Swimming is not only a fun activity for babies and toddlers, but it provides many physical, emotional, and social benefits. At SwimJim, we offer swimming lessons that will stimulate your little one’s development, giving them a happy and healthy start in life.
Here are nine surprising developmental benefits of introducing swimming at an early age to your child.
Everyone’s lives are busy, and having a structured class like baby and toddler swimming lessons blocks out a time frame when it’s just you and your baby. You have each other’s undivided attention without the normal distractions of life.
Large muscle motor skills are the first to develop with your baby. Swimming is a gentle activity that develops those muscles in her whole body. Proper large motor development will contribute to timely crawling and walking skills for your baby.
In a study conducted by Hermundur Sigmundsson, a professor of psychology at NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), and Brian Hopkins, a professor of psychology at Lancaster University, discovered that babies who swim have the best balance and reaching abilities compared with babies involved in other physical activities.
Improved balance also correlates to increased coordination. Swimming babies are simply more physically adept than non-swimmers, setting them up for healthy motor skills development.
Some parents fear that early exposure to swimming will make their children too comfortable in the water, increasing their risk of possibly drowning. Quite the opposite is true. A baby’s gag reflex will keep him from inhaling water. Newborns can even hold their breath under water. Swimming lessons taught at an early age will give your baby life-saving skills and an understanding of how to properly behave in and around water.
Drowning is the leading cause of death in young children and babies, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. A study done in 2009 showed that when children take swimming lessons from ages 1 to 4, their risk of drowning is decreased by 88%.
Gentle physical activity strengthens your baby’s cardiovascular system and stimulates healthy metabolic processes. Swimming can improve your baby’s appetite and help regulate an occasionally upset tummy.
Regular full-body physical activity uses a lot of energy and will require your baby to get more sleep. If your baby struggles with getting a full night’s sleep, swimming will help to normalize his sleeping patterns (and yours, too!).
The bilateral physical activity of swimming stimulates both sides of the brain, creating new neural pathways at lightning speed. A healthy, stimulated brain performs better academically and improves language skills.
Swimming lessons are an activity where children learn to share each other’s space and cooperate with each other. Learning these skills early on will help them when they are older and attend school. Your child will be more comfortable in groups and have an easier time sharing.
Learning new skills in swimming lessons gives your little one a sense of accomplishment, helping them feel confident in themselves. Early exposure to learned skills helps children to be willing to try new things and develop a healthy self-image.
Swimming is a beneficial activity for anyone, but the specific benefits for babies and toddlers give them an accelerated start in life. At SwimJim, we have classes structured for babies as young as newborns and toddlers 3 years of age.
Babies start out with balancing on their backs and tummies, and they learn to comfortably and safely explore the water. By the time your little one is 3, she’ll be able to understand how to control breathing and how to propel herself in the water. Sign up for baby and toddler swimming classes today! Stock up on swim diapers and see for yourself the difference swimming with SwimJim can make with your little one’s development.