With the days becoming chillier, swimming provides one of the best forms of indoor exercise for both you and your baby - and it’s just as perfect for cold winter days as it is for hot summer ones.
The Benefits for Baby (and You)
Just half an hour’s swimming will provide your baby or toddler with a complete workout. Before you know it, they’ll be exercising muscles they’d never even find on land. Swimming is great for enhancing their confidence and awareness as well as helping to improve eating and sleeping patterns – a definite bonus for overworked parents.
Swimming with your baby is also a great way to play and is fantastic for strengthening the bond between the two of you. It will also introduce them to a lifelong love of staying healthy and fit, and you’ll both have a whale of a time too. What could be better for whiling away the winter months?
Things to Remember When Swimming
The main thing to consider when taking very young children swimming is that the water temperature needs to be nice and warm. This means 32 degrees for babies under 12lbs (or 12 weeks) and 30 degrees for any other infants. The good news is there’s no minimum age to start your baby swimming and they don’t need to have had any immunisations before they go. Whether swimming in winter or summer, a baby wetsuit is always a good idea – a toasty baby is going to be infinitely happier than a chilly one.
Once you’re in the pool, keep your baby gently moving all the time: bouncing across the water, swinging them around, singing nursery rhymes as you go. You’ll find they respond really positively, especially as they’ll love sharing such special one-to-one time with you.
When you do take your baby swimming, at the end of every session wrap them in a towel and place them somewhere safe whilst you get changed. By the time you’re ready they’ll be warm and dry. Pop a hat on your tired but happy little one, who’ll hopefully be snuggling down for a good sleep as you prepare to leave the pool.