Imagine watching your two-month-old baby being thrown into a pool. This is exactly what mum Krista Meyer witnessed as she watched her son, Oliver partake in a swimming lesson in her hometown of Colorado.
But, unlike my first instinct, which would have been to dive in with my clothes on to save him (and then slap the swim instructor over the head with my thong), this mumma calmly takes a video, cheering as Oliver submerges from the bottom of the pool.
That’s right – this amazing little human manages to return to the top of the water, turn himself around, and float on his back.
It’s quite a sight to see. In fact, since Krista posted the video on TikTok, it’s racked up millions and millions of views.
@mom.of.2.boyssOliver amazes me every week! I can’t believe he is barely 2 months in and is catching on so fast. He is a little fish. ##baby ##swim♬ original sound – mom.of.2.boyss
Most people, like me, are horrified.
Literally me the first time I watched it. ⇓ ⇓
And it’s not just me. Here are a few comments from other watchers, equally as shook.
“Throw my baby in like that and I’ll drown u.”
“Just like spanking, this is abusive too. So stop making excuses for cruelty against babies.”
“My brain just says, ‘That’s not how you’re supposed to do that’.”
Thrown in the deep end
In fact, Krista has received death threats after posting it, with watchers suggesting the controversial swimming approach is negligent and abusive.
“A lot of people are seeing a kid being thrown into the water and thinking, ‘That’s not good! You shouldn’t be doing that!’,” she told Buzzfeed.
I’ve gotten death threats. I’ve had people tell me I’m the worst kind of mum, that I’m endangering my children, that I’m traumatising them.”
Infant survival class
It looks pretty damn horrifying, but apparently it’s actually a common way to teach babies to swim. Well, in America at least. These swim classes are designed to teach kids how to survive if they do happen to fall in the water.
“I was a swim instructor for seven years and this has always been part of the curriculum for baby classes,” a Twitter user commented. “They can float on instinct.”
It’s true. It’s known as the “diving reflex” or the “bradycardic response”.
According to the Texas Swim Academy,
When a baby is submerged in water, the natural survival reflex is to hold their breath and open their eyes. Infants also react in other ways that are less obvious: heart rate decreases and blood is conserved in the vital organs. This allows for added survival ability underwater, typically until adult help arrives.”
Okay, so it’s an instinct. but, surely chucking a baby into the water to see if he will sink or float is a bit messed up, right? I think I’ll stick to the traditional learn-to-swim program.
Watching my baby being thrown into a pool and hoping for the best is a little too risky for me. What about you?