Address the baby’s senses – The term baby swimming has existed in Germany since the 1960s. It has been shown that targeted water training under expert guidance not only appeals to the baby’s senses but also has a very positive effect on the postnatal regression processes of the mother.
From when: Best time for baby swimming
Nine months, the baby has developed within the uterus in the amniotic fluid. Immediately after birth, therefore, his senses are almost completely adapted to the water. Newborns can easily keep their eyes open under water and focus their gaze. Her hearing is also far superior to that of adults.
However, it is important that the child’s organism can regulate its body temperature to a certain degree independently. This is very different for babies individually and requires an assessment by the midwife or a pediatrician. The best time to start baby swimming, therefore, must be decided individually – before the fourth month of life, however, babies should not be in public baths. Between the fourth and sixth month of life is, therefore, a good time for most children to start with the baby swimming.
In children with a significant allergic predisposition, it is recommended to check the baby swimming with the pediatrician beforehand.
Baby swimming under instruction
Of course, parents can go swimming with their baby independently. However, a qualified course management offers many advantages:
- Water habituation with fun for parents and child.
- The parents are taught important holding techniques and secure handles.
- The parents learn how to use all the possibilities of movement together with their child.
- Your baby will do well in the water when it is well rested and not hungry. Keep in mind that in the long term it may be tiring for your baby to stay in a prone position in the water as it will keep his head for a long time. It is, therefore, best to change between abdominal and supine position. Just as when swimming together, the body contact and good persuasion are also of great importance when swimming.
However, until the baby can start baby swimming, it makes sense to splash around with him in the large bathtub to prepare for baby swimming. By giving your child permanent contact with the body and by speaking to him or singing to him, give your child certainty. Slowly get used to the water by gently pouring water over your head. Gradually lower the water temperature to 33 degrees as this is the temperature of most indoor pools.
Positive effects of baby swimming
Skeleton and musculature
Studies have shown that the skeletal structures of babies, who are allowed to be in the water from birth, develop faster than other children. On average, “swimming babies” can stretch their spine as early as about six months, while the postnatal, round spine shape is usually maintained until the 12th month.
Also, in newborns who are allowed to move in the water at an early age, physiological abnormalities often occur spontaneously. This concerns above all possible restrictions regarding the head and neck movements. Unquestionably, the movement in the water has a strengthening effect on the entire body muscles of the little ones.
The respiratory system of newborns is not yet fully developed, so initially, only pure chest breathing is possible. From about the eighth week of life, every baby makes an important development here. It learns the deep abdominal breathing and thus the ventilation of the upper lung third. Baby swimming supports the conversion of pure nasal reflex breathing into motor-controlled breathing.
Watching floating babies, we are amazed at how fearless and curious they are in the water. As a result, they already collect numerous cognitive experiences at this early stage that are denied to “non-swimmers.” The bond between mother and parents is strengthened, and even cross-age friendships can emerge.
Therefore swimming groups, which are put together according to the abilities, have proved to be the best for baby swimming. Here the babies find role models, Mitschwimmer, and imitators. By offered games and Selected exercises allow the little ones to “swim” into their next stage of development.
What is needed for baby swimming?
In almost every community there are corresponding offers. Whether warm pool in the swimming pool, in a center for physiotherapy, clinic or in a hotel: Important is a water temperature of 31 ° C to 35 ° C, sufficient freedom of movement, safe conditions for mom or dad and competent guidance by a specially trained midwife or a Trainer or a trainer.
If the midwife or the pediatrician has “given the green light,” the registration can take place. What should parents bring to baby swimming?
An aqua spindle or even a swim diaper reliably catches the baby’s excretions in the water. Also, it protects baby’s butt from bumps on the seat. Depending on the model, a swim diaper can either be worn as an insert in the traditional swimming trunks, or the diaper is itself a swimming trunks and therefore requires no additional clothing for the baby.
To prevent hypothermia and a cold, it is important to dry your child well after bathing. A baby bathrobe ensures that the baby is wrapped up warm and cozy after swimming. Also, a towel with a hood is suitable for drying the child after bathing, while also warming the sensitive head.
After showering, the sensitive baby skin is happy about an extra dose of moisture. Special baby creams are tailored to the needs of the dwarves and are therefore particularly skin-friendly.
After strenuous bathing, babies are often very hungry and thirsty. Therefore, always remember to bring a bottle and possibly a small snack for children who are no longer breastfed.
In a diaper bag, the mom or dad can easily stow and transport all the baby’s swimming gear. Thanks to the good compartmentalization fit even change clothes and fresh diapers in the spacious pockets.
Dive yes or no?
In this regard, there are probably as many advocates as opponents. The baby should be ready for diving and have fun with it. A trained teacher will check this before the first dive using the so-called water-pouring method.
Important note for especially ambitious parents: Diving is not the main task and the ultimate goal of baby swimming!
- If you prefer swimming pools with low chlorine odor, that means low trichloramine pollution
- “Swimming babies” are often characterized by more self-assurance and physical superiority over their peers
- Important is a qualified course management, whereby the fun in the water should always be in the foreground
- If your baby is sick or after vaccination, it is better to stop baby swimming as it is more prone to illness for a few days after vaccination