The Benefits of Baby Swimming
Swimming with your baby or toddler can be a daunting thought for many parents. However there are so many benefits it is worth pushing through the nerves. Whether your baby loves to splash at bath-time or your toddler screams when having their hair washed, swimming will make a huge difference to their lives. Taking the time to go swimming with your little one is not only fun but can help them develop skills for life.
Getting your baby used to water from birth is a great idea and being in the water will feel natural to them. Young babies can’t move freely on their own so swimming gives them that feeling of freedom, to kick and splash about, and has lots of benefits. Swimming is mentally stimulating for them and allows them to develop their motor skills whilst giving their muscles a good workout, which promotes better sleep. All positive things for your baby.
Toddlers will benefit from learning water safety at an early age and, even if they aren’t ready to learn to swim independently, they have the capacity to learn basic lifesaving skills such as floating on their backs and calling for help. Swimming is a great full body workout and regular classes give them structure to their week with something to look forward to. Confidence in the water and being proud of their abilities should be encouraged. Splashing and paddling in the water can help to improve their communication skills as they listen to your instructions and playing with friends is a wonderful way for them to develop their social skills too.
Great for You
Swimming with your baby or toddler is a lovely bonding experience as you enjoy one on one time with no distractions. The closeness you have with your baby and the skin to skin contact makes it a great activity for bonding with your baby. This time away from home is a relaxing break and gives you the space to enjoy being together, whatever the weather. If you aren’t confident enough to go it alone, sign up for baby swimming classes and meet some new friends or take a friend and their child with you.
Don’t forget that this is a big work out for little ones and they are likely to be hungry and tired afterwards, which can make getting changed and home stressful. Plan your day around the swim to make sure you go at a time that suits your routine.
Showing your children that regular exercise is a normal part of life gives them strong healthy habits from a young age and this idea will stick with them through to adulthood. Most of all relax and enjoy the experience, play games, interact with your child and make swimming a favourite pastime for years to come.
Photo Credits: Water Babies
Tags: babies, bonding, exercise, swimming, Toddlers
Categorised in: parenting advice
This post was written by Dr Amanda Gummer