Baby & Toddler

Should My 8-Month-Old Already Be Competing?


As he toweled off, my husband asked me, “How old do you think the youngest Floater ever was?”

My 8-month-old son, Carston, had just completed his first swim lesson as part of the Lenny Krayzelburg Swim Academy (LKSA) at the JCC in Newton, Massachusetts. LKSA is a seven-level swimming program designed to teach kids to swim safely; it begins at level one, Splasher, continues on to Floater, then Kickers, and eventually ends with Flyers.

I’d been motivated to sign my little splasher up for safety reasons and, honestly, because I’d heard kids nap better after they swim. My husband, on the other hand, was ready for our son to become the next Michael Phelps—or more appropriately, Mark Spitz.

Hilary Levey FriedmanHilary Levey Friedman, PhD is a Harvard sociologist and writer who studies childhood, competition, and beauty.  In January 2012 she became a mother; she loves her son for many reasons, but especially because he lets her sleep through the night!

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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