Water is great for having fun with your little cherubs. It’s a natural environment for your child. After all, your baby spent a long time swimming in amniotic fluid before showing us their cute little face. Water baby classes are designed to help your baby’s development and improve their psychomotor skills through play. They can splash, play with balls and have fun, surrounded by other children and parents. Baby has a great time in the pool with you. Water baby classes will not necessarily make your children future Olympic swimming champions! But you’re guaranteed to have a really fun time as a family!
You can take your child to water baby classes from the age of 4 months. Many pools offer this activity (some are listed on the French Federation of Aquatic Activities for Early Learning and Leisure website). Water baby classes will not make your child a better swimmer when the time comes to learn to swim. But that won’t be until the age of six, when your child begins to coordinate the movements in their arms and legs. Water baby classes enable your little cherub to feel more at ease in the water, with more confidence. When you play together in the water, your baby can splash, dip underneath and have lots of fun! An opportunity to form an even closer bond with your little one.
Usually lasting around 30 minutes, these sessions are all about learning, playing and bonding. Your child will always be in your arms or very close by so they can enjoy this aquatic adventure with you. The staff who run these water baby classes adapt to your child, rather than the other way round. Your child should never be forced to carry out an exercise. It should be a natural, gradual progression.
Plunged into water at a temperature of 32°C, your water baby will go through three key stages during these sessions:
– Firstly, the introduction phase. Your little cherub stays in your arms while you gently immerse them up to their mouth. The aim is to increase their confidence. Next, using a float, put baby on their front and back. You can pretend to be Aladdin on his flying carpet!
– The second key phase consists of fully immersing your little one for a few seconds whilst keeping hold of them in your arms. It’s almost like returning to their origins, when they were warm and cosy inside mummy’s body. You’ll see that they have retained the reflex to hold their breath. It’s automatic! Don’t make them hold their breath more than three times during the session.
– The final phase is about freedom. Your baby is still immersed, but this time you let go of them under the water.
Your little one is still in close contact with you, but you can see how they are developing. They are feeling increasingly confident in this new environment. Feel free to talk to them, hug them and make the most of this special time for bonding. And if you yourself don’t feel very comfortable in the water, don’t forget that your child will pick up on how you are feeling. You’re there to enjoy yourselves, so try to relax!
To ensure this aquatic experience is as much fun as possible for your little water baby, you need to take a few precautions. For maximum results in the pool:
– During the first sessions, allow your child time to explore this new environment. Take them on a walk round the pool, get them used to the noises the water makes as well as other children laughing and squealing.
– Don’t force your little one to get into the water. Let them decide in their own time!
– Make sure they are wearing a swimsuit in the right size to avoid any potential accidents in the pool which would lead to the whole pool being evacuated.
– You need to give your child a soapy bath or shower before the session, and make sure you rinse them properly afterwards. Finish by drying them thoroughly so they don’t catch cold, especially around their ears.
– Give your child something to eat at least an hour before taking them to the water baby class. This will prevent any regurgitations in the water.
– If your child is ill or not feeling 100%, allow them time to get better. It doesn’t matter if you miss a session, you’ll just enjoy the next one even more!
– Always check with your doctor before joining a water baby class.
You don’t need very much for a water baby session. The pool will provide everything you need for parents to play with their little ones (floats, pool noodles etc.). Personally, you need to bring:
– A fitted swimsuit with a waterproof nappy.
– Soap for your child.
– A bath towel.
– A hat to keep them warm after all this fun and games.
– A little snack, depending on their age (bottle, fruit juice etc.) to regain their strength once the activity is finished.
Now that you’ve had this quick overview, all you need to do is enjoy your time with your little one! You could create a specific area in their wardrobe or chest of drawers for their water baby things.Tags :