If you’re considering swimming lessons for your little one, you probably have a whole bunch of questions. How young should they start? How often should they get lessons? What swimming gear do we need? …The list goes on.
We’ve created the ultimate guide to answer all your questions and get your bub accustomed to the water and swimming in no time!
How young should they start?
Swimming lessons in a gentle and developmentally appropriate program can be started for infants from as young as 4 months. The rule of thumb is generally between 4-12 months.
Starting young helps to stimulate and improve a child’s development in areas such as academic performance, motor skills, confidence and coordination. Not to mention, babies less than a year old accept the water more readily than older children.
How often should they get lessons?
Swimming lessons are not something you can do sporadically, they are most effective when your child attends weekly lessons throughout their infant, preschool and early school years.
Swimming lessons are often mistaken as a seasonal activity best left for spring and summer, but the skills and behaviours they teach need constant reinforcement throughout the year. Don’t let this worry you – most pools are maintained at constant temperatures throughout the year to ensure a comfortable, year-round experience in the water for your kids. Just be sure to dry them off well after they leave the pool in the cooler months.
What swimming equipment do we need?
Of course swimmers and a towel are a must, but the extra couple of things you may want to get hold of are a pair of goggles and a swimming cap. Goggles help them see under water and also make them feel more comfortable; while a swimming cap keeps your little one’s hair out of their face.
A couple of benefits you’ll love:
- Babies can exercise more muscles in the water because they are less restricted by gravity and their ability to sit or stand in water. This increased strength often prompts early acquisition of physical skills like walking.
- Gentle swimming relaxes and stimulates babies’ appetites – so they tend to eat and sleep better after lessons. (Oh yeah, we’re definitely on to a winner there!)
As you can see, starting out early and keeping up with swimming lessons for your baby is certainly not as stressful as it seems; and the benefits for you and your child are incredible.