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How Soon Is Too Soon for Baby Swimming?

How Soon Is Too Soon for Baby Swimming?
11 March 2015 1997 Views No comments

Baby swimming is a great activity for your little one which comes with a huge number of benefits for you and your child. What's really great about baby swimming is that you can get your little one in the pool as early as you like.

There is often some confusion as to how soon is too soon for baby swimming, but the answer is simple – there isn't such a thing as too soon. Babies were born to swim and usually have a natural affinity with water that makes them happy enough to head to the pool.

If you want more detail on why you can get your little one swimming at any time, here are some of the main points of concern for parents.

Vaccinations

Some people are reluctant to take their baby swimming until they have had all their jabs. However, you don't have to wait. The NHS confirms that your little one is perfectly safe to go to baby swimming classes before and after they have had their vaccinations, allowing you to get them in the water from birth.

While there are some swimming facilities that suggest waiting until after your baby has had their full course of vaccinations, this advice is no longer relevant. It is likely that this advice goes back more than 20 years, when polio was a common problem.

However, there hasn't been a case of natural polio infection in the UK since 1984, so you are more than safe to take your children swimming before they have been vaccinated.

The chlorine in swimming pools also serves to kill off germs, so your baby is perfectly safe.

Water temperature

While it is true that babies can't regulate their own temperature until they are a bit older, this doesn't affect their ability to swim from birth. Most pools that hold baby swimming classes are heated to around 32°C, which is great for little ones.

You can always check beforehand with your local pool to see what temperature their pool is kept at during lesson times. This can help you to judge whether you may need to take extra steps to ensure that your baby is comfortable in the water.

If you're worried about the temperature, Konfidence have a range of products that are suitable for baby swimming and could help to keep your little one warm. The Babywarma baby wetsuit is ideal for helping to keep your child warm while swimming.

It is made of flexible and comfortable neoprene, which insulates them and allows them to stay in the water for longer. The surface of the material also makes it easier for you to keep a good grip on your child.

Your health

It is usually best for you to stay out of the water for at least six weeks after giving birth in order to reduce your chances of infection. This is even more important if you had a caesarean or a perineal tear, and could mean your GP suggests that you stay out of the water for a longer period of time to allow for complete healing.

This doesn't have to stop your little one from enjoying swimming though, as your partner or a family member could take them to the pool until you are ready to get back in the water. Not only does this help your child to build their water confidence and ability earlier, but it also provides you with a bit of a break, which may be welcome with a newborn.

If you have any other questions about baby swimming, it is a good idea to discuss the subject with your GP or health visitor. They will be able to go through all your individual concerns and make a decision based entirely on your personal circumstances.