Letting an infant swim in a pool on their own may set off alarms in many people. However, infant swimming lessons continue being popular over the years because it offers many advantages to child development and safety. Babies as young as six months can benefit from swimming lessons from certified instructors. Not only do they learn a useful skill but also come to view water as a safe space for exercise and play.
Like most kinds of child-oriented training, taking swimming lessons as babies can help children develop physically, mentally, and socially. The body benefits from moving in the water the same way that other forms of physical exercise improve health and well-being. Meanwhile, their cognitive and social functions also grow, helping them be better at monitoring themselves and communicating with others.
If you’re still not convinced about giving your baby swimming lessons, here are the perks, risks, and tips you should know.
By giving your child swimming lessons at an early age, they gain the following perks:
- A Lower Risk Of Drowning
Many experts encourage one-on-one instruction for children aged one to four years to reduce the risk of drowning. Early swimming instruction has been found to equip infants and young children with safety skills they can use during emergencies in the water.
Note that your baby should get constant supervision during the lessons. While some kids may feel more confident in the water, they still have a long way to go to get good enough at the basics. Fortunately, good swimming programs require parents to be present during sessions.
- Improved Physical and Cognitive Development
Learning to swim at an early age also helps a child develop physically and mentally. Some cognitive functions swimming engages include spatial awareness, memory, and attention. At the same time, it promotes cardiovascular health, proper blood circulation, and muscle control.
- More Quality Time
Since you have to look after your baby during lessons, you get to spend a lot of time with them in a fun, engaging environment. Activities like these let you build a stronger bond with your little one as they come to trust you with their continued safety and happiness. What better way to show how much you care than to keep an eye on them as they try something new?
Of course, not everything is smooth sailing in an activity like this. Here are some of the risks you must weigh before giving your baby swimming lessons:
- Exposure To Chlorine
Most swimming pools are chlorinated to prevent algae growth. Your baby will be exposed to chlorine while taking swimming lessons. This may cause rashes, respiratory problems, and other health concerns. Parents and instructors can prevent adverse reactions by setting limited pool times and providing proper skin protection.
- Water-Borne Health Problems
Babies can also catch skin and respiratory infections as well as allergic sensitization due to swimming in cold, chemically-treated for long periods. Take your baby to your trusted pediatrician and talk to them about getting swimming classes. They may give you recommendations to keep your little one safe and healthy. You must do the same thing if your kid shows signs of health problems after swimming.
Tips For Success
Considering the above, what can you do to make swimming lessons a great experience for your baby?
Besides making sure you have some comfortable baby swimwear, here are some steps you should take:
- Make Bath Time Fun
One of the goals of infant swimming lessons is to help kids acclimate to the water. You can help foster this by having fun, stress-free bath times. Try taking toys and waterproof books to the bath, playing games, and singing songs together.
- Connect With Other Parents And Learners
Learning can be fun with the right company. So, you can show your child how to enjoy swimming classes by interacting with other learners and parents. Turn these sessions into play dates where you and your kid can meet other families and build friendships within your community.
- Learn Coping Techniques
Every baby has their own temperaments. Yours will have a unique response to being in a swimming pool. For this reason, you must be ready to help them when they feel uncomfortable or scared about being in the water.
You can support your child by joining them in the pool, cuddling, singing soothing songs, or providing a comfort thing, like a pacifier. Take breaks if you have to.
Furthermore, let the instructor know if your child has a health condition, adverse reactions, or other unique health requirements that may affect the lesson.
Ready To Take Them For A Swim?
Attending swimming classes can be a fun, educational activity for you and your baby. With proper preparation and support, you’ll provide them with an invaluable life skill that promotes growth, good health, and fulfillment in life. Share precious moments together as you support your baby as you let them learn how to swim.