Water Babies have been teaching babies and toddlers to swim since 2002 and now teach over 48,000 little ones every week. With a clear emphasis on having fun, their multi-award winning lessons are extremely sociable for both of you and a great way of making new friends. We asked them to share their expert advice on how to get your little ones in the pool…
Take your baby Swimming
Taking your baby swimming from as early as possible means you’re introducing them to exercise and encouraging a healthy lifestyle, right from the start. All swimming is fantastic for your baby, whether you want to do a specialised course or simply splash around in the pool. It develops learning skills, boosts confidence, improves co-ordination and enhances wellbeing – and with NHS guidelines saying that babies don’t need to have had their vaccinations before they can swim, it’s the only structured activity you can do together from birth!
What’s more, familiarising children with water at a very young age helps prevent a fear of water developing later. You’ll be teaching your baby a key skill, right from birth, and it’s one from which they’ll benefit for the rest of their lives.
Baby swimming is a completely relaxing and enjoyable activity, perfectly designed to enhance the parent/child bond. And, whilst you are learning new skills all the time, to you and your child you’ll only ever just feel like you’re simply having the best fun.
So whether you’re taking your baby to the pool on your own, or to structured classes, make sure your first visit is a positive, gentle introduction to this multi-sensory world.
Practical tips…if you decide to take the plunge!
- NHS guidelines say babies can swim before they’re vaccinated. However, if your baby was born premature, then you should consult your health professional beforehand – as you should if you have any other medical concerns.
- Always check the temperature of the water – it needs to be above 30⁰ for a baby older than 12 weeks (or heavier than 12lbs), and above 32⁰ if they’re younger or smaller.
- It may be worth investing in a little baby wetsuit if you’re visiting your local pool and you’re unsure of the temperatures.
- Limit the first few sessions to about 20 minutes – babies tire easily in the water and there’s lots of new sensations for them to take on board!
- Take two towels for your baby – one for when you leave the pool and one for after their shower – and a little hat for when you go outside.
- Be ready to give them a big feed after their swim – they’ll be ravenous after such a good workout!
- As you enter the pool together for the first time, smile and talk to your baby to reassure them it’s a fun experience (and don’t hug them too close)! Whatever you’re feeling will always transfer to your child, so the more relaxed you are, the happier they’ll be.