A baby’s first time in a pool is a fun and relaxing experience. In fact, infant swimming helps babies and toddlers become familiar with and adapt to being in the water, aids psychomotor learning and creates a stronger bond with parents. Baby will enjoy his first time in the pool so much that the feeling will probably last all his life.
Water activity programmes for babies include a number of basic safety principles so you can help your baby with his first feelings of surprise in the water. To better control your pool when children are small there are a number of submerged alarm systems that sound a loud alarm if a child falls into the water.
You must also remember that babies aren’t able to regulate their body temperature themselves and may start to cry if the water is very cold. They will be totally comfortable and calm if the water temperature is 32º. It is also advisable to control chlorine levels, ventilation (in a heated pool) and the place where baby will be changed and dried to prevent against cold following the swim.
As Lauren Heston explains in her book “Water Baby”, infant swim classes prepare babies and toddlers “for an active lifestyle, a stronger heart and lungs and, in general, a healthier body. The programme also helps develop a more alert attitude and improves coordination at a very young age”.
It’s more a series of aquatic stimulation exercises than a regular swimming course, because babies are not yet developed enough to actually learn how to swim. That will come later, between the ages of four and five.
“In addition to learning to swim, it sparks their intelligence potential for good – and best of all….it’s done through play! Controlling your breathing underwater is a life skill that is easily learnt in the first month of classes. Each contact with water ends with the inclusion of new knowledge and skills,” says Patricia Cirigliano, head of the First Argentine Swim School for Babies, listing the benefits of infant swimming.
The first time in a pool is certain to be an experience that will relax a baby, allow him to sleep better at night and aid active, healthy growth and development.