It’s never too early to teach your child how to swim. But to many parents, this can seem like a daunting task. With this in mind, here are some tried and tested ways to introduce your baby to water for the first time, prioritizing their safety and your peace of mind.
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests a “touch supervision” approach in and around any depths of water to prevent the possibility of drowning. This means always maintaining physical contact with the baby while in or around the pool. Click here for a more comprehensive list of safety guidelines.
Learning CPR is an important step parents can take to make sure they’re always prepared in case of an emergency. The American Red Cross provides step-by-step CPR instructions, and also explains the difference between giving CPR to an infant and to a child. The American Red Cross also offers classes, both virtual and in-person, if you want to become CPR certified.
Teach them to blow bubbles
It’ll be a few years before your baby learns how to swim, but it’s never too early to teach them the basics! Try and teach your child to blow bubbles on the surface of the water. This will help teach one of the most important aspects of swimming, and can deter them from trying to inhale any water, according to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center.
Bring a bath toy
According to the National Childbirth Trust, bringing your baby’s favorite bath toy to the pool is a great way to help them feel comfortable in the water. Pools can be big and scary (even private pools), so the more familiar rubber animal faces you can bring along the better.
Make sure your baby stays warm
Even on a hot day, keep an eye on your child for shivering or signs of coldness. If you frequent public pools, which tend to be on the colder side, the experts at BabyCenter suggest investing in a baby wetsuit to help regulate your child’s temperature. They also suggest limiting pool time to 30 minutes for infants, so you can consistently dry them off and reapply sunscreen.
When it comes to swimming, nothing is more important than safety. But as long as you’re prepared, swimming with your baby is an amazing bonding experience that the whole family will enjoy. Plus, swimming can even have solid health benefits for your baby, so it’s a good time that’s also good for you. Last one in is a dirty diaper!
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