Swimming isn’t only fun – it’s also a great bonding activity for you and your baby. Your little one is able to move without the restriction of gravity, which helps improve his co-ordination, balance and gross motor skills. Making your baby feel comfortable in the water is also advisable from a safety perspective, as it’s the best defence against drowning. Babies spend months in water while they’re in the womb, so it’s a natural sensation for them. Teaching your baby to float is one of the best favours you can do him, as – like riding a bicycle – it’s a skill he’ll never forget.
‘It’s never too early to enrol your child for swimming lessons. From the age of six months, he can start learning how to swim,’ says Super Star Swim School owner and swimming teacher Nicki Riley.
She suggests you follow these steps for a successful first swim:
STEP 1: DO YOUR RESEARCH
You should ideally find a child-friendly environment when you start, but there are other factors to consider too. Nicki says it’s important that parents look for a reputable swimming school and a teacher who’s qualified through the Professional Baby Swimming Teacher Association or Toddler Swim South Africa.
Avoid pools that are full of harmful chemicals. Pool chemicals are necessary to lower the bacteria count of the water, but over-exposure can be unhealthy for babies. Their skin, ey