SwimmingGreat for ages: Newborn +
- Companies such as Aqua Tots and Water Babies run special classes that capitalise on a baby's natural reflexes. These make your baby automatically hold his breath underwater so he's encouraged to swim under the surface. It may not be for you if you're scared of water yourself, but the emphasis is on fun and it's great to watch. Don't try this at home though, you need to be taught how to help your baby swim safely.
- Many leisure pools now allow you to take babies swimming before they've had all their jabs. Ask your health visitor or check at local pools. For more info, log on to www.immunisation.org.uk.
- Swimming classes are often held in pools where the temperature of the water is slightly higher than normal, as it has to be warm enough for young babies.
- If your child isn't potty-trained, put him in a swimming-nappy.
- You shouldn't take your child if he's unwell.
What are the advantages?
- Swimming builds his confidence in water and the freedom of movement is a great workout. It can help his co-ordination and muscular development, too.
- Swimming tends to improve your baby's appetite and sleep because he'll be hungry and tired after class. It'll certainly improve yours!