When should I introduce my baby to swimming?

It’s a question that crosses the minds of parents of newborns everywhere.

There are a few thoughts on when you should introduce your little one to a swimming pool. Some, concerned about pool chemicals, take baby into the water from the age of six months onwards.

Others feel you can start as early as two-months-old.

However, there are some parents who choose to play it by ear and start the water introduction phase when their children show an interest or when they themselves are ready to plunge.

If you are at that stage where you feel that now is the time, here are three easy and fun ways to safely introduce your baby to the pool.

Make it fun

You want this to be an enjoyable experience. There shouldn’t be any trepidation here, the point is to allow your child to fall in love with water play and to be comfortable while having that experience. Some tried and tested methods include sprinkling baby with water in the bath. Allow your child to splash and play, and test your baby’s reaction while you sprinkle water on his or her face. Turn it into a game by saying, “Let’s water the garden.” Some parents take it a step further by dipping their baby’s toes in the pool water to check their reaction.

Water safety

Teach your little one to blow bubbles in the water. This will help them understand breath control and not to swallow water. You can also try this in the bath at first. Ask them to blow bubbles in the water without submerging their faces. When they’re ready, they can try it by dipping their heads in the water. Getting this simple technique right is the first step in learning to swim.

Hug me mum or dad

Babies will learn to love being the water when they see the joy on our faces too. Climb into the pool with your little one, holding him close to you as you smile and talk to him about the experience. Experts say teaching your child to swim is great for their cognitive development. Sing songs about the water and tell them how they can move different parts of their body. It’s all about making baby feel comfortable in the water. You can eventually introduce toys like a pool noodle, a floating ball or colourful inflatables when your little one is ready.