1. Getting started at home
The best way to build water confidence with your baby is by splashing about in the bath at home. With plenty of praise, reassurance and cuddles, your little one will soon learn to love the water.
"You may want to have your partner or a friend with you when you first start practising in the bath, just whilst you get used to handling a wet baby."
Philomena Geary, STA Baby Swimming Teacher
The right temperature
The best way to build confidence with your little one is by splashing about in the bath at home. Make sure the water's about 32°C, with the room no more than 27°C. Cradle your baby in the bath and gently wash water over her body.
Skin to skin contact
Get used to being in the water together. Sit in the bath with your knees up, and hold your baby facing you - or lay him back against your legs and talk gently while you splash water on her tummy. Try singing him a nursery rhyme.
Bath time exercises
Start gently by turning your baby around so her head's on your chest. Place your hands gently under her head and let her float with her ears submerged. If she becomes distressed sit him back upright and try again a little later. It's great preparation for the pool.
Introduce a playmate
Babies have a strong sense of touch and love the feeling of water. They'll react to their surroundings - your little one might start kicking, smiling and moving her head. This is a good time to introduce a bath toy for him to play with. Eventually, this should come to the pool with you both to play with.
Good for you too!
It's exercise for you too. Swimming is low impact and ideal for mums who should take it easy for he first six months following birth.