Did you know that babies have the ability to hold their breath and open their eyes when submerged in water? In case you didn’t know, babies are born with a reflex called the bradycardic response (aka the diving reflex) which disappears after about 6 months of age.
However, it doesn’t mean that babies are born with the ability to swim though. Experts note that they aren’t old enough to hold their breath intentionally or strong enough keep their head above water.
So, is it still safe for your baby to swim in the pool? While opinions about the subject varies, swimming is actually beneficial to a baby’s health and growth. But before we tell you the pros of baby swimming, it’s important to check with your doctor before enrolling to any swimming classes.
Here are 6 reasons why you should teach your baby swimming:
1. It improves your baby’s balance and strength
Babies who swim have a much better balance compare to those who don’t. Once in the pool, your baby’s body is mostly supported by water and the main focus for them is on maintaining balance. Besides that, swimming helps babies to build and develop muscles effectively.
2. It strengthens your baby on the inside
Swimming improves the strength of a baby’s heart and lungs, as well as helps to develop their brain, including stimulating all 5 senses – taste, smell, touch, sight, and sound.
3. It improves sleeping pattern and appetite
Although swimming won’t make your baby sleep longer at night, the workout can definitely help make your baby sleepier. And that’s not all, warm water helps to make a baby hungry – so make sure you have some yummy snacks in your swimming bag!
4. It develops their learning skills
According to a German research, swimming babies had advanced motor development, social skills, as well as intelligence than non-swimmers. Another Finnish research also showed that swimming babies crawled later but walked earlier.
5. It builds water confidence
Introducing children to water at a very young age helps prevent a fear of water developing later. Going in the pool with your baby will not only make them more assured about being in and around water, it can build your confidence too!
6. You can bond with your baby in the water!
Last but not least, swimming is a fun and fantastic way for mommies and daddies to spend quality with their little one. It also promotes skin-to-skin contact, which is an important bonding element between parents and their baby.