Learning to float: when and how can my baby start
The contact with water brings many benefits to the baby since it improves his cardiorespiratory capacities, it benefits his muscular coordination and develops his sensory and psychomotor capacities. From the fifth or sixth month, you can give your first dip in the pool.
What month can I take my baby to a swimming school to learn to swim, or at least to float, to avoid unfortunate accidents? This is one of the most frequent questions that parents ask themselves when summer arrives. They also ask themselves what month they can put in the pool without being affected by chlorine, for example. The first thing you need to know is that from the fifth month, the baby finds in the water the possibility of moving trimidensionalmente, being much greater freedom and continuity of movements.
It is advisable that from the moment you are born, you start working with him a series of exercises in the bathtub. Normally the baby loves water, since during pregnancy it has remained in the amniotic fluid and, so to speak, water has constituted its natural habit.
It is important to note that the practice of aquatic activity strengthens the heart and lungs of your child, due to the respiratory work done in the water that increases the efficiency of oxygenation and blood transfer. In the same way, this practice improves and strengthens the affective and cognitive relationship between the child and his parents.
The beginnings in your baby's swimming
It is recommended that you wait until five or six months of life to take your little one to the pool, since at this age he will have developed more his immune system and always remember that until a year and a half ago he will not acquire autonomy in the water. The fear of water is acquired as the child grows, but if your baby has not had any negative experience with the water while you have bathed, in principle there is no problem for you to start your aquatic activity in a satisfactory way. you have decided that you learn to float in a regulation school, it is highly recommended that you start with him in the pool at the beginning.
First of all, you will have to give your baby, through intense body contact, a sense of security. Your hands must transmit confidence because, at the beginning, you may show some discomfort for the new situation but you will immediately feel at ease and start kicking.
Pool requirements: special for babies
It is highly recommended that the pool is covered and heated because the water temperature is more consistent with yours and of course, comply with all established sanitary and hygienic requirements. Try to always hold the little one in your arms and take it to your chest and talk to him soothing tone. The technician or monitor -qualified specifically to work with children- will explain all the steps that you must give in detail, but remember that the real teacher will be you, since the monitor will give you guidelines and recommendations for action.
It matters more than the experience of your child in the water is pleasant, have fun to get the flotation, which will come a time later on its own. You should not obsess because your child learns survival techniques so as not to drown. You should always stay by his side and control him, since the main thing is that he begins to take pleasure in the water, and thus he will learn to swim.
If out of fear or any other reason you try to pressure your child to achieve short-term goals, the effects you get will probably be the opposite of what you are looking for. In addition, at these ages children perceive everything that surrounds them in a very intense way. Keep in mind that if your experience has been very traumatic in the water, this leaves sequels for the rest of your life.
Learning techniques for babies to float in the water
The gentle exercises combined with the water at a comfortable temperature relax the baby, at the same time that stimulate their appetite and make them eat and sleep better. In this way you will improve your character and behavior. Swimming lessons usually last half an hour because they can tire the baby more time. What is mainly worked is the field of psychomotor skills so that the little boy will adapt to the water and begin to see it as something more natural.
To achieve this goal, the child will perform a series of exercises always with you, such as leaning your legs against the wall of the pool and doing push-ups; with your hand under your back and your son on your back will strengthen your sense of balance and perform other exercises that on the floor could never exercise. By using a series of auxiliary materials, such as a rubber belt that makes you float and allows you to perform movements with arms and legs, you will help strengthen and tone muscles.
Psychological and social development
Your baby will feel more secure and will enjoy learning to swim a lot, to perceive that you are close and that all your attention is focused on him. This, in turn, will increase your sense of independence and self-confidence because even if you do not walk yet, you can move on the water by yourself.
On the other hand, the coexistence in the pool with other children will help you to relate better, besides that you will learn to share and carry out activities with other people, since the child acquires more confidence to communicate and develop in a group, because it will be in permanent contact with instructors and other babies.
In the water with your baby: practical tips
- Never leave your baby alone near water. Although swimming programs teach you to move in it, you must always remain at your side to avoid any fright.
- Do not establish a certain period of time to achieve the objectives, since each child has its own rhythm, so try to respect the rhythm of your child and never force him to do something he does not want. Do not compare him with other babies as this can harm his development.
- Always avoid swimming pools of doubtful hygienic and sanitary control because they can be the focus of serious infections.
- If your child is bad, you should not bathe under any circumstances and do not take it back to the pool until it is fully recovered.
- In outdoor swimming pools, remember that you should protect them with a sunscreen high factor and do not expose more than an hour and a half to the sun and water in periods no longer than half an hour.
Always remember that it is very important that you transmit confidence and confidence to your baby through body contact. Always try to make the pool time fun with fun games to make it a rewarding experience and do not force him to do things he does not want to do.
Marisol Nuevo Espín
Advice: D. Jesús Abiol. Director of BabyGim Chamartín (Madrid). Center specialist in aquatic activity of babies