It’s a fantastic development when your toddler first feels confident to put their face under the water. It opens the door to so many new games and activities, and obviously is crucial to learning to swim in any meaningful way.
A good, comfortable pair of swimming goggles will help tremendously in this regard.
While some children are happy to open their eyes underwater without goggles, most find this uncomfortable and at best, it’s difficult to see clearly. A toddler using well-fitted goggles will be able to freely enjoy the excitement of exploring a new, underwater world. And, most kids think that wearing these goofy looking things on their faces is fun in itself, which is a huge plus.
The most important features of the goggles are that they are both comfortable and water tight. At the toddler swimming level, it’s not usually necessary to spend a lot of money, but you’ll probably want to avoid the very cheapest brands, which tend to break and be made of less comfortable materials. Do try and select a model which features soft rubber around the eye pieces.
To choose the right goggles for your toddler, try to involve them in the buying process if you can. If they can choose a color and style which appeals, they’re much more likely to want to wear them.
There’s two basic styles of goggles – the “mask” style which has a single window which covers both eyes, or the style which has a separate goggle for each eye, connected by a bridge over the nose. I tend to recommend the latter, as they can be better adjusted to achieve the right fit, and seem to be better at keeping the water out.
To check that the goggles fit well, press them firmly over the eye without using the straps. The slight suction should hold them onto the face momentarily without being uncomfortable for the child. You may need to adjust the nose piece to suit the width of your toddler’s face. Then adjust the rubber strap so that it fits firmly around the back of the head, but of course not too tightly. If it’s too tight, you can be certain your child will soon let you know!
Finally, remember that there are a great many styles to choose from, so do spend the time to select the right pair, and don’t get frustrated if it takes a few attempts. It’s really important for the toddler to feel comfortable and enjoy wearing the goggles, as they really are a vital key to opening up a whole new underwater world.