As with everything concerning kids, parents usually take extra precautions, and take the time to research every little detail before actually exposing their baby to something new, especially when it comes to something as terrifying as water. If you are a new parent and would like to know expert tips about swimming for your baby — this is the place to be! Besides surfing the internet and reading about the subject, you should also be consider talking to more experienced parents about it. They give some of the best advice, since they have had first-hand experience. Until you get your hands on a seasoned parent, the following are some tips on things to consider and steps to take if you want your child to be a happy water baby.
- Most experts would agree, that a child should only be exposed to some form of formal swimming lessons around the age of three and onwards. This is due to the fact that by this time, the child will be coherent enough to understand instructions given by a teacher or parent. However, you and your baby can have an earlier start at the swimming experience when he/she is about 6 months old. The important thing to remember is to always focus on the child and hold him/her close to your body while in the water. This will help to create not only a bond between you and the baby, but encourage confidence too. Ensuring a pleasant initial introduction to water and the swimming experience is important for your baby, as his /her first experience will dictate the future relationship with water.
- Scouting around for suitable swimming facilities that cater to babies and mummys should ideally be part of your initial to-do list. The pool should be warm in temperature so as not to startle your baby and create a bad first experience. The warm water temperature will help to keep your baby’s internal body temperature steady, and will help avoid it from fluctuating too much.
- The facility should also provide special slot times for mummy and baby groups only. Too much of commotion and activity may be too frightening or distracting for your baby. These special slot times will allow mummys to interact with each other while keeping their focus on their babies, and not on the noise and distractions around.
- Make sure you have these items in a carry bag for convenience: A warm bottle of milk – ready for feeding, a hooded towel to swaddle your baby and keep him/her warm, a snack if your baby is already on semi-solid foods, a couple of favourite toys to help avoid any fussy outbursts, a changing mat and the ever-important nappy bag. These are all essential items to keep your baby happy and comfortable in what seems to them as a questionable environment.
- Keep a close eye on your baby and at the first sign of shivers, take your baby out of the water, wrap him/her up warmly, and encourage your baby to drink something warm. This will help to immediately warm your baby while also keeping him/her from crying due to the discomfort.
At the end of the day, your goal should be to ensure your baby has a wonderful and happy experience, and this can only be done if you are well prepared both mentally and physically for the swimming debut.
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