There are various benefits that can be obtained from teaching babies to swim. Besides being able to increase the closeness between babies and parents, swimming can also affect the baby's intelligence and confidence.
Although the baby's feet and hands automatically move when entering the pool, it does not mean that it is easy to teach a baby to swim. You have to know what to pay attention to in order to stay safe, because the baby is not yet able to hold his breath and raise his head above the water properly.
How to Teach Babies to Swim Age-appropriate
In addition to paying attention to swimming pool safety, teaching babies to swim also requires special tricks. Here's how to teach a baby to swim by age:
6-18 months old baby
Teaching babies to swim can be done as early as possible. However, the most recommended time is when he is six months old. As a first step, try splashing pool water on the baby's body to make him adapt to the water. Let the baby explore the water and feel comfortable in the water.
Teach baby to kick and pull the foot as a basic movement. Next, you can introduce the mouth motion of blowing air bubbles.
Another fun activity for this age is having him slide and float in the water on his back. In order for the baby to enjoy playing in the water more, invite him to do activities of gliding in several different directions.
Babies 18 months to 3 years old
At this age, babies can be taught how to kick or swing their arms. As he approaches three, you can teach him to hold his breath, let him in and out of the shallow toddler pool, and play more varied games.
Games that are suitable for babies at this age include playing catch and ball or pretending to be a train by walking in the water along the edge of the pool. This game is effective in stimulating the baby to move and pedal his arms to swim.
To practice his diving skills, you can ask him to pick up objects at the bottom of a shallow pool. These games can be an effective way of teaching your baby to swim.
For babies aged 3-5 years
When your baby is older or has entered the age range of 3-5 years, the activities in teaching babies to swim can be more varied. Teach him to move his legs and arms to propel his body forward in the water. Also teach how to float, either floating on the back or on the stomach.
At this age, children can be taught to be careful in the pool. Understand that walking by the pool without adult supervision is dangerous.
Parents can teach their baby to swim directly or enroll them in a swimming class. But don't forget, pay attention to the cleanliness of the swimming pool, because babies are still vulnerable to germs or viral infections.
If necessary, first ask the pediatrician whether your little one's health condition allows him to start learning to swim. This is important to do, especially if your child has a history of congenital heart disease, asthma, or epilepsy.