Baby swimming is a fun and rewarding experience that helps build the bond between you and your baby as it centres on trust. It's also a great way to exercise and teach a valuable life skill.
Why is swimming important?
The first year of a life is crucial in terms of a baby's development, as it is in this period that the brain grows most rapidly. Regular exercise plays a vital role in development with every movement they make helping to strengthen their brain for new learning.
Baby swimming is completely natural. By introducing your baby to swimming from a young age, you are starting them on a habit that will last a lifetime and teaching them an important and potentially life-saving skill.
Many parents comment that the combination of gentle exercise and warm water helps their babies to sleep better and stimulates their appetites too.
Introducing your baby to water
Making bath times fun is a great way of getting your baby used to water and building his confidence for baby swimming. Gently splash water over his body or lay him on his back and move him gently through the water, with lots of eye contact and smiles.
Use bath toys, chat and sing songs to help your baby relax and enjoy the water. These will also act as reassuring prompts when you venture to the pool together.
When can you take your baby swimming?
It's a common myth that your baby has to be a certain age before they can go swimming. The Department of Health states you can take your baby swimming at any age, so there's no need to wait until your baby has completed their course of early immunisations.
Many baby swimming classes accept babies from around six weeks old so as soon as you feel ready, give it a go!