You may have families or friends who have tried to convince you to give your baby swimming lessons. According to them, ‘babies are born with swimming abilities’. They say it’s because the baby floated in the womb for months, but this is a misconception — infants do not have an innate ability to swim.
How come there are so many videos of babies ‘swimming’ online, then? This is because newborns possess reflexes that simulate the act of swimming: the bradycardic response and the swimming reflex.
Not a Talent, but a Reflex
The bradycardic response, which derived its name from the way babies move their legs and arms, prompts babies to open their eyes and hold their breath when their head goes under the water. When submerged in water, the baby’s heart rate slows down as well. Furthermore, placing the baby stomach-side down underwater triggers the response. Doctors say that both reflexes begin to face after the six-month mark.
Doctors’ Advice: Take Baby Swimming
A study from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) gives you more reasons to bring your baby to the pool.
The NTNU study discovered that taking your baby swimming can help them become more intelligent and self-confident. This is because swimming involves bilateral cross-patterning movements that use both sides of the body to perform an action. These movements build new neurons in the brain and improve language development, reading skills, and academic learning, among other skills.
When you’re ready to take your baby swimming, you may want to consider hiring a swimming coach. These professionals know how to better engage the baby and facilitate learning, as well as how to make a safer learning environment.
Before letting your baby enjoy in the pool, however, have our experts at Pool Heat Pumps Perth install a heat pump to make the pool water warm. We supply and install top-quality electric heat pumps, so you don’t have to worry about your baby getting cold while taking lessons.