As a parent, you want to do everything you can to ensure that your child is safe and healthy. Swimming for babies is not only good for their health and safety, but it also promotes confidence, coordination, and strength. Swimming for babies is an excellent way for your little ones to explore and engage with the world around them.
Swimming is undoubtedly a wonderful addition to your baby’s routine, but there still exists a lot of confusion over When to start swimming lessons for babies and what is the right age to start swimming lessons for babies. In this blog, let’s help you get clarity on all these questions.
At what age can babies start swimming?
Experts recommend that you can start taking your little one to parent-child swimming classes as early as age 1. As every child is different, you may find your little one isn’t ready to start swimming lessons until a little later. It’s important to know that newborns and infants younger than 12 months old aren’t yet able to raise their heads above the water to breathe, so swimming lessons aren’t yet appropriate for them.
For children ages, 1 to 4, seek parent-and-child aquatics programs, where the instructors are trained professionals who are certified in CPR and never allow a child’s head to go below the water’s surface. For swimmers ages 5 and older: you can try classes for kids both with and without parents. Try to find one that focuses on safe pool behaviour as well as paddling and kicking.
How to introduce your baby to swimming
Swimming for babies is great and provides ample benefits. Listing down some important points to take care of while introducing your baby to swimming.
Make your baby familiar with water
Before introducing your little one to the pool, familiarise them with water through baths. While they bathe, fill a mug with water and slowly pour it over their head. This will teach your child what it is like to be wet. Always supervise your child while they are bathing.
Let the baby splash on the steps
If there are steps in the pool, you can sit down with your baby sitting between your legs. Keep the baby upright. They can splash in the water or play with bath toys.
Entertain your baby
Once you and the baby are in the water, you should start playing with them. Smile, relax, make them learn small things, and explain the details of the pool. This will help your baby adjust to the water, and they will associate it with a pleasant and calm mind.
If she/he seems upset, get out
If the baby cries or shows other signs of distress, get out of the water and try again later. Wrap them in a towel to dry them off. You may want to wait a few weeks before trying to introduce them again.
Benefits Of Swimming For Babies
Mentioning some great benefits that swimming offers for babies.
Strengthens the lungs
Swimming for babies physically augments cardiovascular health by strengthening the lungs, blood vessels, and the heart. It develops the muscles and improves overall control, whilst the baby learns to coordinate and balance.
Develops the muscles
Swimming strengthens your baby from the inside. It helps to build muscles. Working and strengthening all of their muscles effectively helps to make them stronger.
Improves the brain’s cognitive functioning
Best baby swimming lessons help the baby improve the brain’s cognitive functioning. Cross–pattern movements help your baby’s brain grow, improving reading skills, spatial development, communication skills, etc.
Gaining self-confidence is one of the best benefits for babies. A baby who swims gains self-confidence, and readiness to adapt to new situations, while boasting of greater concentration.
Prevents the risk of drowning
Swimming is a life skill aiding in self-survival from drowning. Research proves that early swimming lessons prevent the risk of drowning in children between the ages of 1 to 4.
Boosts bonding experience
It is a great bonding experience for the parent and baby, increasing quality time. The parent and the baby stay close and develop fond memories as he learns a new skill.
Swimming for Babies-Safety Tips
Learning to swim can be a fun and exciting experience for babies. However, it should be done with the utmost care and safety. To ensure your baby learns how to swim correctly, here are some tips you need to follow:
Stay near and have focused supervision
Never leave your baby unattended in the swimming pool. Even if you are by its side, always be aware of its whereabouts and movements. Make sure that your baby doesn’t jump into the pool or wander off towards a deeper area.
Skip the floaties
Inflatable swim aids such as arm rings, lilos, and giant swans should not be used for babies because if they’re punctured, your baby could be in danger.
Check the pool temperature
If the pool water is cooler, you can still take your baby in, but you may need to get out every 10 minutes or so to warm up. Pay attention to lip, finger, and toe colour and, if it turns purplish, take the baby out of the pool.
Eliminate distractions around water
While you’re supervising your child in or around water, make sure you’re alert and aware. That means not talking to friends or family, tending to another child, texting or talking on the phone, drinking alcohol, or being under the influence of drugs.
Don’t let children run around the pool
Keep a watch on your little one. Your child should not run or jog around the pool. The place near the pool is slippery and there are high chances of your child slipping into the water.
Have experienced, qualified instructors for swimming class
When it comes to an essential skill like swimming, it’s best to let the experts take charge. Enrolling in a class can be a precious investment since certified experts will educate you and your child about the right techniques and practices. Since you’ll also be attending with other parents and kids, your baby can have fun and make friends.
When you first introduce your baby to the water, go slow with them. Hold your child securely in your arms and use a cup to wet their skin. This will help them adjust to the temperature. Next, ease them in gradually by dipping their feet and the rest of their body.
Swim Bag Essentials For Babies
Whether you are taking your child for a day at the pool or their weekly swim lessons, making sure you have everything you need is crucial. Listing down some baby swimming essentials that are a must.
Towels ensure that you and your baby are warm when getting out of the water, and will help you get dry as quickly as possible. Hooded towels are ideal for babies, as they keep their heads warm.
A change of outfit is essential when taking your baby swimming. Bringing warm clothes is advisable as it will help to keep your baby cosy and snug after their new swimming experience.
Kids and infants are particularly inclined to get sunburn as their skin is yet to develop like grown-ups. It is very essential to apply sunscreen to babies and toddlers before and after they go swimming. Prefer a mineral-based sunscreen that forms a barrier on the skin to reflect the harmful UV rays. The Moms Co. Natural Mineral-Based Sunscreen is infused with the goodness of Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Organic Carrot Seed Oil, and Red Raspberry Oil. It provides protection from harmful UV rays and encourages healthy skin regeneration and growth. The amazing sunscreen is priced at Rs. 474.
Nappies & Swim Nappies
If your child is young and still wearing nappies, then it is a good idea to pack a couple of swim nappies as well as normal ones to change into afterward.
As long as you are well prepared and have taken the necessary precautions, swimming for babies is going to be safe and fun. Swimming is truly one of the best ways to spend quality time by unwinding with your little munchkin. Grab your swim bag and head off for fun at the pool. Learn more about Sun damage and Protection for Babies.