9 Benefits of teaching your baby to swim
Thank you for coming to our website for the Baby Swimming Shop. We are passionate about baby swimming having run a baby swim school for nearly 10 years. Over that time, we have taught an incredible number of babies and toddlers to swim and we would like to think that we know a thing or two about what the key benefits are of teaching your baby to swim.
It is clear to us that teaching your baby to swim can have significant benefits in your child’s development. We have listed below 9 key benefits that we have noted during our time running our baby swim school and teaching our own children to swim.
1. Healthy lifestyle
In this day and age, with our increasingly sedentary lifestyles, it is important to get your child into a good routine for an active lifestyle at an early age. This will help set the groundwork for what will hopefully become part of their regular routine as they grow up. What’s more, learning to swim can be fun. And by making exercise fun, your child will want to come back time and time again helping to instill this discipline into their psyche at an early age.
2. Confidence building
Your child will amaze themselves (and you) at what they can achieve in the water. Praise and recognition week in and week out from you or their teacher will help to build their self-esteem and confidence and they will take this into their other activities outside of the pool.
3. Water awareness and basic life saving
Children and babies who are familiar with being in the water develop an awareness and respect for water. Some swim schools hold pyjama parties which will help your child become familiar with being in the water with clothes on. As a result, they are less likely to panic should they ever fall in the water and giving them a better chance to cope should they have an accident.
Children will also learn how to naturally get to the surface and how to expel water from their mouth. These are essential skills should they fall in a pool or pond that can give them those few extra moments until help arrives.
Thankfully accidents like this are few and far between but I have been thanked on a number of occasions by parents whose young children have fallen in a body of water but have been able to surface themselves before their adult has pulled them from the water.
4. Physical development
Until their muscles have fully developed, babies often spend a lot of their time stationary, whether it is in a pram, in their cot or on the floor. When they are in the water, they can move about independently as their weight is supported by the water (and you!).<pFurther, the motion and sensation of the water will give them a self-awareness that is difficult to replicate elsewhere. As they move about in the water, they will also strengthen their leg muscles and start to develop their balance which is invaluable in helping them start the process of learning to walk.
Many swimming classes use word association and repetition as a core part of their teaching methods. Some swim schools even introduce songs as babies are known to respond to rhythm. Phrases such as “reach, reach” or “kick, kick” are often used to encourage your child to move about the pool.
6. Social skills
As with many activities for babies and young children, baby swimming classes will teach your child how to interact with other children and with other adults.
Often, baby swimming classes can be a positive social experience for parents too. I know many of my parents meet up for coffee after a lesson or have created their own Facebook groups, with friendship continuing even when their child has progressed beyond my lessons.
7. Baby and you time
Swimming with your baby is a very intimate experience with just you and your child in the water with no distractions. You’ll be holding your child most of the time and gradually releasing them further and further until they grasp the basic skills. You’ll build trust together, have fun together and strengthen that important bond between parent and child.
8. Health benefits
Swimming is well known to strengthen the heart and lungs and to improve muscle development. Mothers (and fathers) may also find this mild exercise helpful for them too. I’ve also found that mothers who are suffering from post natal depression, find that these classes can be helpful for them too, encouraged by the positive time with their child and the supportive environment of classes.
9. ZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz (sleep)
Last, but by no means least, babies that undertake physical exercise sleep better.
My daughter was always a terrible sleeper, always waking up in the middle of the night which had started to drive us mad. I remember very well the night following my daughter’s first swimming lesson. That night was miracle night. She slept through from 9pm to 6am. Not only was this extremely good for her, the benefit to us, her parents, was immeasurable. From this moment on, she was at swim school religiously every week!
As always, we would love to hear your stories on how baby swimming has benefited your child.
Don’t forget to check out our website www.babyswimmingshop.co.uk, were we stock everything that you will need to take your baby or child to the pool or beach and where you can find further advice.