Baby swimming is one of the most amazing experiences you can share with your baby!
Babies have a real affinity with water. They spend nine months in the womb, and more and more expectant mothers are now choosing a water birth as the most natural introduction to this world. Water is recognised as a warm, supportive environment during labour and provides a natural transition for your baby from the womb to the “outside world”.
Babies can be taken into the water from birth (Puddle Ducks welcomes babies in their classes from as young as a few weeks); very young babies love the freedom, massage and gentle exercise that the water offers. The benefits to both parent and baby of swimming together are immense and include:
- Plenty of eye contact
- Plenty of skin contact – it’s a wonderful way to bond with your baby
- Helping you and your baby feel relaxed and confident in the water together
- Makes swimming a fun and socially stimulating activity (for both you and your baby!)
There are further benefits for your baby too, especially if you join a fun, progressive class:
- It is the only time your baby can be completely independent (when experiencing gentle submersions)
- Only in the water, can a baby move freely and develop actions they wouldn’t otherwise be able to in their first year of life. This gives “swimming babies” the opportunity to develop crucial higher brain functions, core muscle development and co-ordination far earlier than they would otherwise be able to
- Even though gentle, baby swimming classes provide a complete physical work-out: strengthening your baby’s heart, lungs and respiratory system, which again aids development of the brain
- Learning to respond to key words (within a few months) can make your baby sharper mentally, increasing levels of awareness and understanding as well as prove communication between you both
But most importantly of all, swimming as a baby should instil a love of water for the rest of your child’s life.
Specialist baby swimming classes such as Puddle Ducks follow a clear and progressive structure, each class is carefully designed with simple activities, gentle submersions and are packed full of songs. Songs and rhymes provide gentle stimulation and are the most effective way to communicate with your baby. Repetition is fun, reassuring and promotes learning.
Even in the bath, there are some wonderful activities you can share with your baby. Your baby can enjoy floating on his or her back in the bath (ears in the water), or just lie back snuggling up to you. You can try sprinkling water over your baby’s tummy. You may even find your baby falls asleep!
For more information about baby swimming and classes in your area, please visit www.puddleducks.com
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