The thought of getting your baby into a pool of water even before they have learned how to walk can be scary, but babies love the water! Infant swimming brings a tonne of benefits to your little one; it’s also a great bonding activity for parents to do with their baby.
What is infant swimming?
It is the natural phenomenon of babies reflexively moving their bodies in the water. Babies also learn to change their heart rate and respiration rate as they remain submerged.
When is a baby ready for infant swimming?
A baby is ready to be taken swimming as early as a couple of days old, but because their slowly developing immune systems, it is recommended that a baby is introduced to a pool when around two months old. Swimming lessons begin for babies aged six months and above. Babies under six months should be taken to heated pools with a temperature range of 30 to 32-degree Celsius. Pools are not necessarily the only means of introduction, get your baby to float around in a home bath; this will let them get a feel of the water before heading over to the real deal.
Studies have proven that the earlier a child learns to swim, the more confident they become. Swimming helps with body awareness, which many people struggle with, even as adults. Water touches the whole body as you swim; swimming requires the body to work with the water to move. The body and the brain both have to work alongside each other to get the body moving through a pool of water; this helps with body awareness. Swimming also helps with body control and body image, acting as a medium that gives little ones a sense of freedom and control. Learning to swim at a young age will develop confidence when around water. As little ones grow and get used to the water, they’ll feel more assured when in or around waters.
Enhances Cognitive Functioning & Motor Skills
Swimming helps boost blood flow, which can be the cause of improved memory, mood, focus, and clarity. A study that took place back in 2014 has shown that by immersing your body in a pool of water increases blood flow toward the brain. Using both parts of the body, which is known as bilateral cross-patterning movements, helps the brain grown, and this movement can improve cognitive functioning such as language development, reading skills, spatial awareness, and academic learning. Studies have shown that children involved in swimming at a young age have achieved developmental milestones earlier than the norm. These milestones include motor skills like coordination, an improvement in mathematical skills, cutting paper with ease, colouring, drawing shapes, and proper lines. Just as swimming helps coordination, it also teaches balance; because your baby’s body is supported by water, they will need to focus and learn to maintain balance in the water.
Do you ever get hungry after doing a few laps in the pool? With all the physical exertion in the water and the energy used to stay warm, burns a whole lot of calories, which is why you get that hungry feeling after taking a swim. Swimming can really help improve a baby’s appetite, so be sure to bring along a bottle of milk of some baby snacks for your little one; they may get peckish after a swim lesson.
Better Sleeping Patterns
Poo time takes up a load of energy, having to paddle and stay afloat. You’ll notice your baby being a lot sleepier after a tiring swim lesson. This may disrupt a planned sleep schedule with the baby being asleep during the day and awake all night, so you might want to adjust the push swim lessons later in the day.
Creates A Bond
Infant swimming gives parents and their babies a space to form an unbreakable. During lessons, it will just be and your baby in complete focus toward each other. A trust will be built as you teach your little one to swim and float. It’s a fun activity for both you and your baby, your little one will have a blast splashing around, and you’ll be in awe watching your baby take these new steps. Your baby can easily pick up if you’re nervous or in a panic state, so the key to a successful bonding session is to have as much fun with your baby; your baby is in good hands if you and the instructor are in reach of your baby. Your baby will feel a connection as the both of you hold on to each other in the water, sharing a whole new and exciting experience together.