August 23rd, 2017
Any parent who has put their children through swimming lessons at a very early age would know the many examples of mental, physical, emotional, developmental, and social benefits that can result from teaching their children to swim.
When your baby is learning how to swim, she’s moving her arms and kicking her legs in water, which means that her brain is registering the tactile sensation of water as well as its resistance. Swimming is also a unique social experience, and when your child responds to voice commands, it sharpens her mental skills and increases her level of comprehension.
Physical and developmental benefits
Being in water helps to improve coordination and balance, and learning to swim with toys will help your little one’s co-ordination and motor skills. Because much of your baby’s body is supported by water, the main priority for them is to maintain balance. This sense of coordination and heightened stability translates to situations outside water as well. In addition to developing your baby’s muscles and joints, swimming will also improve the strength of your baby’s heart and lungs, in turn aiding in the development of their brain – including stimulating all five senses (taste, smell, touch, sight, and sound).
Swimming lessons can often be a child’s first social experience out of the home which involves their peers. Through observing and mimicking, they’ll learn to interact with each other and react to various social cues during the process of learning something completely new. Early swimming also fosters a sense of confidence and independence. Being part of a social structure and a group of peers also builds their self-esteem through a sense of belonging, which in turn contributes to their social development. Moreover, when parents are spending time face-to-face and skin-to-skin with their babies in the water, it’s undeniably a parent-child bonding experience like no other.
A final note
Newborns and infants should never be left alone in bathtubs or pools. This is because a child can drown in just 1 inch of water. For children under one year of age, it’s best to practice touch supervision, which involves an adult who oversees your child’s progress in the water and is always close enough to intervene at all times.
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