Modern life is so busy, I think we all sometimes feel like we can’t fit everything in (I know I do!). And our children are busy too, with more choice of activities than ever.
Any class is an investment of time and money but I can’t think of any that offer anything close to the huge range of benefits to a child’s development that swimming does.
Exercise? Check. Music? Check. Play? Check. Sensory stimulation? Check. In fact, baby swimming is like 100 different activities rolled into one amazing half-hour!
There’s too many benefits to list in just one blog, but here are just a few of my favourite things about baby swimming.
1. It helps keep your child safe – our lessons include skills like turning, rolling and floating. Vital for safety and, of course, the perfect foundation for great swimming too!
2. Improves coordination and balance through simultaneous movements like moving arms and kicking legs. And that’s not just in the water – babies who swim are stronger in these areas outside the pool too
3. Supports motor skills from weight bearing and limb control to spacial awareness and hand-eye coordination
4. Builds water confidence from early on. And if you’re not a confident swimmer yourself, swimming with your baby can help grow your love of the water too!
5. Improves joint mobility and muscle strength, including better core muscle tone, through the complete freedom of movement babies only get in the water
6. Supports better circulation by giving their heart and lungs a gentle workout
7. Helps them do better at school – children who swim during their developmental years reach several mental and physical milestones faster than their non-swimming peers *
8. Builds social skills by mixing with different groups, practicing things like taking turns and sharing, and growing their confidence
9. Can improve sleep – we can’t guarantee 12 hours a night but the extra exercise will certainly make your baby sleepier!
10. Can improve appetite – lots of gentle exercise and being in warm water all helps make your baby hungry
11. Provides quality bonding time through undivided attention – whether that’s with mummy, daddy, a grandparent or even an aunt or uncle. Lots of our grown-ups say it’s their favourite half-hour of the week!
I could keep going but I think you get the idea! We make our lessons so much fun, it can be easy to forget just how much is happening in your child’s mind and body in that short 30 minutes, and how much that benefits them away from the pool too. But I think if you could see it all like I do, you’d never stop swimming!
I’ve got lots more information how swimming supports children’s development, so please just ask if you’re interested. It’s my absolute passion so I’m always very happy to spread the word!
Jo, Founder of Swim Works
Griffith research study reported; Swimming is a smart move as swimming babies meet developmental milestones earlier than their non-swimming peers.