Out of the Womb and Into the Water  

by Pool Builders on 08-06-2013 in Articles

It's probably the last thing on your mind after you've given birth but a swimming lesson for babies has been proven to be highly beneficial. It's a common myth that babies are born with the ability to swim but this is simply not true. Obviously in the womb babies are surrounded by amniotic fluid so they are used to the environment however as soon as they are born and take a breath the lungs fully mature and they are no longer able to breathe under water. However they do have the instinct to hold their breath just as we do.

Many swimming pools offer lessons for babies and children of all ages with qualified instructors overseeing classes. It can be a nervous time for both mum and baby when you first get in the water but the instructor should help to put your mind at rest. They play games with the children such as €swim song€ which involves singing nursery rhymes whilst swimming and doing hand actions. All of this helps to relax mum and baby so they feel completely at ease in the water. It's important to start to prepare baby for if they continue with lessons as they grow up. They need to be submerged in the water which can be a little distressing the first time it's done. One technique used is to blow bubbles while submerged, it makes being under water fun and exciting and helps dispel any fear.

Aside from getting baby used to the water, it can be a huge bonding time between mum (and dad!) and baby. All that skin to skin contact with each other and the closeness can really strengthen parent and child relationships.

It's important to remember that babies cannot regulate their own body temperature and as they are not able to move about much they will get colder in the water a lot quicker than adults or older children. If your baby starts to shiver, go blue or become very lethargic and sleepy then it's time to leave the pool and warm her up. Babies are normally tired after the stimulation of being in water so if she sleeps a lot don't worry, it's normal. Also chlorine can sometimes cause a little tummy upset if you swallow too much of it so if babies nappies start to look a little funny don't panic. If it continues on for more than 2 days then consult a doctor.

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