Too young to walk, but old enough to swim – seems counter-intuitive, right? Well, studies have shown that dipping your babies’ toes in early can have long-lasting benefits throughout their development. From improved cognitive functioning to reducing the impact of those phases of fear that every toddler will experience, a new family tradition of splashing around may be exactly what your baby will benefit from.
But do be aware, that many doctors encourage babies under 6 months to avoid chlorine-based pools as their immune system is not fully ready. But once they hit that magic number, it’s all systems go for a family fun-day in the water. Let’s dive in below and find out why!
Cultivating their Cognitive Performance
It’s widely advised, that activities that call upon both sides of the brain are proven to help in the development of your baby’s brain. Curious, right? This means that an early start to your baby’s time in the water will assist in their reading skills, spatial awareness, and even communicative capabilities. “Not only is all that kicking and screaming (for joy) helping their brains to develop, but their bodies’ naturally become accustomed to the sensation of water against their skin – an essential cognitive process that most parents will agree can make bath time less of a stand-off!” says Michael Pitts, a health writer at Simple Grad and Academized.
Replace The Fear Factor with The Fun Factor
It’s a natural process to encourage your child to enjoy the water as early as possible. By doing so, you may find that it naturally reduces their susceptibility to that dreaded fear phase all of our toddlers go through. Instead, you’ll have welcomed and familiarized them with a new and exciting environment that they’ll be excited to dive back into anytime.
The ‘D’ Word
It’s never fun to discuss – but oh, so important to remember, getting your baby in the water will most likely reduce the risk of drowning. There are no studies to guarantee, and of course, we always implore vigilance and care in the water, but starting your baby swimming early will certainly increase their cognitive awareness in their less familiar, watery environment. Let’s not forget, drowning is one of the unfortunate leading causes of young deaths – a tragic fact. Even if you believe your child is a fish in the water, they should still be 100% supervised at all times, particularly during these early development years.
Bonding, Baby Bonding
A license to swim is a license for fun – as even one swimming lesson involving the parent and baby-making a splash together in the water, improves that one-on-one quality bonding time your baby craves. Skin-to-skin contact and interactions with other caregivers and instructors will have your baby beaming with confidence in no time. It’s not only initial benefits they’ll enjoy, but studies have shown babies who were introduced to their water environment early on had greater self-confidence, self-control, and a desire to succeed when starting school years later – not bad for a little splish, splash!
Swimming with your baby, in a controlled environment, will assist in their functional development. A stronger cardiovascular system will make their strong little heart and lungs even stronger. “The coordination of their legs and arms will also engage their core muscles sooner giving your baby the balanced and playful experience their quickly developing muscles are calling out for – and maybe a little excuse for us parents to hop off the couch once in a while (we’ve all been there, Dad especially!)”, explains James Gonzalez, a lifestyle blogger at Big Assignments and Uktopwriters.
A Good Night’s Rest
It’s no secret now that all of this activity is good for your baby’s development. But one pleasant side effect is that their sleeping pattern is bound to improve along with it – imagine what a good night’s sleep for your baby means. Their little bodies are using up a lot more energy, engaging their muscles, working on coordination skills, and even using excess energy to stay warm. While a good sleep pattern is a welcome bonus, it’s important to make sure that you accommodate additional nap times or even adjust your babies sleeping schedule to facilitate their new family fun activity.
So, what are you waiting for? Isn’t it time you and your newborn dipped those toes in together and bond in a new and fun way through those early development years.
Molly Crockett, a renowned health blogger at Revieweal and Student writing services shares her latest personal development ideas with articles in online magazines, and via her own blog at Topcanadianwriters.com.