Nowadays, there’s nothing a baby can’t do. Your newborn can be enrolled early in a foreign language class; he can join a baby gymnastics class or even take swimming lessons. And today is about swimming. If you’re a first time parent you are probably wondering – does it make any sense to try to teach my baby to swim? Does he really learn something? Can the teacher help me with something more than can I do with the baby in a regular tub?
Taking the baby to swimming lessons has pros and cons, but let’s take as an example the course of a regular baby swimming class that is probably available in any gym near your home.
First of all, you will need to put on a water diaper on the baby. As for you, you will need the usual swimming equipment. When entering the water, do it slowly, to give your child time to get accustomed to the new sensations and sounds (the acoustic is much different from the one in your home and even more, there’s probably a lot of noise during such a class). If he seems uncomfortable, if he becomes fussy or cries, stop a bit. If he continues to be grumpy, better get him out.
If you’ve managed to take the baby to the pool don’t stop explaining to him everything that’s happening around. Even if he does not understand exactly what you mean, the calmness of your voice will be reassuring, telling him he’s in his safe harbor.
Show the baby the toys floating in the water; try to easily splash some water on yourself and on him immediately after. He has to see that there’s nothing wrong with splashy water all around. When he seems comfortable enough with this sort of play, you can try even to sprinkle some water on his face and in his hair while maintaining a big grin. If he gets upset, give him a few seconds to calm down. If he doesn’t, get him out.
During the first lessons you will have to repeat with your baby certain exercises that in time will transform in real swimming styles. At first he may seem uncoordinated and clumsy, but don’t worry, all babies are. It’s very important for him to learn the basics and to see you with a positive attitude whilst in the water.
A very important rule, as you’ve probably noticed, is to pay a lot of attention to his behavior. As soon as something becomes annoying for him, you need to stop right away. If his mood persists, he may be disturbed by something, hungry or simply tired, and you should get him out of the water. This way, he won’t associate a bad mood with being in the water.
As you can see, there are no standard pros and cons, you need to go by your instinct and pay attention to your baby. You’ll immediately notice is he’s happy in the water (if he smiles, laughs, looks with interest around) or if he’s upset (he may look sad, cry, become fussy), so the decision to go on with this should be based on his feelings. If you manage keeping him in swimming classes, you’ll be able to see the results in time and you’ll have a happy and active swimmer around that will love water