At what age should a child learn to swim?
Why is it important to learn how to swim? Because getting into the water is a lot of fun. Swimming keeps you healthy, increases your stamina, and improves your posture. Knowing how to swim from an early age is just as important as learning your ABC’s. The question now is: At what age should a child learn how to swim? Until now, it was thought that it’s not a good idea for kids under the age of 4 to go for a dip in the pool. Now, we see things quite differently. If you’re a parent and would like to find out more about child swimming, keep on reading.
Babies can go into water right after birth
This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but kids are born with the ability to swim. They have a reflex that enables them to hold their breath and open their eyes the moment that they’re underwater. However, it takes years for children to become competent swimmers. It’s estimated that kids can swim confidently and unassisted when they reach the age of 6 or 7. Getting back on topic, babies newborns can be immersed in water at only 2 months. Of course, a loving parent needs to be in the pool with them.
There is no need to wait until your baby is immunized to go for a swim together. Some baby swimming classes start as early as 4 weeks. The decision of whether or not to start swim lessons depends entirely on the parent. This means that if you don’t want to expose your infant to the water, you don’t have to. The lessons shouldn’t present an emotional hurdle for the parent. Your child simply enjoys the water and they don’t do anything they’re not comfortable with. What is more, there is no reason to worry about drowning. You’ll be there all the time keeping a close eye on them.
What are the benefits of infant swimming?
The best thing you can do is to let your baby splash around the pool. Maybe you’re not convinced that this is what your kid needs. If you’re reluctant to introduce your baby to the pool, you’ll be happy to know that there are many benefits to infant swimming. This is what you need to know before hitting the beach this summer:
Building confidence by teaching the child to feel comfortable with water
After the first 12 months of their lives, children begin to develop self-confidence. Learning to swim at an early age helps build confidence. Pushing water out of their mouths and blowing bubbles helps your baby become comfortable in the water. They feel powerful and that’s a great feeling. During this time, the little one will look back at you to see if you’re still there, if you’re watching them. This gives the infant comfort and reassurance.
Reducing the risks of drowning
Imagine the following situation: the entire family gets into the pool, but your kid doesn’t because they don’t know how to swim and they’re afraid of the water. There is very little time for family fun, this is indeed unfortunate. Or imagine this situation: you don’t want your child to be hanging around by the pool. You’re scared they don’t have the maturity and skills to handle themselves. You don’t want to be one of those parents who constantly worry that their kids will drown. Baby swimming lessons significantly reduce the risks of drowning. As mentioned earlier, even infants can be taught swimming skills such as floating on the back. Your baby will be supervised at all times, so there is no reason for concern.
Increased quality time between you and your child
Since you’re your baby’s main playmate, you must spend as much time with them as possible. The two of you need to bond. Don’t get a babysitter and go out for the day. Teaching your child how to be a cool swimmer. It’s a lesson they’re not likely to forget with time. So what if you’re not a confident swimmer yourself? What matters is that you bond with your baby. You can regularly touch them, respond to their crying, and make them feel they are safe. Basically, you’ll spend quality time splashing and swimming.
How to teach your baby to swim
It’s pretty clear that swimming lessons are fit for any age. As a parent, it’s your duty to choose a good program. Standardized classes are designed for specific ages and abilities. Generally speaking, swim lessons are offered for babies aged from 12 months to 6 months. An infant swim program is flexible in the sense that they match the schedule of the parent and keep little ones occupied. It goes without saying that playgroups are welcomed and encouraged. Besides this, what should you be looking for in a beginner swimming program? A good program will:
- Teach parents how to protect their babies – okay, so you know that permanent supervision is important. You must keep an eye on your infant whether they’re in the bathtub or in the swimming pool. But did you know that it’s important to keep safety equipment by the pool? Yes, you need a reach tool close by in case something happens.
- Hold swimming lessons take place in warm water – the temperature of the pool should be 32 degrees for infants. Anything colder than that will cause the body to chill too fast. Low body temperature is very dangerous in babies. Make sure the swim classes take place in warm water.
- Teach babies how to blow bubbles – it’s not funny. Blowing bubbles engages the infants in the swimming activity. Most importantly, it prevents them from inhaling water. Even adults should blow bubbles when swimming. It’s not recommended to hold your breath for a long period of time. You have to eliminate the bad air and inhale good air.
In addition to signing up your baby for swim lessons, baby proof the backyard pool. Install barriers so that the little one doesn’t get too close to the swimming pool and fall. If you regularly host get-together by the pool, designate a watcher – in other words, someone to watch the kids while they’re playing in the water. You can never be too safe.