If you’re thinking about ways to bond with your new arrival, or are debating on which baby classes are best to sign up to in 2020, we think a baby swim school should be top of your list.
Look for a swim school that specialises in baby swimming, so you can be assured your teacher will be experienced and dedicated to ensuring your child learns in the most comfortable, safe, fun and suitable environment.
The experts at Aquatots, our favourite swim school give us the low-down on why your baby should give swimming lessons a go.
When can my baby start swimming?
The ideal age to begin baby swimming lessons is 3-12 months. It’s worth noting that if your children are older, many schools will run foundation/beginner classes for toddlers or older children.
Why is swimming good for babies?
Natural ability to swim
Your baby was born with the natural ability to swim and to hold their breath underwater. After nine months in the fluid environment of mummy’s tummy, they’re very ready to begin learning that incredible life skill of swimming.
Strengthen’s nervous and cardiovascular systems
The stimulation of water over the body helps to develop and strengthen the nervous and cardiovascular systems.
Develop strong muscles
The pressure of the water helps to develop strong muscles, and build up any weak ones. Whereas some children may not be able to move as freely outside of the water, they can have that wonderful feeling of freedom in the pool.
It’s also thought the earlier development of a baby’s physical skills also improves hand-eye coordination.
Bond with baby
We recommend looking for a swim school with a focus on the natural approach. Avoid lessons involving buoyancy aids such as arm bands. Instead, parents should hold and guide their children under the water building up to more independent swims when they are ready, this removes the possibility of future dependence on buoyancy aids.
This focus also allows you to bond with your baby, and take an involved role in your baby’s learning. Your teachers will take you through structured sessions with swims that develop with your child until that incredible moment when they take their first truly independent swim.
Learn lifesaving skills
Water confidence is a key part of every swimming lesson, and a lot of time will also be spent teaching lifesaving skills.
It may be some time before your child is truly independent in the water with the ability to swim confidently. Until that time they will be learning important lifesaving skills such as what to do if they were to fall into water accidentally (a parent’s worst nightmare).
They’ll learn how to hold their breath in water and come up to breathe; how to turn and bring themselves to the side and hold on for safety; and much more.
Incredibly, your baby can begin to learn some of these skills on their very first lesson.
Swimming is a fantastic multi-sensory experience for babies and children. It’s especially wonderful for children with any disabilities as they will enjoy the wonderful sensation the water gives them.
Most baby swim schools will only use warm private pools so it’s not dissimilar to stepping into a nice warm bath. This temperature will keep them relaxed, comfortable and ready to learn and have fun. Swimming is fun for both parents and babies, and learning to swim the natural way, without buoyancy, is far more beneficial and easier too. Often there is also an opportunity to have under water photographs taken at the term end too, an amazing memento to look back on.
So why wait? Your baby is ready, so start looking now for classes in your area and give your baby a true gift for life.
Article written by Natalie Watt, Aquatots Baby Toddler & Child Swimming