If you’re a parent, then you are most likely well-aware that developmental milestones can be a funny thing. Sometimes you’ll get a kid who’s walking at 9 months, but not talking until 2—or vice-versa! While there are certainly several common markers that pediatricians advise parents to be aware of, there is a controversial one that is often ignored.

There’s this misconception regarding swimming. Most of us were taught—either by a professional coach or our parents—how to swim, right?

Like anything, this process varies from child to child. While some of them take to the water like fish, others can endure a year of tear-filled swimming lessons without making much progress at all. The interesting thing about all of this, though, is that some children may actually be able to swim at a much younger age than we would ever consider.

Case in point: Our favorite swimming tyke, Aiden. This mini Aquaman has such a natural trust for the water that he jumps right in, in the same manner that other babes his age run into their mothers’ arms.

 

Can all babies swim?

When we originally saw this clip, we thought back to something we heard about babies being natural swimmers—our thought was that maybe Aiden wasn’t necessarily talented, but that perhaps his parents were just braver than others.

But, as it turns out, the whole “infants can swim at birth” thing is a common fallacy. You see, newborns to 6 month-olds do have something special about them; it’s a reaction called bradycardic response, a sort of reflex that allows for babies’ heart rates and breathing to adjust in the water.

And while we think this is just another mysterious and wonderful feature found in infants, the fact still remains that they do not have any sort of concept of controlling or holding their breath when submerged.

With all of that being said, it’s reasonable to infer that Aiden (or “Baby Phelps”, as we like to call him) is just a really special kid!

 

When should children start lessons?

As with everything having to do with kids’ safety, the topic of swim lessons tends to be a hot button issue. Some organizations, like Infant Aquatics, teach classes to tots as young as 6 months old.

Now, just because you enroll your baby in one of these classes doesn’t mean he or she will be swimming like Aiden in a couple of months. The whole idea behind this system is to provide skills to babies who are in emergency situations. In these lessons, the infants are taught to roll onto their backs, while in the water, and float.

This once-controversial method seems to work so well that even the American Association of Pediatrics lowered their recommended swim lesson age from 4 to 1 after it became evident that these techniques were helping to save lives.

But, with the question of survival aside, it seems that the best age for kids to start learning is around 4 to 5 years old. Unless they are like the star of today’s video, experts say that most kids won’t be entirely water safe until they are 6 or 7.

Nevertheless, there is an exception to every rule, and ours’ is a baby named Aiden! To see him swim a lap like nobody’s business, be sure to click on the video below. Something tells us this little guy may just be winning medals in the future!

What do you think of this tyke’s swimming skills? Can your baby swim? If so, what was their learning process like? Tell us all about your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below!