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Safety First: Teaching Water Skills To Babies

It’s both exciting and nerve-wracking when it’s time to dip your baby’s toes in the water for the first time. You’re probably pondering questions like how warm the water should be or how to turn their first water experience into an exciting event instead of a dreadful one. 

You’re not alone. From picking that adorable but safe swimming outfit to understanding safe behaviour in the water, the first time can be overwhelming. 

But worry not. This article will help you take it one paddle at a time with your little one. Here are some tips to ensure your baby’s safety as they learn to explore and love the water. 

1. Start Early With Swimming Lessons 

Enrolling your child in baby swimming lessons early enough will help build their water confidence. Did you know many swim schools welcome babies as young as six months old? These classes familiarise babies with water through playful, engaging lessons that also teach fundamental swimming skills. 

What could be a better bonding opportunity than this? Regular swimming helps reduce any fear associated with water. 

But remember, cleanliness is critical! Choose a swimming school with reliable sanitation practices to keep your child away from water-borne infections. 

2. Learn About Infant CPR And First Aid 

Accidents can happen anytime. But although being prepared to address minor cuts or scrapes helps, parents need more than that when it comes to water safety. Knowing infant CPR and first aid is a must when doing water activities with young children. Consider attending CPR and first aid courses for babies so you can perform them yourself in case of emergencies.

Having a complete first aid kit on hand also provides peace of mind. Include the basics, such as sterile band-aids, bandages in different sizes, and some antibiotic ointment. Bring this kit with a list of emergency phone numbers.

3. Create A Comfortable Environment 

Before the fun begins, ensure the swimming pool’s water is around 32-34°C — much like a lukewarm cup of tea. See to it that your baby is well-rested, fed and has a clean nappy before the fun begins. 

Consider bringing along your child’s favourite bathtub toys for a better sense of familiarity. If they’re particularly fond of a rubber ducky toy during bath time, it’s best to carry it along. It could be a reassuring companion during this new and unfamiliar experience. 

4. Keep The Time Right 

Swimming is more fun if you both enjoy the experience without overdoing it. Overexposure might ruin the fun, and that’s the last thing you’ll want your child to experience. 

Therefore, it’s always essential to stay mindful of the duration of your baby’s splash sessions. Sticking to ten to 20 minutes per session is recommended for babies under a year old. Meanwhile, you can gradually increase the time spent in the water to 30 minutes for older children. 

Additionally, look out for signs of tiredness, like yawning or eye rubbing, as they often mean it’s time to wrap up. If your child starts fussing more than usual or begins to shiver, get them out of the water and help them get warm. In doing so, you prevent your child from associating the experience with discomfort. 

5. Splurge On Quality Swim Gear 

Start with a well-fitting, stretchy swim nappy. They prevent leaks and keep babies comfortable. You can also look for materials like neoprene, which offer better insulation. For outdoor swim sessions, a fabric with built-in UV protection is ideal. 

Investing in a close-fitting baby swimsuit is a good idea. Choosing swimsuits made from soft, stretchy materials that allow easy movement without constriction while ensuring your baby stays warm is best. Bonus points if the swimsuit comes with built-in flotation support.

If possible, think about buying a baby swim float. It provides an added layer of safety and makes swimming more enjoyable for your precious one. If this is on your list, choose one that includes a sunshade for outdoor swimming during summer days. 

6. Maintain An Eagle Eye 

It can’t be said enough — never leave your baby alone in or near water. Accidents can occur in the blink of an eye. To avoid such risks, constant supervision is vital. As much as possible, join them in the water to ensure safety while they’re splashing around and never take your eyes off them. 

Try engaging in swimming activities with your child, making it a shared experience that’s fun, enjoyable, and safe. Being present and staying vigilant maintains the ideal environment for your baby to gain life-saving water skills while fostering a secure, trusting bond between the two of you. 

Ready For A Safe Water Experience With Your Baby?

Helping your child fall in love with water can be fun with proper planning and ample safety precautions. Remember, the goal is to build your baby’s confidence and skills to be safe enough in the water. So, parents, enjoy every priceless moment of your water playtimes. After all, you’re creating invaluable memories. Have fun teaching your baby!