I have taken Lucas to the pool since he was between 6 and 8 weeks old. I always wanted to get him accustomed to water as soon as possible to hopefully be confident and careful around water.
Before you even go swimming though you need to remember that you need to be happy and confident taking your little one into the pool before doing so. If you are worried about anything, it will pass on to them and associating a negative feeling to the pool so early could have a huge impact. I was a bit apprehensive about the nappy situation in the pool and leakages but when I started taking Lucas to lessons when he was a few months old, the swimming school recommended Splash About for this reason. The Splash About collection are made from stretchy neoprene with snug fitting deep waistband and leg cuffs, ensuring that all ‘little accidents’ stay inside the nappy. They also have sun and sea suits that offer sun protection (neoprene is a complete sun block) with supple UPF 50+ sleeves giving arms a free feel whilst protecting the vulnerable shoulder area and upper arms from burning.
The benefits of swimming and visiting a pool from a young ages are tremendous.
- Babies and toddlers absorb information and accept new situations a lot easier than children and adults. They most probably haven’t seen or heard anything negative about water and swimming so don’t have any pre concepts of it or fears. Babies have spent 9 months in the womb, surrounded by water. Water is recognised as a warm and supportive environment.
- It is an incredible time to bond, I absolutely loved going to swim with Lucas. It was a time of the week where we had each others undivided attention and before he started going in on his own, it involved lots of cuddles and skin to skin contact.
- It is a great way to have fun and have exercise. It is low impact and helps develop motor skills, co-ordination, balance and self confidence. Swimming will help to develop their muscles and joints, it also improves the strength of their heart and lungs, and helps to develop their brain. As they get older swimming improves mood, anxiety, and stress, which increases the brain’s ability to think more efficiently
- In a class environment, it helps develop social skills as they learn to take instructions from the teacher and they play and share with other babies in their class.
- It builds water confidence and teaches water safety. Learning to get to the side of the pool, hold on and blow bubbles early on ensures in an emergency on day, the don’t immediately panic and look for a side, blowing bubbles makes sure they don’t take in any water but breath and spit it out.
- You can take your baby swimming at any age too, you don’t have to wait for any immunisations