Why start swimming with your baby from an early age and what to look for when choosing a swim school
Your baby was born with the natural ability to swim and to hold their breath underwater and after 9 months in the fluid environment of Mummy’s tummy are very ready to begin learning that incredible life skill of swimming. What’s more, learning that life saving skill can also be great for fun, fitness and relaxation for both baby and parent.
There are many baby swim schools available and by finding one that specialises in this area you will have the reassurance that your Teacher will be experienced and dedicated to ensuring your child learns in the most comfortable, safe, fun & suitable environment. Most baby swim schools will only use warm private pools such as Aquatots lovely warm pools in Sevenoaks, so it’s not dissimilar to stepping into a nice warm bath. This keeps them relaxed, comfortable and ready to learn and have fun.
Did you also know the health benefits associated with Baby Swimming?
The stimulation of water over the body helps to develop and strengthen the nervous and cardiovascular systems, and the pressure of the water helps to develop strong muscles. This is why swimming is not only a fantastic multi-sensory experience for babies and children, but also for children with any disabilities as they will enjoy the wonderful sensation the water gives them. It is also a great way to build up any weak muscles, again where 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.
Those swim schools focussed on the more natural approach will also steer clear of buoyancy aids such as arm bands and instead have parents 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 but also gives parents a more involved role in their child’s learning. Many also agree that teaching children to swim the natural way, without buoyancy, is far more beneficial, fun and easier too. Both Mum & Dad can be involved with Teachers taking you through structured sessions with swims that develop with your child until that incredible moment that they take their first truly independent swim.
Not only is water confidence a key part of any swim lesson but much time will also be spent promoting lifesaving skills. It may be some time before your child is truly independent in water with the ability to swim confidently, so 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). How to hold their breath in water and come up to breath, 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.
So why wait? Your baby is ready so start looking now for classes in your area and give your baby that true Gift for Life. The ideal age to begin baby swimming is 3-12 months and some schools also run Foundation/beginner classes for toddler/children.
Article written by Natalie Watt, Aquatots Baby Toddler & Child Swimming.