Taking the Plunge!
Going swimming is a great way to have fun and bond with your baby. However, like many things, the first time can seem quite daunting.
To put your mind at rest, we’ve answered some frequently asked questions below:
1) Is baby swimming really that important, wouldn’t a trip to the soft play centre be just as good?
Swimming is a fantastic activity for babies. By attending the pool regularly, you could be:
- Teaching your baby the basic safety skills which could one day save his life – jumping in, turning around, holding on, swimming back to the side and back floating
- Enhancing his physical development – strength, fitness, co-ordination and early muscle formation
- Improving his social and behavioural habits – stimulation and regulating eating and sleeping patterns
It’s also a fantastic way to have fun and bond with your baby so why not start planning your next trip to the pool?
2) What is the best way to introduce my baby to the water?
Babies feel more secure in smaller environments, so if he doesn’t take to the pool try a deep bath to build up his confidence.
It’s a good idea to introduce a bath toy which you can bring with you to the pool to familiarise your baby to his new surroundings. Keep trips to the pool relatively short until your baby gains enough confidence in the water and remember to smile and reassure him. Time your trip between feeds and well before he is due a sleep.
3) What do I need to pack?
- Huggies Little Swimmers swim pants are a must!! Disposable swim pants are a far more hygienic way to enjoy a swim session. They are specially designed not to swell up in the water like regular nappies and their super safe leak-guards help protect against floating embarrassments!
- Towels – for you and baby. Your baby can get cold very quickly so have a dry towel to hand when you come out of the pool.
- Toy – a bath toy can be one way of familiarising your baby with his environment.
- Bottle/snack – your little one will probably be hungry after your time in the pool.
- Huggies® Nappies for changing – Don’t forget other great Huggies products such as Huggies® Baby Wipes.
4) What do I do if my baby doesn’t like the water?
Don’t panic! It may not be the water he doesn’t like.
Chances are he finds the scale of it a little intimidating. Go back to the bath. Take it slowly and in time his confidence will grow again. In the pool or the bath, it is important that you are confident. It is important to remember baby swimming is a gradual process and one that cannot be rushed. Go at your baby’s pace and make sure you both have fun.
5) What should I consider when choosing a swimming class?
Where possible you should take recommendations from other mums but the following considerations are recommended.
- Has the teacher been accredited and are they aligned with Water Safety New Zealands ‘Swim for life’ program?
- What is the length of the classes? 30 minutes maximum is recommended.
- What are the guidelines on wearing swim pants like Huggies Little Swimmers®?
For more information see Learn to swim or Parenting .