All three of my kids absolutely adored being in the sea when we went to Greece in May, and hubby and I vowed to do lots of swimming over the summer. We managed fresh water paddling a few times, and the girls had a handful of trips to the local pool, but somehow the poor boy always missed out. I’ve been putting this right over the past few weeks by taking him swimming when 3yo has been at pre-school, and he’s been loving it.
F was a little unsure on our first trip, and we only stayed in the water for about ten minutes. By our third visit his confidence had soared; he was splashing around delightedly, and didn’t mind getting water on his face.
After six visits he was perhaps a bit too confident, thank goodness for the buoyancy vest, otherwise he might have just wriggled out of my grasp once or twice! I can see that even bath times have become loads more interesting for him. The tricky part for me now will be keeping up the regular visits, but I’m determined to ensure that I incorporate swimming into our weekly schedule.
We’ve teamed up with Huggies to bring you some great tips for taking your baby swimming. Firstly from Olympic Champion and Little Swimmers brand ambassador Rebecca Adlington.
Rebecca says that she really enjoyed being in the water from a young age. Her parents took her and her sister swimming every week, and she has very fond memories of that time. She has already started taking her baby swimming.
Swimming is a life skill that everyone should have. It could save your life one day as well as being great for your health and wellbeing.
Getting back in the water can be an empowering confidence booster for new mums. As it’s an all body cardiovascular exercise, it can burn 300 calories for every 30 minutes (what’s not to like?!)
Swimming is a great activity that mum and baby can participate in and enjoy together, providing really special bonding time.
Preparation is key. As with most baby activities of course, and a well-packed swim bag will make it an even more enjoyable experience. Rebecca says she never leaves home without Huggies Little Swimmers, a change mat and oversized towels to wrap up in afterwards.
Next up, some advice from baby swimming expert Laura Sevenus, also a Little Swimmers brand ambassador.
Have fun. Most babies love being in the water and if you’re displaying confidence and enjoying yourself, your baby will most likely follow suit. Holding baby close will help them feel secure as will maintaining eye contact.
It’s never too early to get into the pool. Babies have a natural affinity to water which stems from being in the womb, capitalise on this by taking them swimming as early as possible to reintroduce them to their watery surroundings.
Plan ahead. Don’t be put off swimming by the ‘hassle factor’, do a bit of forward planning by making a list of everything you need, and you’ll get used to it really quickly.
Make the most of bath time. Babies love the physical freedom the buoyancy of water provides; they can move around freely, stretching and kicking their arms and legs. A great tip is to lie back in the bath and support your baby’s head against your chest; trickle water down their face while talking calmly to them.
Make it a habit. Try going to the pool a few times a week. The more you go, the more you will enjoy it and the easier it will become. Swimming is a skill which will last a lifetime, and an activity which can be enjoyed as a family.
Avoid peak times.If you are new to baby swimming go when the pool is quieter, so as to make the experience less stressful.
And last but not least, relax!Swimming offers many soothing benefits to infants and can help them (and you) to chill out.
Huggies Little Swimmers – the UK’s number one swim pant brand – is encouraging parents to take to the pool with their babes and start a habit that lasts a lifetime.
Huggies Little Swimmers are expertly designed so they won’t leak or expand in the water. They contain little accidents to help prevent embarrassing mishaps in the pool. Parents can use them just like a swimsuit, and the tear away sides make for hassle free changing.
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