We have many parents ask us, “When should my child start lessons?” And while asking your pediatrician if your baby is ready for swimming is the first step, our recommendation is to begin as young as six months.
There are a few main reasons we chose this age to introduce babies to the water. The six-month marker is about the time baby’s immune system has become robust enough to handle more public spaces as well as chlorinated pool water. Younger infants may be more sensitive in this environment and benefit less from exposure.
Six-month olds are also beginning to develop motor skills! According to the CDC’s milestone tracker, six months is the age that children master sitting independently, as well as beginning to scoot, pull to stand, and roll. As your baby’s brain is working hard to develop the balance and gross motor movements on land, introducing baby to the water can help grow muscles, improve joint development, and make lungs and heart stronger!
Additionally, swimming makes children smarter! According to research led by Griffiths University found that “[The] children were anywhere from six to 15 months ahead of the normal population when it came to cognitive skills, problem solving in mathematics, counting, language and following instructions.”
We all know the main benefit of having a child learn to swim is to prevent the leading cause of accidental death among children: drowning. Early swim lessons can aide in this goal by overcoming fear and unease in the water, teaching babies boundaries in and around water, and teaching beginning survival techniques.
All of our Waterloo Babies and Toddlers classes focus on building a safe and positive relationship between your child and the water and parent participation is a big piece of that! Being in the water with your baby promotes the boundary of “Never swim without a parent” as well as provides a fun and engaging atmosphere to bond with your baby. It’s also vital that you, the parent, know your baby’s abilities in the water and is educated on what is safe for baby when playing in or near water. Our goal is for each class to build your baby’s confidence and safety in the pool and give you tips and tricks to use when you spend time in the water with your baby.
We’d love to get to know you and your little one in any of our Waterloo Babies and Toddler classes and look forward to sharing all the wonderful benefits of swimming with your family!