Learning to swim is an important life skill that can provide numerous benefits for babies and toddlers. In addition to being a great form of exercise, swimming can also help to develop coordination and balance. It also provides an opportunity for social interaction and can help children to become more comfortable in the water. While all children can benefit from learning to swim, it is especially important for babies and toddlers because they are more likely to drown than older children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the leading cause of death for children aged 1-4.
However, this risk can be greatly reduced by enrolling in swimming lessons. With proper instruction, babies and toddlers can learn the skills they need to stay safe in the water and enjoy all the benefits that swimming has to offer.
Everyone should know how to swim. That starts with taking swimming lessons. Luckily, it’s never too late, or too early, to learn, since swimming is an activity for folks of all ages. Babies, especially, can benefit from taking swimming lessons – let’s explore how.
Improves Sleep Patterns
Babies need their sleep – and so do mom and dad! Quite often, the latter depends on the former. Swimming lessons are one way to help babies sleep better.
Swimming, no matter your age, requires a lot of energy. Babies have never moved their bodies in the manner required to swim and stay afloat. So, they are sure to be tuckered out after their lessons. They’ll either be ready for a nap or set for a good night’s rest, depending on the time of day they have their lessons.
Some babies eat well, while some babies don’t. But babies are sure to be hungry after some physical activity. Think about how hungry you are after a beach day or some pool time. Your little one is no different. Expending all that energy is sure to help them work up an appetite.
Movement helps babies develop and grow their muscles. They need to learn to hold their heads up, control their arms and legs, and use their core. Swimming is great exercise to develop all those muscles. Swimming also improves their cardiovascular function, just like it does for you.
Reduces Risk of Drowning for Toddlers
Drowning is a risk for anyone who steps into the water, whether they know how to swim or not. Little ones are especially vulnerable to drowning. Knowing how to swim reduces that risk.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends starting swimming lessons at the age of one. Learning how to swim reduces the drowning risk for children between the ages of 1-4. Parents should partake in the classes as well, to learn water safety techniques with their toddlers.
Bonding time between a baby and parents is invaluable. Swim lessons are just one of many ways to get that valuable time together. Your little one is dependent on you to help them through that lesson, and the one-on-one aspect of helping your baby through their lessons allows the two of you to solely focus on each other. The connection the two of you make through swimming lessons is just one more way to bond.
Water Safety Tips
Water safety is a critical aspect of learning how to swim. Parents need to be hyper-focused on their baby or toddler during water time, as young ones can drown in just a few inches of water.
- Provide Undivided Attention – Your child, your responsibility. Yes, there might be a lifeguard on duty at the pool or beach, but no one can keep a child safe like a parent.
- Practice Touch Supervision – Always remain close to your child while in the water.
- Adult Supervision – Never leave your child in the water under the supervision of another child.
- Keep a Watchful Eye – Little ones tend to wander off. A child can get away from an adult in a matter of seconds, so always keep your eyes on your child.
- Life Safety – Make sure your child is wearing some type of flotation device, or even a life jacket, if you’re swimming at a lake, pond, water park, or in a pool. Above all, make sure you know CPR. Your child’s life, or the life of another child, might depend on it.
Swimming provides so many benefits to so many people. It’s great exercise, it’s something you can do with a group of friends or alone, and it can even save your life. So why not sign your little one up for swimming lessons?