Benefits of Baby Swimming Lessons. How Swimming Helps with Sleep, Fosters Development and Builds Social Skills.
What are the benefits of Baby Swimming
Having spent 9 months suspended in the warm fluid of a mother’s womb, newborn babies have a natural affinity with the water. Once baby is born, parents can help maintain this affinity that their baby has with the water through their initial bath-time routines.
However, as they become older, babies can lose their inherent love of the water and become fearful. The progression from the bath to early new born swimming lessons and baby swimming lessons can ensure baby learns to enjoy the aquatic experience from an early age, while at the same time providing baby with many benefits that extend well beyond the swimming pool.
Swimming is a complete physical workout
This in turn assists the development of the heart, lungs and muscles of your baby. The physical activity that swimming offers stimulates the appetite of baby, which in turn promotes food digestion and boosts the immune system. The myriad of activities, faces, free movement, splashing and noise (laughing/songs) stimulates baby’s brain which in turn assists in sight, hearing, touch, balance and coordination development of baby. The freedom that water provides allows a baby to exercise more muscles than they could possible expect to use when on land.We know that movement is crucial for development, so the expanded opportunity for movement available in an aquatic environment affords a further opportunity for infant brain development.
Swimming helps with sleep
One reason parents love to have their baby in swim lessons is for the deeper and longer sleep that invariably follow a swim session. Regular swimming aids in the development of sleep patterns. Even though the class may appear gentle and relaxing, the baby very often exerts themselves to an extent that they are exhausted by the end of the half hour!
Swimming fosters bonding and building social skills
Swimming lessons are a wonderfully intimate activity between parent and child that provide a one-on-one bonding opportunity which helps promote the parent-infant relationship. The group class structure of swim lessons provides a chance for interaction with teachers and other children and parents, and enhances a child’s social skills and capacity to follow instructions and respond to directions. Additional benefits include the self esteem and sense of independence that are produced when baby learns to move themselves through the water.
Swimming lessons develop better safety skills around the water
At swim lessons babies learn to know their capabilities and have practised a variety of skills such as turning around in the water to return to the pool edge, reaching for objects, and holding onto the side until assistance arrives.
Here at Hampton Swim School it is not uncommon for us to hear stories from parents of (their) children avoiding a drowning incident, precisely because of the knowledge that their child had acquired through their swim lessons. Babies who swim from an early age are more relaxed and confident in the water, and commencing swim lessons at an early age can assist in avoiding the emotional stress that may accompany commencing lessons at a later age.
Baby swim lessons are more than just “another activity”, and can provide the parent and the baby with a unique experience, and the parent with a sense of pride as they see their child develop and achieve skills over the course of their lessons.
Do babies enjoy swimming lessons?
Many parents wonder whether their baby will enjoy swimming lessons. Deciding whether to start lessons usually involves weighing up the benefits against what the experience will be like—not just for the baby, but also for the parents! No one wants to be in a pool with a screaming baby for a lengthy period of time.
At Hampton Swim School, we have a specialised swimming program for babies created by a former Australian Swimming representative, Julia Ham.
Our swimming classes are designed for maximum enjoyment and learning opportunities. And we find that a vast majority of babies enjoy our classes right away. But, if for some reason your baby is resistant to swimming lessons, we can help make them feel right at home in the water.
Why our swim program is perfect for babies
Hampton Swim School has a swim program that grows with your baby and their needs. Our expert teachers and carefully constructed classes teach swimming in a fun way. This means that your baby is much more likely to enjoy their swimming lessons with us.
We have classes tailored to newborn babies and up to 3 years, separated by age groups.
This program includes:
- BabyBegins: from birth to 3 months – Free lessons
- Starfish: from 3–9 months
- Jellyfish: from 10–16 months
- Turtle: from 17–30 months
- Penguin: from 2–3 years of age.
What to do if your baby is not enjoying swim classes?
Sometimes your baby may not enjoy a particular swim class at first. This can be for a variety of reasons and may have nothing to do with the class itself—for example, if they are getting sick.
As kids learn new skills and experience new things—like being submerged underwater—some may become a little scared at first. But as a parent, it’s important to know that this is all part of the learning process.
The best thing you can do for your baby is to persist and stay with the classes. You’ll find that as the weeks pass and your child has a chance to get used to the class, their mood will often change significantly. At first they might be scared, but soon—with our support and care—they will be laughing and playing and having a ball! And so will you.
What we can do to help your baby enjoy the class
Normally, most babies love our swimming classes! But if your child needs a little help settling in, our trained swimming teachers will work with you to make sure your child gets the most out of the classes.
What you can do to help your baby enjoy swimming lessons
Children are like little sponges, and are great at picking up the energy and emotions of other people around them. So, as you’ve probably experienced, if you become anxious or stressed, your child is likely to pick up on this.
The best thing you can do is to relax and enjoy yourself. By remaining calm and having fun, your child is likely to do the same.
Find out more about our swimming lessons for babies
If you have any questions about our swimming lessons for babies, please contact us today.