Water Babies is celebrating National Baby Swimming Week this week as 5,000 babies and toddlers across Ireland take the plunge with their Mums and Dads and enjoy all the benefits of baby swimming.
Babies love swimming and it feels entirely natural to them – as they’ve just spent nine months in the womb!
Because they’re free of the restrictions of gravity, and able to use muscles they’d never use until they start rolling, crawling, walking and running, babies love the sense of freedom water gives them.
The emphasis in lessons is often on strengthening the bond between parent and child, swimming from birth is also excellent for their development.
Baby swimming is proven to have physical, mental and emotional benefits. Children who have been to structured swimming classes as babies were found to be ahead of their non-swimming peers by 11 months when it comes to oral expression.
As well as helping to significantly impact little ones’ strength and coordination, baby swimming has also been proven to boost confidence and stimulate positive emotions.
Carol McNally who runs the multi-award-winning Water Babies classes across Dublin, Meath, Louth & Kildare commented:
“Despite looking gentle, swimming provides a complete physical workout. It strengthens the heart, lungs and respiratory system which, in turn, aids the development of the brain. During their first year of life, a baby’s brain grows more rapidly than at any other time, with every movement they make helping to strengthen this growth.”
Joni Harding from Swim Ireland said
“Swim Ireland are delighted to be supporting National Baby Swimming Week and working with Water Babies to highlight the importance of swimming for cognitive development. Getting babies into the pool as early as possible encourages a positive association with water. This positive feeling aids with the conscious element of brain development, whilst subconsciously developing and reinforcing the neural pathways that help with movement and co-ordination. These aquatic experiences really do lay the foundations for absolutely everything a baby will do in later life. We cannot underestimate the benefits of baby swimming in developing confident, resilient and successful Irish people.”
John Leech, Chief Executive, Irish Water Safety said
“Thirty children aged fourteen and under drowned in Ireland in a ten-year period making water safety a serious and significant public health issue. National Baby Swimming Week provides the ideal opportunity for parents to take practical steps to safeguarding their children by instilling skills that will benefit them as they grow older.“