Top Tips for Baby and Toddler Swimming
Baby swim classes are a great way of meeting friends and being taught how to hold and move with your baby in the water. We’re always looking to bring our customers the latest information when it comes to baby swimming! To help answer all you baby swimming FAQ’s, Splash About have put together a Top Tip Guide to Baby Swimming, straight from professional swim instructors themselves to help parents get the best out of baby swimming.
When to Start – The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend you can start baby swimming lessons at around 1 year old. However, some swim schools start lessons at around 4 months old.
Parental Guidance - Do not worry if you cannot swim yourself or are not water confident, speak to your swim school first. A swim instructor will most likely be with you every step of the way to ensure your experience is amazing. Never feel pressured to go underwater or to do anything with your baby you’re not comfortable with; remember that this is intended to be an enjoyable experience for you and baby to enjoy and to bond over. For any other concerns, always speak to your swim instructor.
Practice - prepare your baby for their swimming lesson by playing together in the bath and gently introducing water over their head and face. Allow your baby to relax on their back in the bath and enjoy the freedom of water around them.
Warm Pools - Choose a warm pool for baby swimming, 32 degrees is the recommended temperature for babies 0-12m, or under 12lbs. If you only access to a leisure pool, pop on a Baby Wetsuit such as a Baby Wrap or Happy Nappy Diaper Wetsuit, or for even cooler pools and babies really sensitive to the cold, try our Warm In One baby wetsuit.
Before the Pool
Feeding Advice - Never go swimming if your little one is hungry or getting hungry. A good trick is a half feed half an hour before and then the other half after because swimming makes them hungry.
Don’t Rush - Don't rush getting changed and getting into the pool, take your time to make the experience relaxing. Babies pick up on all our stresses, if you are relaxed and calm, your baby will be too.
In The Water
Light Holds - Gentle, light holds are great for supporting baby in the water, try not to grip them or squeeze them too tightly. Think about your fingers as 'feather fingers' making sure baby has complete freedom of movement in the pool.
Try this – Float your baby with support under their head, swaying them from side to side and watch them enjoy the sensation
Relax - enjoy the special bonding time of the lesson with your child, experience learning this amazing life skill together and don’t get anxious if your baby cries, there could be a number of reasons for this – the more you are relaxed the more comforted your baby will be.
Make it fun – Play gentle games with your baby, blowing bubbles and gently splashing water over tummy and head. Sing songs, talk to your baby and remember to smile!
Snacking - If your little one is weaned or older take a snack with you for afterwards. Many children get hungry after swimming so a beaker of juice or water and rice cakes or fruit are perfect and ensure a quiet changing time.
Changing Room - After swimming it's better to wrap up your baby with a clean diaper on and a snack or toy to occupy them, whilst you get yourself changed. You can then get them dressed so there's no chance of them rolling or wandering into puddles with their clothes on.
After Splashing – Enjoy the peace and quiet when you get home, babies tend to have a big sleep after swimming as it’s a great work out for them and their bodies need to rest after all the development and fun they’ve had.