When Can Babies Go Swimming in A Pool?Last updated: October 18, 2017
We all want our kids to have fun and be safe around the water. If you have a new baby, you may be wondering how soon you can start taking your little one to the pool. Pengu Swim School offers babies swimming lessons beginning as early as four months!
An early baby swimming age helps prepare your baby for more formal swimming lessons a little further down the line. At four months, your baby can start to develop skills that will help them when they are older.
What Babies Learn
Our babies swimming lessons focus on getting your baby comfortable in the water. Parents are in the pool with their babies and serve as models to show the babies that the pool is fun and safe. We play games, sing songs and do other exercises to keep the babies focus & attention.
One advantage to starting lessons before six months is that we can use the baby’s natural reflexes as part of the process. Young babies have a gag reflex that makes them naturally hold their breath for brief periods under water. This means that you can trickle water over their little heads and play splashing games to get them used to the water without scaring them or making them sputter and choke.
Why Our Babies Swimming Lessons Are Special
Baby swimming age classes have a few specific features to make sure your little one gets the right start.
- Our water is always warm. Infants can become chilled very quickly, so it is essential that the water is about 90 degrees to keep them comfortable.
- We have small class sizes limiting the infant class size to a maximum of six babies and parents. Small class sizes ensure that our teachers can supervise all the babies and answer all the parent’s questions.
- Our baby swimming lessons are short, lasting no more than 30 minutes. 30-minute sessions allow for just the right amount of time for your baby to enjoy the water.
How to Prepare for Swimming Lessons
Although we do not teach swimming classes for babies under four months, there are things you can do at home to get your younger baby ready for classes.
- Make bath time fun! The goal is to encourage a feeling of security in the water and avoid creating fear. Playing games and having bath toys in the bath are great ways to show that water is fun. You can gradually begin to gently splash water over your baby’s head and lean him/her back into the water. Go slowly and always support your baby for safety and to help make them feel secure.
- If you have access to a heated pool and you do not want to wait until your baby is four months old, it is okay to take your baby in the water as early as six weeks. Watch out for pools that have too much chlorine, as it can irritate your baby’s eyes and nasal passages. If the smell of chlorine is high, you should probably avoid the pool with your baby.
- Start with about 10 minutes of time in the pool and gradually, with success, build up to 30 minutes. Infants under four months can engage in gentle swaying while the parent supports him/her under their arms. Please do not be tempted to let an eager sibling or other children take your baby into the pool. Never leave a child unattended around water.
- Stock up on swim diapers! Yes, babies will poo in the pool! Swim diapers help make sure that nothing that comes out of your baby gets into the pool. Swim diapers do not turn into a soggy mess the way traditional diapers will.
- A couple of other tips: Make sure to clean your baby’s bottom and put a fresh swim diaper on him/her before getting into the pool. Lastly, do not feed your baby right before swim time.
Is There a Down Side?
The only downside to babies swimming lessons is that, occasionally, a baby is just not ready. If your baby is terrified and cannot be soothed, we will talk to you about waiting a while and trying again. Do not get discouraged if this happens to you. All children can learn to swim, but at the time your baby’s brain may just be busy with other things!
The Bottom Line
Swimming is a fun sport that can practice for a lifetime. It helps children develop motor skills and coordination. It improves the baby’s heart and lungs so that they are healthy and efficient without stressing their growing joints. Swimming lessons also strengthen children’s social skills and give them a chance to make lasting friends. Pengu Swim School is here to offer your little one all the benefits of swimming starting at four months of age. If you are looking for baby swim classes in the Houston area, stop by and check us out.