Mother and Baby Activities: Swimming

As a new parent you probably have heard about other mothers or fathers signing up their small babies for mother and baby swimming activities, and you may be wondering what kind of swimming can be done when half the participants are too small to actually do much. While small babies aren’t able to swim on their own, just the experience of being with their mothers on water can prove beneficial for their development.

A boy in a children's swimming pool.

A boy in a children’s swimming pool. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Swimming Lessons for Babies

It may sound surprising, but babies actually like water (provided it’s at the right temperature and not filled with irritating chemicals) and mother and baby swimming lessons are very popular. Going with your toddler to swimming lessons can help them feel more confident about water when they grow up, and it does encourage relaxation and better sleeping patters. Don’t expect your toddler to ever be out of your reach, but baby swimming lessons can pave the way for a healthy lifestyle when they grow up and can actually swim on their own.

How Are Lessons Performed?

The swimming lessons are conducted by specially trained instructors, on swimming pools heated to over 30C and shallow enough for an adult to stand on her feet easily. Of course they don’t really involve swimming for real so even parents who don’t swim themselves can attend, and often this can be helpful to lose existing fear of water. Your baby will be allowed to float but always next to you or on your arms, and some may even enjoy going underwater, but you won’t be expected to dive underwater yourself if you aren’t comfortable with the idea.

Can all Babies Learn to Swim?

Babies as young as 6 weeks can attend mother and baby swimming lessons, but you should always check out with your doctor if your baby has any existing condition. Avoid going to the swimming pool if he or she is or has recently been sick, as that can make things worse. Some babies take to the water easier than others, but the trained instructors at the swimming pool know how to make the experience great both for them and for you and ensure everything is safe and fun for your baby.

Some say that young babies take so well to water because it reminds them of the time before the birth, warm and safe and hearing their mother heartbeat all the time while submerged in water. Whatever the reason, most babies do seem to enjoy water related activities, and many public and privately owner swimming pools have special swimming lessons for mother and baby so check out your nearest pool for more information.

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By Irene Lizarraga


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