For any child living in Australia, water will most likely be an integral part of their life.
With the first nine months of an infant’s development being spent in amniotic fluid, babies are already familiar within the water environment. Therefore continuing that on in the early stages after birth should be a natural progression - from their first bath, their first shower and onto their first swimming lesson.
From birth, there are many experiences you can share with your newborn in the bath that will foster a love for water and help to nurture that special bond between parents and baby.
Positive early experiences in the water will help them develop into a happy, relaxed and confident swimmer and will allow them to enjoy many fun adventures as they get older.
10 Good Reasons for Teaching Babies to Swim
- Babies less than 1 year old accept the water more readily than older children thus the importance of early introduction.
- Fear of the water can be acquired as children get older - the longer the child is kept away from the water the more likely they are to develop the fear.
- Babies can exercise more muscle in the water, they are less restricted by gravity or the ability to sit or stand. This increased strength and mobility often manifests itself in early acquisition of physical skills like walking.
- Early mastery of movement through water gives children a head-start in learning basic water safety and swimming skills.
- Water helps improve co-ordination and balance by encouraging babies to move their limbs bi-laterally to maintain their equilibrium.
- Warm water combined with gentle exercise relaxes and stimulates babies’ brain function, allowing the combined music and movement program to utilise both the left and right side of their brain.
- Swimming lessons help to build a strong and trusting relationship with parent and child.
- Swimming provides opportunities for lots of skin–to-skin contact with their parents that many psychologists say helps deepen the bond between parent and child.
- As babies learn how to move through the water on their own, their independence and self-confidence blossoms.
- Swimming lessons for babies and young children helps develop social skills through interactions with other children, teachers and parents/carers.