Baby Swimming May Be More Beneficial to Your Child Than You Think

Parents might worry about their babies swimming when they haven’t yet learned how to walk, but there are in fact many lifelong benefits for babies to start swimming. Exercises like swimming is not only good for the heart, but also good for the brain.

Swimming helps develop babies’ brains, making them self-confident and even more intelligent. Kicking and moving around in water affects neurotransmitters and thus boosting brain improvement.

Though swimming lessons start from around three months, doctors usually recommend that parents keep their babies from chlorinated pools until they’re about six months old. But you don’t want to start too late since getting your baby into water builds water confidence early and they are less likely to develop a fear for water.

You can always teach your baby to swim on your own, but swimming classes are also important. Some suggest that for children aged one to four, lessons can significantly reduce their risk of drowning. Drowning deaths are common cause of accidental death for babies so teaching your baby swimming skills can be life-saving.

Here are the benefits of letting your baby start swimming.

Better Cognitive Functioning

Swimming activates both sides of the brain and helps with the baby’s brain development. The bilateral cross-patterning movements in swimming help with the development of neurons in the corpus callosum which facilitates communication between the left side and the right side of the brain. This leads to increased cognition and improves reading skills, verbal skills and body coordination. Inside the water, the main focus for babies is on maintaining balance hence babies who swim have much better balance outside of water as well.

Studies found that children who learn how to swim at a young age developed better physically and mentally when compared to other non-swimming children. One of the study showed that three to five-year-olds who swam were 11 months ahead of their peers in verbal skills, six months ahead in math skills, and two months ahead in literacy skills.

Furthermore, swimming lessons enhance a baby’s social development through interaction with peers or swimming teacher. This kind of social experience can boost the brain development as well.

Improves Confidence

The interaction between babies and their peers or teachers increases their self-esteems. The elements of swimming classes often include water play and skin contacts allowing them to observe the behavior of others. Those who attend swim lessons tend to become more self confident and independent than children who did not attend swim lessons.

A German study found out that children who had taken swim lessons from the age of two months to four years were also better adapted to new situations. Not only did they have greater self-control, a stronger desire to succeed, better self-esteem but they were also more comfortable in social situations.

Reduce the Risk of Drowning

Drowning is a leading cause of unintentional injury and death worldwide and most drowning cases occur in home swimming pools or can even occur in bathtubs. Swimming lessons are therefore especially important for children to swim safely.

It is shown that swimming lessons can reduce a child’s risk of drowning by 88% in children aged one to four years. Swimming lessons can teach them water safety skills or even just teaching them to float on their backs which could save them from drowning.

The main factors that increase the risk of drowning include lack of swimming ability and lack of close supervision while swimming. The lessons can also be helpful in another way since parents become more aware of their babies drowning. When parents are more involved in the swimming lessons, they may be more conscious of drowning risks.

Drowning Prevention

Newborn infants should never be left alone while in bathtubs or pools even for a moment. Children at this age can easily drown just being near open bodies of water. “Touch supervision” is suggested when children under one years old are in water. It means that a supervising adult should be able to touch the child at all times and is taking care of the child with undivided attention.

The AAP’s guidelines point out the possible warning signs of potential drowning. The signs showing that a child is in danger of drowning include

  • head low in the water, and mouth at water level
  • head tilted back and mouth open
  • eyes are glassy and empty or closed
  • hyperventilating or gasping
  • trying to swim or trying to roll over
  • not using legs

The Takeaway

Swimming for babies is safe if you are being cautious and giving your baby full attention. Another benefit of swimming is that it can deepen your emotional bond with your child. It helps you connect with your baby and enjoy the experience together.

Swimming lessons are fun bonding activities that lets us appreciate the time with our child while teaching them lifelong safety skills. With all these benefits of baby swimming, don’t be hesitant about taking them to pools anymore!

Baby Swimming Lessons in Singapore

Photo Credit: Swimkies

If you are convinced and are now looking for swimming lessons for your little ones, do check out Swimkies‘ baby swimming program. Suitable for infants as young as six months old, Swimkies’ baby swimming program provides a holistic approach to the development of your child’s senses and swimming strokes. Find out more about their program here.

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