Are baby swimming lessons worth it? The short answer is Yes! swimming Lessons for babies are worth it for a whole number of reasons, Read on to find out!
Did you know that enrolling your baby into swimming Lessons has a surprising number of benefits for both you and your baby. Lessons can be beneficial to their physical, social and emotional development.
Here we explore baby Lessons to help you make the decision whether to enrol your little one or not.
There are multiple companies who offer baby Lessons throughout the UK, some of whom allow you to enrol your baby from as young as three months of age. Not only are baby Lessons a good opportunity for bonding they can also offer many benefits to aid in your little ones development.
The benefits available to your child from swimming are numerous and can be felt throughout their life.
Physical Benefits to Swimming
Physically swimming offers many benefits such as:
- Building strength
- Improving balance
- Walking earlier
- Developing gross motor skills
Swimming is incredibly beneficial for our physical health both in adults and children alike.
Did you know that swimming engages almost every muscle group in the body making it one of the only sports that offers a full body workout? Compared to land activities where only certain muscle groups are engaged at a time.
Being in the water enables little ones who aren’t even crawling yet to move their limbs and in turn strengthen their muscles giving them a good workout.
Bouncing around and being in the water helps to stimulate the vestibular system which aids their balance.
Moreover, being in the water provides a safe place for your baby to explore their balance and build their confidence which will continue onto land activities.
Research has shown that babies who attend swimming Lessons tend to be on their feet walking earlier than their peers who were not exposed to swimming from an early age. We have all experienced that lovely weightless feeling when in the water which gives us the ability to move in ways that we are unable to on land. This is exactly what enables your baby to develop more muscle tone and strength. Physical activities and body movement play a big role in creating nerve connections in the brain. For young babies who are exposed to swimming early and regularly these brain connections will be stronger, hence many babies who swim regularly end up walking at a younger age.
Strengthening The Heart And Lungs
Not only is swimming a great workout for your baby’s body, it has also been proven to be beneficial for the development of their heart and lungs.
The benefits to the heart is such that during swimming the limbs demand more oxygen resulting in the heart pumping faster to provide this. If your baby swims on a regular basis their heart will gain strength and be able to pump more blood around the body with each contraction. For this reason, Baby Swimming Lessons are Worth investing in from a young age.
Additionally the lungs adapt to swimming by learning to absorb more oxygen and as a result the muscles in your babies ribs and diaphragm which control the breathing become stronger.
Benefits To The Brain
During swimming Lessons your baby (yes even very young babies) will learn to respond to certain keywords. This can result in your baby becoming sharper mentally, increasing levels of awareness and understanding and improving communication between the two of you.
As mentioned above the nerve connections in the brain are stronger in babies who swim regularly from an early age which aids in their physical development.
According to Lana Whitehead, the president of Swim Kids USA “Scientific studies show that active movement at a very young age facilitates brain development, intellectual achievement, language acquisition, reading readiness, sensory integration and the building of self-esteem.”
Social Benefits For Your Baby AND You
Life can be busy, the days turn into weeks and the time just goes by in a flash. You will probably find that since you had your little one the time seems to go even faster. Taking time to have one on one with your little one, relaxing away from the stresses of day to day life is so important. Attending swimming Lessons with your baby can provide this, being in the pool just there and present with your baby at that moment.
During the Lesson there will be plenty of opportunity for bonding with your baby, time for eye contact and skin on skin whilst in the water both of which are proven to encourage bonding and increase your connection.
Not only does swimming give parent and baby bonding time but it also offers the opportunity to meet new people and form friendships. Since swimming Lessons are done in groups both parents and little ones will have the opportunity to socialise with others. Meeting other parents and building a social circle for yourself can really help in your parenting journey.
We have all heard the phrase it takes a village to raise a child, perhaps the friendships you form during Lessons can become part of your village.
Skills To Take With Them Through Life
Swimming is like riding a bike, once you learn how to do it you will never forget. Not only is swimming a great, fun activity for your little one to enjoy throughout their life but having good strong swimming skills can keep them safe in and around water. According to The British Swim School ‘Proper swim lessons can reduce drowning by up to 88% and can equip kids with skills to survive water accidents.’
Also the skills and activities that you and your little one will be exposed to during the the Lesson is not to be used exclusively during the swim lesson. These skills and activities can be used during leisurely swim time, holidays and shared with friends and family.
Generally children who attend swimming Lessons feel more confident around water than those who don’t, this can really make home life easier too. As an example, many children do not enjoy having their hair washed due to not being comfortable with getting water on their face, this can make bath time quite traumatic. For those who attend swimming classes they are highly likely to feel more comfortable with water going on their faces thus making bath and shower time more enjoyable for the whole family.
In addition, building healthy habits from a young age is essential to a healthy life. Exposing your child to fun, child centred exercise from a young age means they will build healthy habits for life.
Other Benefits To Attending Baby Swimming Lessons
Another unexpected benefit to attending swimming Lessons is that it is believed swimming also contributes to a better appetite and sleep pattern in your baby. Now I hear all you sleep deprived Mums jumping up, for the potential of more sleep I bet you are ready to sign up immediately!
Swimming is a lovely, gentle, serene activity which can lift ones mood making your little one feel more relaxed. The same can be said for you too during the lesson hence you can both come away feeling a sense of calm.
As you can see from above the benefits are numerous not only to your baby but for you also.
So yes, attending swimming Lessons are most definitely worth it!
So you have read all the benefits and decided that taking your baby swimming is definitely the right thing for you. I wouldn’t be surprised if you have already signed him/ her up before getting to the end of this article.
Continue reading to get some great tips on how to manage the Lessons and what you will need.
What Do I Need To Pack In My Baby’s Swim Bag?
You will need to consider what to pack for your baby in their swim bag so you have all the essentials.
To start with you will need a nice strong bag, one with lots of pockets can be useful. Your baby’s changing bag can be perfect for this. You should also consider getting a wet bag to pop the wet bits in after Lesson. This Hisprout Grab and Go Waterproof Bag is practical and comes in six sweet designs.
Swimming clothes – your baby may have the sweetest little bottom but you are going to want to invest in practical, comfortable swim clothes.
There is a huge range of swim clothes available on the market, choose something that you like the look of but is practical. To ensure your child’s comfort make sure it is a good fit, not too tight but not too loose either.
To avoid any embarrassing accidents in the water your baby will need a swim nappy. You can get disposables from your local supermarket but you may like to consider investing in a decent reusable nappy. Listed as one of Amazon’s best sellers is the Splash About Happy Nappy which is available in a range of designs.
If you plan to be swimming outdoors at all you may need to consider a swim top with UV protection. This Bambino Mio Rash Top offers UV 40+ sun protection and with six colour designs you are sure to get one to suit your taste.
You will want a warm snuggly towel for your baby to get dry and warm as quickly as possible afterwards. Not only is this Bebamour Baby Hooded Towel practical but it is super cute and made with 100% organic cotton.
Something else you will need to ensure your little ones comfort is some kind of mat to lay your baby on when changing. This can be a travel changing mat such as Amazon’s top rated Precious Snuggle Unisex Travel Changing Mat, a blanket or a towel.
Another thing to consider is floaties for your little one. Again these come in a big range of designs, below I’ll list three of Amazon’s top sellers:
- The TSHAON Safe Seat Inflatable Baby Swimming Float is suitable for babies 6-24 months.
- These Aitsite Kids Arm Float Discs can be great for older toddlers and children. Specifically they are a great design since they are not inflatable so they can’t burst.
- The Zoggs Swimming Aid Children’s Float Arm Bands can be used from 0-11kg (0-24.2lbs).
One thing to consider with floaties is that during lessons it is highly unlikely that your baby will be required to wear them since swimming Lessons are about teaching your child to swim without any aids. There is research that suggests against using swimming aids because they can create a false sense of security in your child, however if like me you prefer to have them for your own piece of mind during free swim time then you may like to consider one of the above.
It is also very important to remember that your little one should never be in the water without adult supervision even with the use of swimming aids.
What Can I Expect During My Babies First Few Lessons?
All babies are individual and as such there will be a range of different reactions to their first few swimming lessons.
Some babies will be very relaxed in the water right from the very first Lesson but I think it may be fair to expect some tears. If your little one does cry in the beginning don’t feel discouraged, it may take a few Lessons but they will likely become comfortable and start enjoying the Lessons. Your Baby Swimming Lessons are still Worth it, and it’s important to persevere.
Some little ones will initially be uncomfortable in the water and some may be unhappy in a new environment, surrounded by unfamiliar faces.
Their reactions will depend somewhat on their age also, younger babies may be less concerned about seeing new people and being in a new place than their older peers.
How Can I Help My Baby Enjoy Their First Few Swimming Lessons?
Babies and young children can be unpredictable at times, you never really know how they will react to new situations. Following the below points can help to ensure that your first few Lessons go as swimmingly as possible:
- Familiarise your little one with water before they start Lessons, this can be during bath time and if the weather allows putting a paddling pool in the garden for play time. Get some tipping and pouring toys for them to enjoy.
- Taking your little one to the same pool where their Lessons will be held will enable them to get used to the pool environment and the temperature of the pool.
- If they are old enough you can involve them in choosing their swimwear and a nice towel.
- Ensure their towel is right there to hand by the pool so they can feel warm and comfortable immediately after getting out.
- Offer them a feed/ snack about an hour before the Lesson. They will likely want more soon after the Lesson has ended since they will have used up so much energy.
- Choose a swimming Lesson that fits with your baby’s swim schedule so that your baby can be well rested for the Lesson.
- Arrive at the pool with plenty of time to get changed and prepared so that neither of you feel rushed or stressed.
Are Baby Swimming Lessons Worth it?
Yes baby swimming Lessons are worth it and not only worth it but essential especially for families who live near water.
To start your little one on their swimming journey today below are three companies who offer Lessons across the UK. Have a look and see if one of them has a place near you!
Firstly Everyone Active has over 200 centres and offers Lessons from four months old – ‘We believe every child should have the opportunity to learn to swim and fall in love with the water.’
Secondly Water Babies also offer Lessons throughout the UK and you can enrol your baby from birth – ‘Confidence starts with baby swimming.’
Thirdly Puddle Ducks also offer Lessons from birth – ‘Teaching independent swimming from birth. That’s the Puddle Ducks difference.’
Below are some frequently asked questions that come up often when looking at baby swim Lessons.
What age can my baby start baby swim Lessons?
Most companies in the UK allow you to enrol your little one from three to six months old.
Does my baby have to have their vaccinations before they swim?
According to the NHS website babies do not need to have had their vaccinations before going swimming. Here is what the NHS has to say about baby swimming.
Where can I enrol my child in baby swim Lessons?
There are a great number of companies around the UK who offer baby swim Lessons. A simple Google search will help you to see what is in your area and which company best suits yours and your baby’s needs.
What will my baby need?
The most essential items are swimming clothes, a swim nappy and a warm towel.
What are the benefits to taking my baby to swim Lessons?
The benefits are numerous including aiding your child’s social, emotional and physical development.
Is it safe for my baby to be submerged under water?
Yes it is safe for your baby to be submerged, however it should be done in a gentle child led way with professional teachers.
Are baby swim Lessons worth it?
Yes most definitely!