Baby Swimming Tips

For parents who wish to acclimatise their babies with swimming, don’t just take the plunge without knowing how to create a safe and pleasurable environment for both you and your baby to enjoy. It’s easy enough to want to bring your children to the water, but if you want to turn them into a Michael Phelps then you need to start safely!

Swimming from an early age is a fantastic way to develop a healthy growing child. Being accustomed to water early in their lives can encourage them to take up swimming as they mature, keeping them active and exercising the muscles, lungs and heart also.

Consider the three following tips in regards to baby swimming:

Keep Your Baby Safe

Keeping your child protected is the main aspect of baby swimming. It is deemed safe by the Department of Health for a child to begin swimming as soon as they are born, although mums should wait around 4-6 weeks before entering a pool after giving birth.  For especially young babies however, ensure the water is a suitable temperature, not too hot or cold and preferably around 32 degrees.

Have your baby in a pool for around 10-20 minutes at first, seeing how they initially cope with the water. Check for any signs the baby is feeling unwell or if skin complaints arise.  When it comes to submerging the baby under water, it is advisable to seek the advice and guidance with a qualified instructor, which brings us onto our next tip.

Take Baby Swimming Classes

Signing up to professional baby swimming classes will help you to get the most out of the experience in the safest manner possible. In small groups, usually categorised by ability, a qualified mentor will relax you all in smaller, warm pools where you and the baby can get used to the procedure.

You will be taught to be confident and assured with your baby in the water, holding them securely and maintaining eye contact. Reassurance, support and praise will keep your baby at ease and allow them to relax. The instructor will encourage primitive strokes and try to make the lesson as fun as possible.

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When it comes to submerging, seek the advice of the swimming teacher and try and embrace the experience. Babies can naturally hold their breath underwater but their head needs to be fully submerged for the gag reflex to work. Stay relaxed, even if your baby does not react well to it or swallows a bit of water– this is normal in many cases.

Prepare Beforehand

The primary accessories which parents need to invest in are baby nappies. Their function is to contain any waste within the nappy so that the pool doesn’t become contaminated. You can pick them up from Splash About on their website online.

Many public swimming pools will not allow babies into the water without one due to the serious infection risk involved. Make sure the size of the nappy snugly fits onto the baby’s legs and waist.

Also don’t forget to take simple equipment and accessories to enhance you and your child’s pool experience. Think in terms of bathing suits, towels and poolside mats, along with food and drink after the session has finished. 

Simon Bowers is a family and household writer, working with many online and offline media outlets.

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