In the early stages of having a new baby at home it might not even cross your mind to go to the pool, never mind enrolling in swimming lessons, if I’m being honest, when I had my boys, managing a shower made me feel like i was winning! But of all the activities you can attend with your little one (and there are a lot!) swimming was my absolute favourite…….not only because as a swimming instructor of many years specialising in baby and preschool lessons I am well aware of the many amazing benefits, I got to experience it as a mum instead of the instructor and it was just magical!
A bonding experience like no other & a real confidence boost!
Day to day with children can be quite hectic, quickly moving from one thing to the next on autopilot, attending a swimming lesson with your little one dedicates uninterrupted quality one on one time with each other. Focusing on each other and sharing in each other’s enjoyment of the water can help to build strong emotional connections and provide a real feel-good environment for a short escape from everyday stresses.
As well as building positive connections with each other, participating in swimming lessons allows you to connect with other caregivers in your class, enabling you to share in your experiences which can alleviate worry’s as well as provide the opportunity for some adult conversation! The little ones also gain the opportunity to engage and interact with each other and their instructor through songs and water play which can not only help to develop language skills & communication but can boost self-esteem and confidence.
Freedom & Gains!
When a baby is very young movement can be very limited…unless you are in the water! Through buoyancy babies can be supported and move much more freely when in the water, splashing through the pool! Whilst it’s really good fun, swimming also has so many physical benefits. Just maintaining their body position in the water puts the core muscles to work, your little one can also build strength & control through lifting their head and keeping it up. Kicking their legs and using their arms to travel develops opposing muscle groups as well as giving the heart and lungs a good old workout. After all this hard work during their lesson it’s no wonder that participating in regular swimming lessons has proven to improve eating and sleeping patterns – you may find that little one has increased appetite directly after swimming and then become very sleepy so coming to your lesson prepared with a quick snack for after and providing time for a nap will come in useful!
Due to the repetitive nature of the movements when learning to swim using both alternating and simultaneous actions, the constant rhythmical way in which they move can improve babies’ coordination and balance through the development of the vestibular system.
The physical benefits are not just for your baby to enjoy, adults can also get some gains! When you are submerged up to your chest in water, hydrostatic pressure applies a constant resistance to your body which makes it harder to move through the water and can therefore improve muscular endurance and cardiovascular function. When your little one gets a bit heavier and you are doing a lifting activity your lesson can very quickly feel like a body pump class!
These many benefits only just touch on the numerous physiological, psychological and social benefits to be gained from participating in regular swimming lessons for both you and your baby, there are so many more that are just waiting to be experienced!
At the Michael Jamieson Swim Academy you can start your journey with baby from just 6 months old, get in touch for more information or book now onto one of our baby classes!