What are the benefits of swimming in babies?

Swimming is beneficial for the psychomotor development and respiratory capacity of the little ones. For this reason, at Miniland we have spoken with Luis Peiró Soler, a graduate in Physical Activity and Sports Sciences and Managing Director of the Ayora Municipal Swimming Pool in Valencia (Sidecu Managing Entity), so that he can offer us the best recommendations on the practice of this sport for babies.

Swimming with Lifeguard Course is one of the most complete sports that exist since it exercises all the muscles of the body at the same time that it frees the mind from daily stress. In the case of babies,  the benefits of swimming classes are innumerable  since they favor the development of both the motor and psychosocial systems.

According to Luis Peiró, the Director of the  Municipal Pool of Ayora , “play improves the baby’s respiratory capacity.” Likewise, adaptation to the aquatic environment with their relatives enhances affective relationships, improving the child’s self-confidence.

Many parents consider that swimming classes are essential for the child to learn to swim, leaving aside the benefits of this discipline. However, in the case of infants,  parents should be aware that children will not learn to swim by the end of the program . As Peiró tells us, “they must know that the objective of the activity is to familiarize the child with the aquatic environment through activities that favor their motor and psychological development.”

The active participation of parents is essential in this discipline due to the group nature of the activity and the young age of their children.In this way, they themselves can perceive the benefits of swimming in babies.

At what age can babies start swimming lessons?

The courses for babies range  from six months to two years,  when they begin a more experienced training. These courses consist of an approach to the most relevant aspects of aquatic activity and must be carried out in a specialized pool for the little ones. This space must have a glass adapted for the practice of swimming for babies, “the water of which must range between 30º and 32º, the ambient temperature.

The reason why the practice is not recommended for babies under six months is that  the immune system of babies does not finish forming until the fourth month of life  and the chances of having colds or infections such as otitis increase significantly. However, it  is the pediatrician who must take care of the newborn and, therefore, consider when is the best time for each child to start practicing this sport or if there is any reason to discourage it. As Luis Peiró indicates: “Our recommendation will always be to go to the pediatrician beforehand. He is the qualified professional who knows the baby best and will set the work guidelines for us to follow, indicating the benefits of the activity and the risks to be taken into account. Once we have the doctor’s approval, all that remains is to enjoy the activity with our baby”.

What can a baby achieve through swimming lessons?

The objectives when the child starts swimming classes are very diverse, although  the main one is “the familiarization of the child with the water” . With this, the aim is for the baby to be autonomous in the water both with the help of auxiliary material and without it. In addition, we find other more specific objectives, among which the Managing Director of the Ayora pool highlights the following:

Establish a direct relationship with a non-terrestrial environment.

Discover the different possibilities of relationship with the aquatic environment (floats, turns, displacements and immersions).

Experiment and evolve in the different basic aquatic skills (balance, manipulation, climbing…).

Interact with other people (monitors, other parents and other babies).

To achieve these objectives, in swimming classes differentiated exercises are carried out in two large blocks:  movement patterns and basic aquatic skills . The first would include postural exercises in the water, propulsion or the different ways of entering the pool. In the second, for its part, would be the balances, turns, manipulations, displacements, dives and climbs or exits from the water.

In short,  swimming is an essential sport for children from a very young age . Depending on the age and stage of development of the little ones, some objectives or others will be promoted, although there are common benefits for both that will allow a positive development.


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