How Important Is It For Our Children To Learn How To Swim?
Water is one of those things synonymous with all things parenthood isn’t it? When you think about it water plays a big part in the entire process. Warm soothing baths provide relief on those particularly achy pregnant days. Perhaps you might even use it for pain relief when the big day comes. Water births are becoming more popular also. The mere fact that a baby can be welcomed in to this world in a pool of water says it all really. It’s soothing, relaxing and just has something.
Then comes bath time. This is such a soothing experience in those early days with a newborn. Many tend to fall asleep the minute they are submerged in the warm water. They retreat back to their time in the womb almost. Bath time will go on to be a big part of many people’s bedtime routine after this. A lot of parents use bath-time as a really powerful sleep association for their babies. It is a check-point and an obvious marker for their child that suggests that sleepy time is around the corner.
But what about swimming? How important is to teach our children to swim and how early should we be introducing the idea? There is no real clear cut answer but Dr Sears gives some great advice. He suggests that “most babies have a natural love for water” and it is derived from the fact that they essentially enjoyed their own swimming pool for nine months during pregnancy.
Dr Sears recommends going to a warm pool. In fact “the tinier the baby the warmer the pool should be”. Babies are so sensitive to water temperature so the water really should be at a perfect temperature as advertised by a trusted swimming pool with clear safety guidelines and principles.
As children get old Dr Sears recommends enrolling them in swimming lessons. By nine months a baby has the ability to learn how to “swim” between two adults for about five seconds. He emphasises the importance in parents seeing themselves as a co-instructor who participates in the lessons. This is an important element in our baby trusting the process and learning without fear.
Teaching our children to swim is a great gift. It is a survival mechanism and a skill that will open opportunities and doors in their future.