So you are thinking: what activities can I do with my baby other than put him on his back and smile at him.
Well when they are so young, you can’t do much other than pick-a-boo games, books, and the usual infant activities, but here is where is gets interesting. You can take them swimming.
It is great for them and you can start from any age. It is a great bonding experience and it is very stimulating and most of the babies absolutely love it! Of course, the benefits don’t end here. After 20-30 min in the water they are so exhausted that they’ll nap for hours, and who doesn’t love that? You’re welcome!
Maybe you are thinking: Do I really need to pay for lessons? Does he really need them? We could go swimming once per week to our local pool and teach our son to swim and have fun for a fraction of the cost.
In this article, we will explore the swim class option vs the casual swims.
Whatever you choose to do I will help you make an informed decision.
Here is some information regarding swim at an early age.
They can start swim as early as possible, but starting at any time is beneficial. Even NHS agrees that you can take them swim at any time, even before their first immunisation. This is a life-saving skill and they can learn how to be comfortable in the water as well as have a great time.
We put our son (now 2 years) in swim school when he was 6 months old, but I feel we could have put him even earlier if we knew about it. I felt it would be a good bonding experience as well as doing something fun together.
Swim schools will teach your child in case of an accident how not to panic, be comfortable with the water, get to the side of the pool, hold on and get out, this is a skill which is a vital safety technique and can save your child’s life.
More reasons why is good to be in a swim class is socialisation as well as being around other kids from a young age (especially if is an only child), good for their physical and mental health, teaching them how to exercise from young, stimulates all 5 senses (taste, smell, touch, sight and sound), and a good workout for you too!
By swimming, your little one will improve coordination and balance as well as help them relax and stimulate their appetite. Be sure that after a good class your little one will have a really good meal and a long nap.
It provides a regular fun and social activity to your week and you will be looking forward to it.
Now a word about flotation devices. Surely if you will take your child swimming you will not let them swim without them from the fear of drowning. Well exactly, the flotation devices give them a false sense of security and doesn’t teach them much about water and how to be safe in the pool. Most of the parents use them to keep their children save and although this is great, it brings no benefit for the long term. That’s why a swim school can teach you the right techniques to keep your child safe in the water while boosting his confidence and teaching them valuable lessons for the future.
For your swim lesson you will need:
- A swim nappy, cloth or disposal. You can find the disposal swim nappies at your local supermarket. You don’t need a particular brand we had success with supermarket’s own brand too. If you want to go for a premium, Huggies little swimmers are the market leaders in this. We went for the cloth option which we purchased from our supermarket too.
- A happy nappy– usually made from stretch neoprene. You can find this online or with your swim school. We purchased ours from amazon. They look like this . You will have to put this on top of the swim nappy to protect from any poop explosions during your session. It has to be snug around the waist and the legs so make sure you purchase the right size.
- A baby wetsuit– to keep your baby warm during your lesson depending on the temperature of your pool. The suits can be different. Long arms and legs for a very cozy one. Or just a BabyWrap.
- A swim cap– If your child has long hair you need to put it up in a bun or use a swim cap to avoid hair sticking to the face and getting in the way.
Now, there are two different types of pools. Salt water and chlorine. In my opinion, they are both alright from an early age as long as they are maintained and monitored correctly. All the pools should have thermometers and for young babies, a hydro pool will be better as the water is as warm as you would make your bath.
So, what do you think? Will you spend the extra money to get the benefits of a swim school or do you feel that you can provide the necessary lessons that your child will need to keep himself safe?
H Sigmundsson1 & B. Hopkins, ‘Baby swimming: exploring the effects of early intervention on subsequent motor abilities’ in Child: Care, Health and Development Volume 36, Issue 3, pages 428–430, May 2010.
Check out some of my other articles:
- Turn your picky eater around once and for all
- Do you get frustrated with your children? 10 tips to help you with this today!
- How to beat the stay-at-home mum blues