Water safety is a big concern for any parent; you want your child to respect and understand the dangers that water can present. A big part of water safety for little ones is feeling comfortable in and around the water and, once they have the capacity, learning how to swim.
While baby swim lessons may not teach your 6-month old how to swim completely on their own, it can develop comfort with water that will translate into a willingness to learn to swim in the near future. Babies who are exposed to water early are less likely to develop a fear of water as toddlers. Even more so, being in the water with your baby will give you a better grasp of water safety and increase your comfort in supervising your baby in the water.
With infants and young toddlers who can’t communicate yet, it can be hard knowing what, if anything, is having a positive impact on their development. Luckily, researchers have studied the effects of baby and toddler swimming lessons and have found that these lessons can help with the development of a whole host of important milestones.
A study published in the international journal “Child: Care, Health and Development,” found that children under four years old who took swim lessons generally became more adaptable, independent, and self-confident. Further, research shows that activities like swimming, for babies, can create a greater body and spatial awareness.
Not only does swimming help aid cognitive function, but it also increases motor skills. When a child is young, many of their milestones are related to fine and gross motor skills. Swimming lessons help to advance gross motor skills and strengthen muscles; the work kids do in swim class will also help them to eventually master breath control and achieve physical stamina.
Swimming.org points out that not only does swimming time for babies improve their muscle strength and ability on the outside, but the exercise provides internal benefits as well by getting those joints moving. Swimming is also great for cardiovascular health and will help strengthen your little one’s heart, lungs, brain, and blood vessels.
Baby and toddler swimming lessons are a great way to spend time together without the distractions of home (the dishes, the laundry, the dog barking, oh my!). While quality time with your child is always a great thing, it also has positive benefits for your child’s development.
Even if you have more than one child, swim time that involves a parent in the water promotes one-on-one bonding. During a lesson, it’s just you and your little one focused on each other, so it’s a wonderful way to spend quality time alone together.
Comfort in the water, key physical and mental development, and parent bonding are just a few of the benefits your child might see from baby swimming lessons. Another one? Swimming burns LOTS of energy so lessons can improve sleep and appetite. With all this evidence, you’ll never have to wonder, while you’re guiding your baby through the water, whether they are getting anything beneficial from the experience.