According to a recent survey by Swim England, 94% of parents believe it is important for their child to be able to swim by age 11. This is one of the biggest reasons that the popularity of baby swimming has increased over the last few years, with many parents recognising the value of getting children in the water early to build their confidence and water safety skills. Other benefits include gentle physical exercise strengthening your baby's heart, lungs and respiratory system, regular swimming often improves eating and sleeping patterns, and the lovely bonding time you spend in the water with your little one is invaluable.
The NHS advise that you don’t need to wait for your baby to have had their immunisations before you start taking them swimming, so many classes will allow you to begin as soon as you feel comfortable post-birth. Reputable swimming schools will always have their classes in pools of a suitable temperature, but it is worth making sure it’s higher than 30°C if your little one is younger than 6 months. However, despite the warm pool, young babies have trouble regulating their body temperature, so something to keep them warm like a baby wetsuit would be ideal. Most pools insist on a double-nappy policy (a disposable swim nappy underneath a neoprene ‘Happy Nappy’) to stop any little accidents in the water, so do your research beforehand to find the best one to fit your baby’s bum!
Of course if you missed the boat with baby swimming, it’s never too late to start attending lessons. Most baby swim schools have lessons up to the age of 4, and Puddle Ducks will teach your child to swim confidently and independently, in a nurturing and rewarding environment from birth right up to the age of 10. You can join their swimming journey at any age, with any ability, and at any point during the year.
To find your nearest class, visit www.puddleducks.com.