Expert / 16 November, 2022 / My Baba
If you’re thinking about ways to bond with your new arrival, or are debating on which baby classes are best to sign up for, we think baby swimming classes 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 give us the lowdown on why you should give baby swimming lessons a go.
The ideal age to begin baby swimming lessons is 3-12 months. If you children are older, many schools will run foundation/beginner classes for toddlers and older children, it’s really never too late to start.
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. This type of activity is an excellent physical activity, in a fun and socially positive environment. Your child will enjoy building their confidence with positive affirmation while having a fantastic start to life, helping them achieve and master developmental milestones.
Stimulating water over the body helps develop and strengthen the nervous and cardiovascular systems. The body’s biggest organ is the skin. As water is 800x denser than air, millions of nerve endings get stimulated by the resistance of the water, sending countless more impulses to the brain.
Water is the perfect ‘weightless’ environment for young babies to experiment with moving their limbs with less effort. Everything done in water is better assimilated than if it were learned on dry land. Infant swimming lessons have a huge impact on physical and cognitive development.
It’s also thought the earlier development of a baby’s physical skills improves hand-eye coordination. Children who have taken classes can be as much as 11 months further ahead in verbal skills, 6 months ahead in maths, 17 months ahead in story recall, and a whopping 20 months ahead in understanding directions!
When it comes to baby swimming classes, you can be confident that you are choosing the right activity for your child, knowing you will benefit them in many ways beyond developing water confidence and swim safety 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 then, they will be learning important lifesaving skills such as what to do if they 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. Incredibly, your baby can begin to learn some of these skills in 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. So you can be confident that you are choosing the right activity for your child, knowing you will benefit them in so many ways beyond the development of water confidence and swim safety skills.
Most baby swim schools will only use warm private pools so it’s not dissimilar to stepping into a nice warm bath. The warm 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.
Baby swimming lessons are a great opportunity to deepen the carer-child bond. Swimming costumes allow lots of skin-to-skin contact and having the carer support their child in the water brings a closeness that is lost as the child gets older and more independent. Baby swim lessons carve out precious time for you to bond with your baby, with like-minded families, and no other noisy distractions! They’re a great chance to make connections with other parents and their babies. There’s usually an opportunity or two to have underwater photographs taken at the term end too, giving you 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 Elisa Rowland, Aquatots Baby Toddler & Child Swimming