Engaging with the pool's sights, sounds, textures, and temperature will also stimulate your baby's senses. Witnessing their reactions to the water is an adventure every parent should consider. Sharing moments of swimming, splashing, and gentle paddling with your baby promises enjoyable bonding.
Initiating pool time early on contributes to your own and your baby's comfort around water. This familiarity with swimming from an early age can also lay the foundation for your baby to grow up without fear of water.
What is the Right Age of Swimming For Babies?
Newborns can begin swimming right after birth! According to guidance from the NHS, there's no specific age restriction for taking babies swimming, and waiting for their first immunizations is unnecessary. While it's safe for babies to swim, mothers should wait until about 6 weeks after childbirth or 7 days after vaginal bleeding has ceased to prevent potential infections.
However, it's also advisable to wait until your baby's umbilical cord stump has fallen off and the belly button has healed. If you're eager to introduce your baby to swimming earlier, it's a wonderful chance for fathers or other family members to create a bonding experience with the infant.
Contrary to a common misconception, babies do have the ability to swim shortly after being born. While they can't embark on long swims right away, they possess an impressive innate capacity to manage their breathing in water and exhibit a reflex action that mimics a swimming motion, referred to as the Bradycardic response. This instinctive ability typically diminishes the baby's swimming age at around 6 months.
Despite these innate skills, it's important to note that it will take some time before babies can adequately support their heads above water to breathe and intentionally hold their breath.
Consequently, in most newborn baby swimming, there are swimming classes that teach techniques to regulate their breathing before a baby is introduced to submersion. They also allow your year-old baby to wear swim shorts while doing swimming practice.
When Should My Baby Start Swimming Lessons?
If you've decided to begin swimming lessons for your baby after careful consideration, it's crucial to keep in mind that attempting this on your own, without the guidance of a trained expert or supervisor, is not recommended.
The ideal approach is to seek out a reputable institution that offers baby swimming programs. It's important to thoroughly review the qualifications of the professionals who will be interacting with your baby during these sessions. Verify that they adhere to regulatory standards to ensure the safety of both the swimming pool environment and the overall experience for your baby.
However, rather than simply entrusting the sessions swimming for babies to others, it's advisable to actively participate by joining them in the pool. This precaution helps prevent any potential regrets or feelings of helplessness if you aren't able to reach your baby swiftly in case of an unexpected situation.
Additionally, remember that introducing any form of swimming instruction should only be considered once your baby has acquired the ability to hold their head up steadily. When attempting to teach your baby how to swim, focus on the following three key aspects:
- Teaching them to float - This can be introduced even for younger babies.
- Teaching them to roll over and orient their face out of the water - This skill can also be practiced with younger babies.
- Teaching them to move towards the pool's edges - This step may be suitable for slightly older babies (1 year and above).
As your child becomes more adept at mastering these foundational movements, you can gradually introduce more advanced techniques, perhaps even progressing to teaching them swimming strokes.
Top Tips to Ensure Water Safety for Your Child
Before venturing into the water, it's essential to acquaint yourself with some practical tips and safety measures to ensure the comfort and well-being of both you and your baby:
- Babies tend to prefer warmer water, so aim to locate a pool with temperatures ranging from 30°C to 32°C, especially until your baby reaches a slightly older age.
- Ensure your baby is attired in a swim nappy to prevent any mishaps. Additionally, neoprene baby swimwear for 12 months kids can prove helpful in keeping everything securely in place.
- Before embarking on your aquatic outing, assess the available changing facilities at the pool, with a preference for those equipped with a changing table.
- Remember to pack towels for both yourself and your little one. Wrapping up in a cozy towel after leaving the warm pool will maintain your warmth and overall comfort.
What to Pack in Your Infant Swimming Bag?
Be well-prepared for any situation when taking your baby swimming. Consider including these items in your baby's swim bag:
- First aid kit
- Swimming essentials
- Extra diapers
- All necessary diaper bag items
- Toiletries and bathing necessities (such as soap, wipes, shampoo, towel, disinfectant, etc.)
- Spare change of clothes for baby wear.
- Accessories (such as toys, floats, etc. mentioned earlier)
Learning to swim is a lasting skill for your baby. Similar to driving a car or writing, once learned, it's never truly forgotten, no matter how infrequently practiced. Swimming not only offers relaxation but also serves as a recreational activity. Best of luck!