Levente: photos 1     photos 2     photos 3     photos 4     photos 5     photos 7    
                  video1(3Mb)      video2(7,5Mb)
Csenge:  photos 6      photos 8       photos 9


babausz_06.jpg (39433 Byte) My son Levente at 3 months

Babyswimming

Whatever I'm going to write on this page, I obviously never get rid of the feeling it's still not enough, because babyswimming is a topic I could write a whole book about. Instead of that, here some words about my first-hand experience:

I've always liked the idea that one's child should learn to like some kind of sport at an early age if possible. This was important to me, especially because I've missed it in my own life and it was very hard for me to get myself back to a level where I had the need for regular sport-like activity at all. Another reason to start researching this topic was that my opinion about natural birth (see the separate chapter I've written on this) corresponded with the idea that the wet element, which  the baby gets used to in it's mother's womb, can provide a very homely and liberating experience for an infant, who has just left that place. This is why water can build a continuity between the security of the womb and life in the outside world, lessening and smoothing the trauma of birth. Besides, the small baby who is hardly able to hold its limbs up, gets a phantastic chance, thanks to the ascensional force of the water: some movements that seem hard on the surface become easy in the water. This and a lot of other reasons have driven me to start to look for babyswimming possibilities in my area, shortly after my son Levente's birth. After trying about 5 different institutions and staff both in Budapest and in Vienna I've come to the following conclusion:

1. Most institutions advertising themselves as "babyswimming" have absolutely no method (only trivialities and shallow cliches are told in the lessons, according to schemes that root in the popular knowledge, above this only the swimming-pool is provided, no well-considered background knowledge). In the worst case "swimming" means turning the babies into small floats surrounded with swimming-belts and water-wings so that the poor thing is happy if it gets wet at all...

2. There is another version that is in my opinion similarly destructive, known under the name "russian method". This means, using and severely misusing the "diver's reflex" of the infant, it is dived under water from the first moment on, eventually it is simply dropped into the pool, whereupon the baby starts to swim for its life in the direction of the surface and see the wonder! it is able to do it. In my opinion this "method" is on the level of animal training, maybe a bit below, since not even as human. Unfortunately we happened to get into such a lesson. Levente cried desperately and it took weeks until I manged to wile him into the water again. He had real mortal fear. The instructor commented his cry only like this: "it's natural, he will get used to it". Well, we didn't wish to get used to that.

3. Thank God, at last, after some failed attempts we got where we wanted to go from the beginning on. What's more, what we got was much more than I could dream. I'm endlessly sorry that to many people - thanks to lack of information - every babyswimming course seems the same. It is not. This I've learned when I first heard the introductive demonstration of Istvan Kalovits in Budapest and saw his heart-warming videos. He has studied the deeper connotations behind babyswimming in the Netherlands, where the traditions of babyswimming go longer back in time. Returning to Hungary, he developed his method further. The result is a wonderful method that is filled with deep spirituality, extraordinary harmonic, based on he personality of babies, putting them into the centre of attention, yet also scientifically well-considered and because of all these, in my opinion unique in the world. It is amazing, how much energy, thought, lifetime and life force he has put into his work, so that each part of his method is brought to perfection down to the finest details, until a system emerges, in which everything has its own reason and everything gets the proper amount of attention. No wonder that the method is called "Babyswimming - a program of joy". If everyone of us would pay our children as much attention as he has tailored babyswimming for them with, there would be far less "probematic" children growing up in the world. With his help the water becomes a real life-giving element that leads the new-come little person from the joyful primal state of the unborn to the victory of the this-wordly, concious command of water.

Well, Levente attends courses of the "Kalovits method" with me since the age of 3 months. From the very beginning, some side-effects have shown themselves, which I forgot to mention so far: Levente is much more extrovert, makes friends easier than most babies, adapts himself to most communities problemfree, his movements develop more differentiated, he discovers connections in the world more easily, his immune system is ubelievably strong (the whole family is abed of flu while he is still healthy) As you see, swimming has proved to be a blessing in our life in all ways.

For our enthusiasm special thanks to Agnes Ruzsonyi, who helped put Istvan's directives into praxis and today she is the sinews of the "Halmay" Foundation for supporting this method. Unfortunately, there is no babyswimming course known to me in English-speaking areas that instructs according to the same or similar principles. Yet, it would be a challenge to adapt the method and organize similar courses in other countries than Hungary as well. Should anyone be interested, you can visit the Foundation's homepage (www.babyswimming.hu - in English) or call the information hotline (+36-20-923-24-88) or me (+36-20-434-815) for interpreting. Besides, I warmly recommend to everyone (who is able to read Hungarian) Istvan Kalovits' book "The Greatest Good", which introduces both the philosophical backgrounds and practical details of babyswimming to the Reader much better than I. You can get information about the availability of the book also at the above phone numbers. (I have to mention here that I'm not associated with the Foundation in any way, so this recommendation is not of financial, but merely of personal interest.)

I wish everyone as good a splash in the pool with the little ones as we are used to!


"Mermaids" - my daughter Csenge (11 months) and me

Don't forget to take a look at the photos we made in the swimming-bath! (Last are latest)
Levente: photos 1     photos 2     photos 3     photos 4     photos 5     photos 7    
                  video1(3Mb)      video2(7,5Mb)
Csenge:  photos 6      photos 8       photos 9