Taking your baby swimming for the first time can be a slightly daunting experience for most parents. Are they too young? Will they enjoy it? Will the water be too cold? Usually you will have a plethora of questions bounding around you mind, but for the most part, there is nothing to worry about.
Experts at the ASA and paediatricians would usually recommend that a baby starts swimming at around six months old, but you can always start to get them prepared before they go to the pool. You can use the bath to get them used to the feeling of being immersed in water.
All these pictures have been taken during Water Baby classes at Grange Farm Swim School. Many thanks to the parents and babies who have come and had fun here!
Swimming is one of the few sports that are accessible to everyone, regardless of age or ability, and there are many benefits to general health and wellbeing. Here are a few of the main benefits of swimming for babies:
Swimming is one of the best loved family activities. It is the largest participation sport in the UK and many children say it is their favourite family pastime, so it’s good to get them started early to build water confidence.
Swimming helps to improve coordination and balance. Because much of your baby’s body is supported by water, the main focus for them is on maintaining balance. On the whole, babies who swim have a much better balance out of the pool.
Swimming helps to build muscles. Working and strengthening all of their muscles effectively helps to make them stronger.
Swimming provides quality bonding time. We always have less time that we would like with our kids; it is an unfortunate effect of being so busy. Time in the pool is one of the few times when your child has your undivided attention for the duration, so make the most of it.
Swimming strengthens your baby on the inside. While swimming will help to develop their muscles and joints, it also improves the strength of their heart and lungs, and helps to develop their brain.
Swimming can improve their sleeping pattern. While it isn’t going to make them sleep through the night every night, the extra exercise will help to make your baby sleepier.
Swimming can improve a baby’s appetite. Lots of gentle exercise and warm water helps to make a baby hungry, so make sure you have some sort of snack or bottle for after they finish.
Swimming builds water confidence. Many parents pass on an uneasiness of water to their children because they themselves are not confident swimmers. Going in the water with your baby will not only make them more assured about being in and around water, it can build your confidence too!
There are many different ways of introducing your baby to the water, whether that be in a public pool session with you, or in baby swimming lessons, either way it is the best place to develop your child’s physical abilities and improve their understanding of water safety.