Most new parents cannot wait for their baby to experience all of the fun things in life, swimming is a perfect example.Not only is it a joyful time to hold your baby close and bond, but there are also many health and safety benefits to be had.The fact that you’re here says that you have concerns, probably about chemical levels in the water? Knowing when babies can go swimming in a pool can open the door to years of enjoyment and exercise.
When Can Babies go Swimming in a Pool?
It may surprise you to learn that there is no age limit for taking your baby swimming. It is perfectly safe to take newborns in pools, even municipal ones. Some classes begin from when your baby is just 4-weeks old.
Babies have an innate swimming reflex that lasts up until they are 6-months old.
They are not swimming as we’d recognize it, their muscles aren’t strong enough for that. However, they can certainly float and move beneath the water.
Babies and Chlorine – Is It Safe?
All swimming pools need chlorine. It is a chemical used to kill bacteria in the water by disinfecting it. The chlorine oxidizes the main structure of the bacteria, rendering it harmless.
Water pumps and pool maintenance guys work together to ensure a safe balance of chlorine and pH levels at all times. We recommend you steer clear of pools that have a strong smell of chlorine. This usually means the balance is off and may cause irritation to the eyes and skin.
When can babies go into a chlorinated pool?
Whenever you feel ready to take them is the best answer.
If you have a pool at home you can safely swim with your little one from birth.
If you’re using a public pool choose one that isn’t too busy and where the water is warm and it is well-ventilated.Dedicated baby pools are always best.
Can babies go into the pool before all of their vaccinations are complete?
Yes, before they start and during the course. The chlorine does all of the work to make the water a safe environment for your baby.
Sometimes babies react to their injections. If they show very mild symptoms there is no reason not to take them in the pool. If they become feverish and irritable we suggest you keep them away from the water for a few days.
Benefits of Taking a Baby in a Pool
Once you know just when a baby can go in a swimming pool their little worlds will open up to several health benefits. Many of these will also improve your life as a parent.
Improved cognitive function
Babies that swim from birth may well be academically brighter. They may be better at learning, pick up reading more easily, and grasp language skills quickly.This is due to billions of new neurons forming in their brains as each side of their body is in motion simultaneously.With improved coordination comes big leaps in development.
Babies that go into the pool build up self-esteem and learn to trust in themselves from a young age. They are often confident youngsters with great social skills brought on by positive interaction from groups of people.
Not only does swimming strengthen leg and arm muscles, but it also helps internal organs. The heart and lungs, in particular, grow healthy and strong.
Improved sleep and appetite
This is where the parental benefits come into play! A baby that has exerted energy in a pool will most certainly be ready for a nap when they are dry.If you’re struggling to get your little one to feed well, a few minutes in the pool can spark a raging thirst or hunger.
When you’re in the water with your baby, always ensure that they are within reaching distance. She may be fine one second and then gulp too much air or water, and begin to panic, the next.
Other tips to consider are:
- If your pool has a cover, remove it completely before you get in the water with your baby
- Make safety rules for older children, and stick to them religiously. No running, pushing, etc.
- A baby will chill quickly, the water should be kept at around 90f. And then they should only stay in for short times.
- Remember, all water is dangerous to little people, ponds and fountains pose a risk.
New Mums and Swimming
When can a baby go in the pool with their mum often depends on the type of birth they underwent. Some doctors and health visitors recommend mums who had caesarian sections wait for at least 6-weeks before going swimming.If this is the case, don’t worry, get someone you trust to introduce your baby to the water.
Taking a Baby Swimming for the First Time
Taking your baby swimming early in their lives is advisable. As children get older they tend to be wary, fearful, and develop negative attitudes.Babies that go swimming early accept it as a way of life and become strong swimmers in childhood.The first time you take your baby in the water can be daunting. Choose a quiet time if you’re in a public pool. Not so much of a concern at home.
Hopefully, the pool is nice and warm. Wet suits and full-body swimsuits are a great way of keeping little ones warmer for longer.Keep a towel on hand, ready to wrap them up immediately as they leave the pool.Only take them in the water for a few minutes at the first try. Maybe 10-minutes if they can stand it. Gradually lengthen the time as they get older. Half an hour is plenty of time for toddlers in the pool.
Talk gently to them all of the time they are in the water. Your soothing voice will help them to relax and start kicking and splashing.If your baby starts to shiver or get cold, take them out and try again another time.
Remember, your baby might not enjoy swimming at the first, second, or third attempt. But, persevere, they will soon grow to love it.If they get fractious or cry, it is worth giving up and trying again another day. You don’t want them to relate the water with negative feelings.
Taking a new baby swimming can enrich both yours and their lives. You will also gain peace of mind that they will grow up to be confident around water.With the knowledge of when babies can go into the swimming pool, we imagine you can’t wait to get into your swimming costume and slide in the pool with your baby.What a lovely way to relax your baby; having fun together, kicking, slapping, and splashing in the water.