!  The link to Infant Swim Resources (ISR) was a video of a 15-month-old baby falling into a pool and he knew exactly what to do till help arrived. As many mothers do I scoured the Internet reading mommy blogs, reviews, and forums discussing this method of teaching one’s children how to SURVIVE in water.  The very next week we were enrolled.

ISR. Teaching infants to survive in the water.

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As of this week, we have finished the first stage of lessons for Turbo with ISR and we are amazed at what he has learned. When set into the water Turbo knows how to use his legs and arms to turn around onto his back and float. He knows to hold his chin up so water doesn’t get into his nose and mouth.

Additionally, Turbo can do all the above in his winter and summer clothes.  We will be back for the next set of lessons with Turbo when he is around 15 months old and then he will learn to rotate between swimming and floating until he reaches an object (edge of pool or boat etc.)

Teaching infants to swim. Survival Swimming lessons.

Here is Turbo in his spring clothes floating on his back without assistance by his teacher Kaci.

Strawberry Shortcake hasn’t finished her lessons but isn’t far from being done. She loves showing her teacher how she can hold her breath and dive underwater for the sticks.

The most amazing part in all this is the entire program is only 4-6 weeks long. Granted you have to come back again when the babies get older–but they now have a much higher chance of surviving in the water.  As with anything, there are critics and those who support this method (that would be us). We are so happy we found this amazing program and Kaci the instructor in Missoula!

Infant Swim Resources - Survival Swimming Lessons

Way to go Turbo!

*Disclosure: We did not receive any compensation or reduced lesson fees for this post.


Kim StaningerKim is a former city girl, married to an outdoorsman, and a mother of three (Shortcake, Tink, and Turbo). When not burning toast, helping the little ones talk through meltdowns, and teaching ABC’s and 123’s, Kim (aka 406 Mom) is exploring Montana and making it her home.  You can find Kim on Instagram or Twitter at @StingNest, and many of her Missoula adventures and mommy memos here on….406 Mom.