No matter the age, swimming is always fun. Come summer, and one of the best activities to do as a family is swimming, even with a baby! Did you know splashing in the pool and playing in water creates the best memories to last a lifetime? While it might be overwhelming to many parents to take their baby into the pool, knowing that this activity creates one-on-one bonding, improves muscle development, aids in cognitive development, and also builds their water confidence helps reduce stress. Now's the time to take your baby swimming. If you are still overwhelmed, here are some tips for your baby's first swimming lesson.
Tip 1 - Be prepared: Well, isn't it obvious? The first step to baby’s swim lessons is to be prepared! But how do you prepare for it? To start with, it's a good idea to know what to expect from these lessons. Some of the most common queries that you may have are best answered in an infant swimming class. How big is the pool? How busy is the pool? How will the classes go? What other facilities do they have? You may consider visiting and talking to the experts to understand what to expect and how to prepare.
Tip 2 - Pack the essentials: Once you are mentally prepared, make a checklist of things to carry with you. That will help you ensure that you are fully prepared for the first lesson. Here are some things to include in your checklist.
- Nappy bag
- Changing mat
- Swimming and regular nappies- Disposable or reusable nappies.
- A soft towel or a hooded towel
- Baby bath toys that can help them relax in the pool
- Your own swimwear and essentials.
- For bottle-feeding babies, carry a warm bottle, for after pool time.
- Carry snacks if your baby has started eating solids.
- Extra set of nappies and clothing for emergencies.
Every checklist is different and will depend on the baby and the parent. While one parent may prefer a disposable swimming diaper, another may prefer reusable swim nappies. You may include other things as per your needs.
Tip3 - Make them feel at ease in the water: While tips 1 and 2 were more focused on helping the parent, tip 3 is focused on comforting the baby. Unless your baby is comfortable in the water, swimming lessons are not fun. How can you make them feel at ease? Well, it's simple! While you bathe your little one, make sure they get accustomed to the water. This is best done by letting your baby float on their back while you hold their head and support. You may also get them used to being splashed around by gently pouring water on their head or by taking a shower with them.
Tip 4 - Relax! That’s the key to having more fun: The swimming lessons are meant to be fun, so relax! Remember, they offer a great bonding experience for you and your baby, and if you follow the tips offered to you, you can make these lessons a memorable experience. Be prepared and keep a positive attitude. If you are relaxed, you will be confident, and when you are confident, you will enjoy it more. Furthermore, your baby will know how you feel and react accordingly. Hence it is best to relax and have fun to make your baby's swim lessons fun for them. Don't be discouraged if your baby doesn't like water in the first lesson. You still have time to get them to like it, don't lose hope.
Tip 5 - Post-lesson planning is vital: Post-lesson care is equally important! If babies love water, they may not like coming out of it if they feel the chills the first time. Hence, once your baby is out of the pool, they must feel warm and comforted as they were while in the pool. Dry and dress your baby first. They must feel warm even when they are out of the pool. You may give them solid food or bottle-feed them once they are dry, warm, and comfortable.More tips to ease the mind; make sure not to feed your baby half an hour before taking them to the pool as they may spit during the lessons. Furthermore, it would help if you dress your baby in a fresh swim diaper just before the start of the class, and into a warm nappy after class.