If you’re a parent, you’ve sat in any number of baby and me classes, looked at your fidgety tot, and thought “is my baby getting anything out of this?” You’ve also heard a million times about the crucial physical and mental development that happens before your child even learns how to talk, so you keep going back because of course, you want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to give your sweet baby a great start.
While we can’t guarantee the benefits of that “Baby Improv” class that your moms’ group swears by, there is one activity that research has shown really does help in a myriad of ways—baby and toddler swimming lessons. So, it’s time to rethink the “Macramé for Infants” class you’ve been eyeing and check out these four reasons why you should enroll in baby swimming school today.
Comfort in Water is Beneficial for Babies and Parents
Water safety is a big concern for any parent; you want your child to respect and understand the dangers that water can present. A big part of water safety for little ones is feeling comfortable in and around the water, and, once they have the capacity (generally around age 4), learning how to swim.
While baby swimming school may not teach your 7-month old how to swim on their own, it can develop comfort with water that will translate into a willingness to learn to swim in the near future. Babies who are exposed to water early are less likely to develop a fear of water as toddlers. Likewise, being in the water with your baby will give you a better grasp of water safety and increase your comfort in supervising your baby in the water.
Baby and Toddler Swimming Lessons Aid in the Development of Important Milestones
With infants and young toddlers who can’t communicate yet, it can be hard knowing what, if anything, is having a positive impact on their development. Luckily, researchers have studied the effects of baby and toddler swimming lessons and have found that these lessons can help with the development of a whole host of important milestones.
A study published in the international journal “Child: Care, Health and Development,” found that children under four years old who took swim lessons generally became more adaptable, independent, and self-confident. Further, research shows that activities like swimming, for babies, can create a greater body and spatial awareness.
Baby Swimming Lessons Help with Motor Skills
Not only does swimming help aid cognitive function, but it also increases motor skills. A 2010 study found that babies who took swim lessons had better balance and reaching skills. The kids in this study remained ahead of their peers in these important motor skills even when they were tested again at age five.
Swim Lessons are a Perfect Time to Bond with Your Baby
Baby and toddler swimming lessons are a great way to spend time together without the distractions of home (the dishes, the work email, the dog barking, oh my!). And while quality time with your child is always a great thing, it also has positive benefits for your child’s development.
One study found that focused attention from a parent helps expand a child’s attention span and greater attention spans can lead to better problem-solving skills and language development.
It is Never Too Early for Baby and Toddler Swimming Lessons
Comfort in the water, key physical and mental development, and parent bonding are just a few of the benefits your child might see from baby swimming school. Another one? Swimming burns lots of energy so lessons can improve sleep and appetite. With all this evidence, you’ll never have to wonder, while you’re guiding your baby through the water, whether they are getting anything from the experience.