Why be a Water Baby?
One of the best things a parent can do to keep their child safer around water is to make sure they start Learn To Swim classes as soon as possible. But we are often asked ‘How early should my child start swimming lessons?” Swim Australia recommends starting lessons from 6 months, but you can and should practice early water familiarisation before this. Babies are not born with a fear of the water, instead this fear is acquired, so make sure baby has regular baths and showers, and becomes comfortable with the sensation of water being trickled and then poured over their head. Your 6 month old will then accept the water more readily, and with less fear than an older child. In addition to safety, there are other benefits for babies introduced to the water early, including the development of gross motor skills and improved strength, co-ordination and balance, as baby is supported by the water and less restricted by gravity. Warm water combined with gentle exercise will relax your baby and stimulate their appetite, with many parents reporting that their babies usually eat and sleep better after swimming. Additionally, the uninterrupted quality time whilst swimming facilitates an even deeper bond between parent and child, and as swimming becomes a natural part of your child’s weekly routine, a healthy exercise habit is created. There is no downside – learning to swim from 6 months is a must in Australia and the only responsible choice for parents, to give baby the best start possible. Plus, it’s fun!