Here are some of the reasons why we believe baby swimming is beneficial from an early age as not only does it teach vital life skills, but it also enhances the way babies and toddlers learn other skills too.
It teaches water safety
Tragically, drowning is the third-biggest cause of accidental death among children under 5 in the UK. Learning to get to the side, hold on, get out and/or swim could save your child’s life one day, so we teach vital safety techniques from birth.
It promotes bonding
Skin-to-skin contact strengthens the bond between you and your little one – and with mums still generally having the most bonding opportunities, swimming is a fantastic way for dads to spend some precious one-to-one time with their babies.
It develops their co-ordination
Being in the water helps improve co-ordination and balance and learning to swim with toys will help your little one’s co-ordination and motor skills. A 2009 study by the Norwegian University of Science & Technology found that babies who swim have better balance and can grasp objects more easily than non-swimmers.
It builds their strength
Buoyancy and water-resistance mean that babies exercise more muscles, more effectively, in water than on land. Finnish research showed that swimming babies crawled later but walked earlier, thanks to their excellent muscle control.
It develops their learning skills
Responding to repetitive voice commands can sharpen your body’s mental skills and increase their levels of understanding. A German study found that swimming babies had advanced motor development, social skills and higher intelligence than non-swimmers. The Early Years Swimming Project at Griffith University found that by the time they start school, children who swim in the early years are ahead of non-swimmers by 6-15months when it comes to solving maths problems, counting, language and following instructions.
It enhances their wellbeing
Warm water relaxes your baby and swimming stimulates their appetite which will improve sleeping and eating patterns.
H Sigmundsson & B. Hopkins, ‘Baby Swimming: Exploring the effects of early intervention on subsequent motor abilities’ in child: Care, Health and Development Volume 36, Issue 3, pages 428-430, May 2010. Professor Liselott Diem, German Sports Centre, Cologne, 1974-1976.