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Worryingly, drowning is the third-biggest cause of accidental death among young children under the age of 5 in the UK. It can be easily prevented by taking your child to swimming lessons from an early age, which helps to build up water confidence – some lessons even start as early as four weeks after your child is born. Beyond the safety factor, there are many other benefits of taking your baby to swimming lessons, especially if you decide to join your little one in the pool.

When is it best to start

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The sooner you get your baby used to water, the better. It is entirely safe to take your new-born baby to swimming lessons before they have completed their course of vaccinations. However, it is worth noting that sometimes babies experience very minor side effects after a vaccination, but this shouldn’t stop you taking your baby swimming – just note they may be irritable and may not feel up to swimming. Also make sure your childrens swimming aids fit properly, as this can make them uncomfortable and unlikely to enjoy their swim.

You will bond with your baby

When you are swimming with your baby, you are experiencing skin-to-skin contact, which is important for bonding with your child. There is nothing more reassuring for a child in water than to feel the gentle touch of a parent who is calm, relaxed and giving them complete attention, which is proven to help regulate a baby’s heart rate and breathing, stimulate digestion, protect against infection and improve senses – it even helps Mum to release hormones for breastfeeding.

It’s great for both mental and physical health

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Swimming lessons are a great way to get your child moving around. Young babies have a ‘swimming reflex’ which means, when they find themselves in the water, their arms and legs move in a swimming motion when being supported by their stomach by a parent.

Giving your baby a ‘work-out’ in the water has great benefits, such as strengthening their lungs and heart, which ultimately can lead to a better brain development. As well as this, swimming helps to improve coordination and balance inside and outside of the pool – an important skill for a baby.

It’s a confidence boost

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You will prevent your child from feeling apprehensive around water if you take them to swimming lessons from a young age. By getting your little one in close proximity to the water, and with the security of kids arm bands, it will not only boost their confidence, but they will also grow to learn a range of skills and activities. Thus, hopefully when it comes to bath time, it will feel like ‘fun’ rather than a chore.

Appetite boost

For some parents, feeding can be difficult as some small children have a lack of appetite. However, swimming is said to improve this, as gentle exercise and warm water is the perfect recipe to make a child hungry. Therefore, after swimming lessons, make sure you have some milk or snacks to hand for after the class has ended.

 Posted by Charlotte on February 14, 2018 Being a Mother  Add comments

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