Swimming is a good source of exercise, and initiating certain water activities for the baby can benefit the baby too. Early exposure to water can even prevent the baby from developing hydrophobia and instead make swimming, an enjoyable and pleasurable activity for the baby. Parents have to be comfortable enough to initiate swimming to their babies. Swimming can turn pleasurable if parents are confident and know how to swim, but if they cannot deal with their baby in water then it is not the right time to take your baby in water. Before introducing the babies to a swimming pool, parents can start with a mini-swimming tub at home. Following are the ways to introducing your baby to water at home.
Introducing to the Water
- Bring a mini swimming tub to introduce the baby to water. Warm water and mild exercises can relax the baby's body and mind and even increase its appetite.
- Every child is born with swimming instincts, because as soon as they are put in water, they begin to move their hands and legs.
- While exploring water, babies learn to co-ordinate their body movements and begin to enjoy the water environment.
- Parents also have to be constantly alert and keep a keen watch till the time your baby is in water. They must also start gentle exercises, games and even play with their babies, to encourage them to swim.
- Well guided exposure to water can increase the baby's confidence and prepare them to take a plunge into a bigger pool.
Slight ignorance can lead to accidents, which could create a permanent fear of water in the mind of your baby. After following the above given tips, let us now understand the steps to introduce swimming to your baby.
Introducing the Baby to Swimming
Take a look at certain swimming tips, to make your baby comfortable with water.
- Children are not born with the fear of water. It is an acquired emotion which can be prevented at an early age. The right age to introduce your baby to swimming could be from 2 months to even 12 months. Before taking the baby for a swim, equip it with floaters. It will help the baby stay afloat. This will generate a feeling of security in the mind of your baby. Hence, next time the baby will be more confident and happy to swim.
- Parents must accompany their babies into the water and keep the babies close to them. Be confident and relaxed when you step foot into the pool with your baby. A tensed parent is likely to create worry in the mind of the baby. It might even result in panic and chaos in the water and eventually the baby will refrain from entering the water next time. Therefore, it is essential that the parent stays relaxed and confident.
- Support the neck and back of your baby to avoid injuries and hold the baby throughout the swimming session. As the baby gets acquainted to the water, leave your hands and free the baby. Keep close to your baby even if it tries to swim independently.
- As you hold your baby in one hand, drip some water onto the baby's face by your other hand or sponge. Talk or sing songs to your baby to comfort him. Some babies may not like water dripping on their face and begin to cry. In such case, distract the baby and try the trick next time.
- Once the baby becomes acquainted to the water, increase the dripping and initiate splashing.
- Once the baby grows comfortable in water, try to get him used to floating. Support the back of your baby and allow him on lay on his back and face upward. Support his shoulders with your thumbs and with your fingertips support the back. The head of the baby must be partially submerged in the water. It is alright even if by mistake the baby tends to go underwater. However, if the baby tends to cry and feel stressed withdraw him from the water and try later.
The initial step of exposing water to the baby must be done with extreme care. Other than trying some water activities to initiate swimming, try to have some fun activities with the babies to make the experience more enjoyable.