4. Make a splash
Once you've started baby swimming, keep up the good work! You've started your baby on a habit that lasts a lifetime, and each time you go your baby will become a bit more confident and capable in the water.
"Every time you begin a new activity, it's great to use a 'cue' which they then recognise moving forward."
Philomena Geary, STA Baby Swimming Teacher
Bouncing your baby up and down, repeating words like 'bouncy, bouncy' will build his confidence. And if he accidentally goes under the water, a bit of praise and a cuddle goes a long way to reassure him.
Make it fun with games like 'Peek a Boo' or chasing a toy across the pool - flick the toy forwards and encourage him to reach for it. Face baby towards you and walk backwards so he's moving forwards and blow bubbles under the water as you move.
Use your imagination and take your baby for a seahorse ride! Try something a bit different by sitting on a woggle, holding onto it while you support your baby and bounce along through the water.
Make a splash
When baby can sit up, sit him on the side of the pool and sing Humpty Dumpty. When you get to 'Humpty Dumpty had a great fall!' lift him down into the water with a splash.
A little independence
As he becomes stronger and more capable and adventurous, lessen your support and let him explore and experiment. Lots of praise will turn him into a budding swimmer who loves the water.
As your baby gets older and more capable, encourage him to hold onto the poolside, a woggle or a float and kick his legs. Zoom him around and have a splash - if it feels like fun, do it!
Now keep it going
It's exercise for you too. Swimming is low impact and ideal for mums who should take it easy for the first six months following birth.