The benefits of baby-swimming classes
Benefits of baby swimming
Baby swimming from an early age is invaluable for your child’s health. It is proven that children who regularly go to the swimming pool are less sick and develop better physically and mentally. Even after two weeks of regular lessons, parents notice changes:
swimming relieves the nervous system, so you will soon notice an improvement in day and night sleep, even in children with hyperexcitability;
The little swimmer’s behaviour changes: he or she becomes calmer and less fussy;
their metabolism is stimulated and their appetite improves.
These are only the first results. The benefits of regular baby swimming are also seen in the future:
thanks to the improvement of muscle tone, strengthening of ligaments, formation of posture, children confidently sit and crawl, earlier stand on their feet;
Children breathe more deeply during exercise, which increases lung volume and ensures effective prevention of respiratory diseases;
Swimming strengthens the immune system, has a positive effect on the cardiovascular and locomotor systems and hardens the child, so he/she becomes much less ill;
Even if engaged in infant swimming at an early age, it will help the baby to establish contacts with peers;
strength, coordination, endurance and other important physical qualities are developed.
In addition, the baby learns an important skill, swimming, from the first days of life and becomes independent when bathing in open waters: it does not need to be supported and constantly monitored.
At what age is infant swimming shown?
As soon as your baby enters the world, it enters an airy environment. However, he is more familiar with water, because he has spent a lot of time in it. During the four weeks your baby is just getting used to the new surroundings and water is still a comfortable environment for him/her. Therefore, if your baby is healthy, you can take him/her for water treatment as soon as the umbilical wound has healed (on average two weeks after birth).
The exceptions are babies with contraindications:
- Allergies manifesting on the skin;
- Viral diseases, intestinal infections, skin infections;
- osteomyelitis of the extremities;
- severe heart defects;
- kidney, liver or liver failure.
It is best to take your baby to the pool before two months of age: before this age, babies have a reflex respiratory arrest when the water hits their face. If you train the reflex, it will develop and strengthen, otherwise it will fade away. If you start infant swimming lessons after this period, they will follow a different programme.
Permission for water exercise should be obtained from paediatrician, orthopaedist and neurologist.
How to choose a swimming pool
Think carefully about the choice of pool for baby and infant swimming, because the location of the classes often hides a disadvantage. That is, the disadvantages of the procedure are not related to its implementation, but to the place where it takes place.
For instance, babies’ skin is very sensitive, so the first thing to look out for is proper water purification. Chlorination, as adults are accustomed to, is not suitable: on delicate baby skin, chlorine causes peeling and allergic reactions. Moreover, children often dislike the pungent smell of chlorine, which makes them sneeze, feel unwell and become ill, which nullifies the benefits of swimming.
For baby swimming, choose pools where the water is purified by the following methods: ionisation, ozonation, disinfection by ultrasound, active oxygen.
But we are not talking about community centres, more often it is a specialized institutions for mothers and children, where everything is taken into account for a comfortable and safe stay of little swimmers: special tubs, where the first lessons, disinfection of water, air, optimal temperature, professional, trained instructor to work with children.
What you need for the classes
Parents should buy a towel, swimming trunks, waterproof mat for changing the baby and special baby nappies for swimming (we recommend reusable versions). But this applies to babies. While giving older children into the pool, some people buy mittens, circles and toys. Specialists discourage parents from such purchases because their use prevents the consolidation of swimming skills.
As one parent is also in the water when swimming, he/she should have a cap, swimsuit/swimsuit, appropriate footwear and a towel.
Advice after the pool visit
After the workout, bathe your child in the shower with baby soap, towel dry well and moisturise sensitive areas of the skin. Dress him up in a way that protects him from draughts. Take a few extra minutes, but make sure your baby is completely dry. These rules apply at any time of year.
What else you need to know
There is a category of children for whom paediatricians recommend infant swimming as a must (along with massage and exercises). This includes infants with diagnoses: