Infants & Toddlers
Our AUSTSWIM water safety and familiarization classes for children aged six months to four years old may be the most important enrichment activity you give your child- it may save their life!
In addition, research by Griffith University in Australia (2010-present) shows that regular swimming lessons from an early age (six months is ideal) help children reach motor, cognitive, academic, emotional and language developmental milestones earlier than non-swimming children.
Conducted by caring, qualified professionals who understand little ones, other benefits of our 30-minute, small-group swim classes include:
- Bonding with parent/caretaker who is in the water with the child
- Enhanced self esteem and independence as children achieve demonstrable skills at their own pace
- Prevention of water fears as babies less than a year old accept the water more readily than older children
- Better sleep and appetite as swimming classes relax and stimulate babies
- Strengthened respiratory system as swimming is the exercise of choice for asthmatics
- Increased muscle tone as in the water, babies are less restricted by gravity and their ability to sit or stand
- Exposure to the teachers, routine and structure of swimming classes prepares children for school
- Children develop social skills and friendships as they have fun with other students
- Stroke development comes much easier if the foundation of water safety/familiarization skills such as breath control, buoyancy and propulsion, have been laid properly
- A lifelong habit of fitness and sport is encouraged if swimming is introduced early in life
Pre-conditioning Your Baby for Submersion
Babies are special! Their in-womb experience prepares them for in-water experiences without adverse effects. Newborn babies automatically stop breathing if they are placed under water for a short period of time and so avoid inhaling water.
We recommend parents precondition their infants through a simple process which begins with the parent and baby at bath time to continue developing their natural ease in the water:
- Start by taking a cup of water, ensuring the water is at bath temperature and use the key words: “(Child’s name), ready, one, two, three, go.” Wait one second then pour the water on the child’s forehead allowing it to run smoothly and evenly across the child’s face. Always start with the key words, “(Child’s name), ready, one, two, three, go” and make sure your physical actions remain rhythmical and constant. Remember to smile, laugh and cuddle your child to help him/her (and you!) relax.
- When your baby is very small, you may prefer to drip water from a wet washer/flannel over his/her face. Remember to go slow and be patient.
- By doing this pre-conditioning exercise at home, you and your infant will be much more prepared and therefore relaxed when you join us for swimming class.