I first went to a baby swim lesson to watch my friend’s son and I immediately fell in love! I was so impressed with all the babies in the pool and with the instructors working with them.
Needless to say, I enrolled JDS in swim lessons when he was 8 weeks old (some swim schools will take babies as soon as their ambilical cord falls off!)
I was a little nervous for my son’s first lesson, but he took to the water naturally. Other than the occasional bad mood, he seems to really enjoy swim lessons.
Many advocates for baby swim lessons promote the benefits of introducing your child to swimming at an early age so that they are not afraid of the water later on. There have been so many parents at the swim school who see JDS and tell me that they wish they would have started their tot sooner!
Here are 5 benefits of baby swim lessons, some of which I have noticed already!
1. It’s Natural
After spending nine months in the womb, babies are comfortable getting back in water. They are reminded of their cozy surroundings in utero.
A case-controlled study conducted by Ruth Brenner and her colleagues discovered that participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% among children aged one to four years.
As a part of the swim curriculum at WaterSafe Swim School, which is where I take JDS, they have “survival” tests. As a part of these tests, the instructor will throw the child in the pool, fully clothed. The child’s objective is to roll to his back and reach the wall. This may sound really terrifying (because it kind of is), but there are 18 month old babies who are able to pass the survival tests. It is quite amazing!
Swimming with your baby can deepen your emotional bond with him or her, since the water resistance stimulates tactile receptors. Additionally, touch for a baby provides him or her with emotional nourishment and a feeling of connection.
4. Low Stress Levels
Infant swim lessons are also very soothing so there is less stress. Although no studies have been done, many parents report that their children cry less and are more relaxed after swim lessons.
I can say that JDS is very relaxed in the water, he even sleeps better after swim lessons!
5. Boosts Development
Researchers have reported that infant/toddler swimming lessons can and will increase physical, emotional, and social growth.
Also, cognitive development is increased due to the greater amount of stimulation uniquely offered through swim lessons. According to a study conducted at Griffith University, infants and toddlers who are in swim lessons routinely reach developmental milestones at younger ages and with greater proficiency than the national averages anticipate.
Overall, I have really enjoyed watching my son thrive in the pool and would recommend baby swim lessons to anyone!