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Everything You Need to Know About Starting Baby Swimming

Everything You Need to Know About Starting Baby Swimming
16 October 2014 946 Views No comments

When it comes to getting your babies in the water, it is much easier than you might think. While there are steps you should take to ensure that it isn't a shock for your little one, baby swimming is relatively easy to start – especially if you are going to classes.

You should remember that babies are used to being in water; after all, they spend the first nine months of their lives floating in liquid within the womb. This is why most babies take to water completely naturally and really enjoy the sensation of having a good splash about.

However, this natural affinity for the water isn't always enough. You want to avoid believing that your baby will be fine in water no matter, as not taking the right steps to get them used to it could harm their enjoyment. You should make the introduction to water slow, so as to help your little one feel safe at all times, and to avoid them developing a phobia that could affect them throughout their lives.

So, what exactly should you do to ensure that your little one enjoys the water and develops their swimming skills at a good speed?

Take it slow

You should start by introducing your baby to water in your own home before heading to the pool. Doing this allows them to feel safe in the water, as the experience is much less daunting than going straight to a large echoing pool.

The best way to get them into the water at home is in the bath. You should aim to have shared baths with your baby, as this is a great bonding experience, especially if you are taking them swimming.

Keep the experience fun and interesting by including toys in bath time and constantly talking to your little one. This will soothe them and help them to enjoy the sensation of the water, while also feeling safe.

Once they are happy in the water, try splashing them gently with water. If they become distressed at this point, stop and try again in the next bath. When splashing, you should get their face and the top of their head a bit wet – this will help them feel happier when it comes to going under the water later on.

The more times you share a bath with your baby, the more comfortable you'll both be with going to the pool and starting baby swimming.

The first swim

Before heading to the pool, you should check to see what the swimming pool or baby swimming class requires for your little one to wear. Having the right equipment will make everything easier and help to avoid accidents. Konfidence have a full range of baby swimming products that are tried and tested to provide the best results for you and your little one.

It is highly recommended that you give your baby some time to get used to the pool environment before stepping into the water. Pools tend to be loud, while also having a lot of colours and strange smells for your baby to used to. All of this, coupled with getting into a large body of water, can be too much for your little one if they don't have time to adjust.

You'll probably find that your baby is a bit unsure about the whole thing to start with, but holding onto them and talking to them will be very reassuring, helping to relax them after a while. Once they have settled down, get into the water with them slowly, talking to them and holding them close at all times.

When in the pool, crouch low in the water and move them around while holding them against you. This will help them to get used to the sensation of the water without getting stressed out. Anything you can do to make the experience less stressful, including taking some of their bath toys with you, will help it go much easier.

Once again, when they are more settled in the water, splash them gently including their face and head. If you stay positive the whole time you baby will likely be happy, as they will take their cues from you.

If you are attending a baby swimming lesson, you want to make sure that you have time to do all of this before the class starts, unless entering the pool is part of the first lesson.

Getting out

It isn't just the experience in the pool that can affect how your little one feels about water. How you act when you get out of the water is also important to ensure that the whole experience is an enjoyable one for your baby.

When you get out of the water, you should wrap your baby up as soon as possible. Babies can't regulate their body temperature, so they will get cold very quickly. Having a soft towel – such as Konfidence's Poncho Towel – at the ready is the best idea so they are as comfortable as possible straight from the water.

Once they are completely dry, get them changed as quickly as possible to avoid them losing any more body heat and becoming distressed. It is a good idea to pop a hat on them to help stop this.

When you are out of the changing room, give your baby a bottle – or a snack if they are onto solid foods – as swimming will make them hungry, which is likely to ruin their mood. This will also help soothe them and make sure that every part of baby swimming is fun for them.