A recreation, sport, exercise, developmental activity, this is all what defines swimming for kids or babies, yes for adults too:).
So moms & dads let’s have an interesting post below to encourage you to make your baby swimmer early on in the years! Since its the onset of summers & Summers and water indeed cheer one another. The onset of this season brings smile & a temptation to indulge in water activities not just for elders but yes for the younger kids & even toddlers or babies. After all, its a great refreshing way to beat the summer heat.
What is the best age to start baby swimming?
The American Association of Pediatrics, has quoted that babies as young as a year old can begin swimming. While some programs give you the satisfaction of making a 6month old baby lean how to swim. Isn’t that strange? NHS also says that a baby can be taken for swimming anytime from birth, before or just after vaccinations also. It’s all that confusing parents. People in developed countries can be seen taking their new born kids for swimming (rather floating on water).
But, there can be many apprehensions of bringing out baby less than a year or two to swim. To me personally, I feel that the best time is once the baby is more than 2years. Swimming can be comparable to walking, wherein baby starts from being immobile to touching the running spree, which all happens in more than a year. In similar fashion, if the kid starts to learn swimming from the age of 2.5-3, he is bound to be challenging enough by 4/5years. So starting at 2.5-3years, can be quite the best time for your baby.
In places, where water is nearly omnipresent, one should definitely start swimming from as early as a year. You need to have a swimmer by birth to avoid drowning & many such countries offers swimming courses for these small bunch of babies:).
Basic Questioning before being engaged in swimming for kids:
1. Is the baby ready to enter water mentally as well as emotionally?
Many kids who are not exposed to water in pool or in sea have a great fear of entering the pool, even if they love & enjoy their bath time. Enjoying bath time isn’t a surety of them to enter pool. I have experienced the same myself, even though my kid of 2 years was exposed to numerous beaches & sea atmosphere three times before, but he had strong denial towards pool & even shower. His confidence really drained looking at the massive water bodies which clearly reflected his emotional state of not being ready until then. So, do try & understand your baby’s behaviour towards it.
Remember :: Never ever force a baby to enter the water body. Let it happen voluntarily with some efforts in a phased manner. Swimming for kids should be a fun time & not a stressful time
2. Do you as a family try enjoying the water time?
If parents are confident with water play, same feeling will pass on to the baby gradually. So, be confident yourself to have a great young swimmer by your side. Your anxiety will hamper him develop a great interest:) Your swimming besides kids will make him comfortable to take the first step towards it.
3. Are you equally enthusiastic of swimming for yourself or do you know swimming?
Yes, you must be passionate for swimming for sure. One cannot expect to leave baby with the trainer the very first day, don’t you agree? So, for few days either of moms & dads have to be a personal trainer before the professionalism sets in. It’s the same as making the environment poised to baby outside the home! Your confidence & passion will pass on to the baby in the initial phase.
4. Did you inspect the pool & authorities? Have the trainer trained small babies earlier?
Do ask for the certifications & experience of trainers. It’s your kid who they will be handling. Complete the proof check before finalising the pool. Get a feedback from parents who are hitting the pool with kids, they’ll share you the best “testimonials”.
5. Tap on the Pool quality & water temperature :
Very important, some kids are sensitive to varied temperatures. Check for yourself from your baby’s point before getting him in! Also, you need to check on the water levels, if they are in accordance to your child’s height.
6. Question the pool authorities wrt hygiene & cleanliness of water & yes the chlorination levels:
Some kids (more so less than a year old babies) can be allergic to excess chlorine & their skin may react negatively towards the water. To begin with give your baby a try for 2-3 days & by then if their are no signs of reaction, give a thumbs up! Cheers you’ve initiated a most loved hobby. Who knows, you could be mommy & daddy of an upcoming Olympic Swimmer:)
So that’s a small list to initiate with. Let’s tap onto some really scientific logics which provoke you to ensure swimming for kids.
Benefits of Baby Swimming for kids :
1. Cognitive Development :
Age and pool fear are directly proportional. Longer a kid takes to enter the pool, longer is the time taken to get rid of that “Water fear”. When a baby swims, it involves both right & left sides of the body to work out. They move their arms, kick with legs, make cross patterns all in synchronisation. This in turn builds numerous neurons stimulating the brain development which is on a peak from 2-6years. This in turn will help your kid in better communication, a clear language, enhanced learning capabilities, great in calculations, all in the times to come.
So, it means that swimming will indeed help your baby top the charts, Happy Moms:). Let’s get to some stats (Australian University) to prove the high cognitive development of babies who learn swimming early.
2. Confidence Booster :
Yes, swimming for kids is a great method to de-stress & build confidence. It helps them work on their EQ as well. It rubs out water fear very early in the lives. When a child moves independently in the water, when he strokes on his own, he is gaining an all time confidence in himself. His body is assuring him of a great sense of achievement. This confidence will go a long way, be it in personal life or professional life.
3. Superb Muscular development :
One of the major reason, as to why people start very young is that it is an excellent way to have muscle control. Babies practising quite young have had great control & they start walking/doing gross motor activities much faster than their non-swimmer peers.
It also improves the balance & coordination of both sides of body & brain. It gives out a complete work out helping in strengthening their lungs & stimulating all 5 senses:). Swimming for kids is a complete package in itself.
4. Feeling of Community & better Social development :
Every sport develops a sense of team & community & so does swimming. Once worked onto individual swimming, various water plays, competitions help in developing the social charts. They understand the importance of group. A sense of discipline emerges from within & these values are carried out throughout the life. Swimming for kids help in developing self-esteem while they are very young!
5. Lessons for safety of Life :
A timely training reduces the cases of drowning. Harsh truth but you cannot follow your baby everywhere. A small mistake from any side results in drowning incidences which become painful throughout the lives. I’ve read so many newspaper clips citing kid falling in tanks to streams and drowning of. So, its always better to get them swim trained. There was a study which cited that there were 88% reduction in drowning cases if the children were swim trained in ages 1-4.
6. Bonding Time :
Yes, its a perfect family bonding time. Those moments will certainly enhance the parent – child bond. Swimming for kids is rather an emotional buster for the family:).
7. Better Appetite :
Stop complaining Moms when kids don’t eat anything! Try out swimming & see the change. Post such an amazing exercise, your baby will certainly feel hungry & enhance its appetite. Try giving them something nutritious once they are done with swimming. It also eases the body & help them have a better sleep.
8. Sweetness Overloaded :
Ample opportunities for Insta photos & videos, after all your bumble bee looks darling in the swim suit & while swimming:)
One important tip I felt as a part of “Drowning Prevention” –
Children until the age of 4 should never be left alone in the pools or near water. You should at a hands distance from your child all the time.
Rest No fears, Give it a Cheers & let your Baby rock!