Swimming with babies can be lovely.
When I had my eldest, I couldn’t wait to take her to baby swimming. She was (and still is) a real water baby.
It’s something that many parents are keen to do as soon as they are able, but, there can be challenges.
Not all babies are good at regulating their own temperature and might become cold, very quickly, even in mild water. Some babies might be so overwhelmed by the water that they can’t move, and again become very cold. You might worry about noise or crowding. Your baby might be prone to sickness, in which case swimming is a risk, and some babies just don’t like it. Often, this means that after the excitement of those early visits, parents decide to leave swimming for a while. The stress of travelling to the pool and getting ready just doesn’t seem worth it when the baby isn’t that bothered anyway.
But, as your baby grows and enters toddlerhood, it’s time to head back to the pool.
Even if those early sessions didn’t go as well as you’d have liked, swimming with a toddler can be delightful. Whether you look for a swim school near me with toddler classes, or you simply enjoy playing in the water together, here’s a look at some of the reasons you should.
It’s a Great Way to Bond
When you are in the water with your toddler, you will hold them close. They may be ‘too busy’ for the amount of cuddling they once needed now that they are running around unaided. In the water however, they need your support, which is a great bonding tool.
Swimming will also help you to see them as a toddler and no longer a baby. It will give you a chance to have fun with your growing child. You’ll laugh together and enjoy being with each other, which is also great for bonding.
To Promote Water Confidence
If you leave swimming for too long, your child may become more aware of the water and might develop a phobia. If they are too old when they first get into the water, they might find the whole experience overwhelming. This can mean that it’s very difficult to encourage them into the water and build their confidence. Swimming trips might be more stressful and tense than those early newborn ones seemed.
Taking toddlers swimming isn’t always easy, but in time, it will help to build their confidence in the water. These early sessions shouldn’t focus on the skills needed to swim, but rather the confidence and self-assurance around water.
To Build Strength
Most modern parents worry that their children aren’t getting enough exercise. At some point, they will develop a love of YouTube and games consoles, and you’ll spend half of your time trying to get them away from those screens.
Whilst they are little, make the most of this time.
Enjoy that they are keen to move and do things in the real world. Help them to build strength and flexibility by having fun in the water, and you might even instil a love of sport and physical activity.
By developing good exercise habits early on your children are less likely to become unhealthy later on, and hopefully, are happy to put the devices away!