Are Infant Swim Lessons Worth While?
Maybe you have seen some Water Baby swim classes or Baby and Me lessons going on at a local pool. You see a mix of laughter and splashing and even a good number of tears. Is it worth signing your infant up for these lessons? Before you answer, let us explore some the reasons and benefits of parent and baby swim lessons.
What are the benefits of Babies Learning to Swim?
Comfort with Water
Some children immediately take to the water as though it is second nature; they love bath time and splashing and seem to have no fears. And others do not. Maybe you have high hopes of your little one becoming a competitive swimmer one day or maybe you just want to get through bath time without tears. Either way, infant swim lessons are a great way of increasing comfort and reducing fear around water. The earlier the introduction, the quicker a child is likely to acclimate. And don’t give up if they don’t take to the water immediately as overcoming the intimidation of the water for some infants can take a little time, but it is well worth the patience!
Swim lessons with infants are a great way of spending quality time together. Lessons create an environment of physical closeness and eye contact while the caregiver encourages and engages with the child. This time together enhances the emotional bond and relationship that can last for years to come. Make the time fun and memorable for you both; here are a few ideas on how to do this:
- Smile and laugh
- Dance in the water
- Engage with other class participants
- Lots of praise
- Be patient!
And this quality time is not limited to just during swim lessons. Keep the connection and fun going by integrating components of the lessons into bath time as well!
Strength and Coordination
Swimming is a lot of work! It requires body awareness and control as we well as muscle strength, stamina and coordination. Working to develop these elements early on can benefit an infant in numerous other developmental skills. Think about the body control and core strength required for rolling over, learning to crawl and other such milestones. Strength and coordination are also key as a child begins to learn to hold and use a spoon to feed themselves, hold themselves in a standing position and eventually begin to walk. It has been documented “that children in swim lessons from an early age are, on average, seven months ahead on motor skill developmental milestones then the normal population.” (Hubbard, 2020).
The physical benefits of swimming might be clear but there are also significant cognitive benefits as well. There are lot of components involved in swimming and in learning to swim. This means that brain is processing multiple actions and stimuli all at one time. A child is taking in the environmental surroundings, the feel and motion of the water, the sounds around them, and the actions of their body as you engage with them in the water. The stimulation of the water on the body also stimulates the brain. The brain is working to process and follow instructions while completing complex movements in the water. (Myers, 2018). Thus, early swimmers are reaching cognitive milestones at an earlier age as well!
Sleep and Appetite
And here is a benefit that may not have ever occurred to you but might be one of the best! Infants that participate in swim lessons are getting more exercise which often results in better napping and sleep at night! Additionally, the exercise and stimuli that swimming creates tends to increase the appetite helping the child to feed better and aid in overall health and growth.
So what do you think? Are you ready to answer yes?! Better yet, bring the the swim school to your pool with Sunsational Swim School! Learn more about our at-home infant swim classes and get your little one started swimming today!
Jennifer Stanger’s bio:
Jennifer moved to Charlotte, NC several years ago after growing up in CT and living in various states in the New England and New York area. She was a competitive swimmer from ages 5-18 competing at both local and state levels. She started teaching swim lessons and coaching at the age of 16 and has continued her love of swimming. She now teaches group exercise classes at the local YMCAs, works in the behavioral and mental health field and continues to swim while also taking up the love of distance running. She continues to teach swim lessons to all ages and abilities as it is a way of sharing a positive experience of her own childhood with others.