Introducing Infants to the Water and Swimming – Register Today For Swim Lessons at Steve Wallen Swim School in Roseville and El Dorado Hills!
There is nothing quite as remarkable as watching an infant take in the world around them. Seeing their first experience with something new is an extraordinary moment. Of course, we want every unique experience they have to be full of wonder and joy. That’s not always the case, though. You have likely seen infants that are terrified of a man in a beard or that wholeheartedly rejects in no uncertain terms their first taste of mashed peas. Despite the uncertainty of how your infant will react to new things, it is necessary for their development and growth. Swimming is no different, and swimming and water safety are among the most essential skills you can share with your baby. An early introduction to the water and swimming will set your baby on the right course!
Bath Time is Swim Time!
Before their first visit to their local Steve Wallen Swim School pool, your baby will have had many baths. Bath time is the perfect location for building their love of the water and introducing necessary water safety skills. Never leave your infant unattended in the tub, not even for a second. Your eyes must be on their every move, and your hands must remain free for potential slips under the water or against the hard tub sides and bottom. Within their first months of life, their bathtime experiences can entrench a love of all things water. Use bathtime to gently and gradually introduce them to getting wet, sprinkling water over their heads and faces. Between three and six months, you can introduce blowing bubbles in the bathwater and learning to be comfortable on their tummies and backs in the water. Always keep an eye on the mouth and nose; these should remain clear of the water in those first months. The use of bright-colored toys in the tub engages your infant to experiment with the water and getting wet. Let your baby guide these steps; if they are unhappy, try another activity.
Infant Swimming Safety
Your facial expressions, tone, and language are critical during bathtime. While keeping your infant safe in the tub is your most important task, you don’t want the seriousness of this responsibility to be evident in your body language and words. While attending to their safety, have a bright smile, offer praise and encouragement, laugh, be silly, and get wet too! Sing songs like the “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” “Its Raining, Its Pouring,” and others. Sing “This Is the Way We Wash” while cleansing your baby. Setting the example that the water is a marvelous place to be will instill confidence, excitement, and a desire to learn more about the water.
Bathtime serves as a foundational experience for the next big aquatic adventure, which means visiting the pool! Exploring the water in the bathtub’s small space will serve as a building block for the pool’s larger water space. They will already know what it feels like to be wet, and they will equate the pool with the fun and excitement of bathtime. This is a critical transition, which can then be built on with caregiver and infant swimming lessons, followed by independent swimming lessons!