Introducing your children to the pool and water might be an exciting task for parents, but have you wondered how taking your infant to a hydrotherapy pool is different from taking your child for a swimming session?
When can you introduce a baby to water?
Hydrotherapy for babies can start when they are as young as two days old. Hydrotherapy pools or pods have temperature-controlled water that flows out in synchronized waves, which soothe the baby and strengthen their cardiovascular systems.
This is essential for a newborn baby, who is yet to adapt to the new environment. Research also proves that hydrotherapy or water therapy helps infants explore the new stimulus and move around in a womb-like environment. The National Health Service, UK, in a recent research paper mentioned that babies can be introduced to water right after birth, and even before they are vaccinated.
How is a baby introduced to water?
Attached with flotation devices the babies can explore the water and it boosts their health and overall wellbeing. Flotation helps the infant practice stretches, strengthen muscles, offers them a great workout, helps them get over the fear of water, relax, and reduces their stress.
While most flotation devices in the market are known to do more harm than good, BabySpa has a patented device called BUBBY® that helps the baby stay afloat without harming the bones of the baby. These are different from the regular neck rings available in the market, which are known to cause more harm than good.
The neck of the newborn is very sensitive, any undue pressure here or unstable support can cause irreparable damage to the little one’s spine, we at BabySpa understand that which is why BUBBY® was developed. The device is provided to give your infant the utmost comfort and support while she relaxes in the water. Individual pods are provided to babies who are yet to be vaccinated, to ensure the safety of all the babies.
How is hydrotherapy for babies beneficial?
Finnish research concluded that babies who are introduced to water early in life tend to crawl later but walk faster. The reason for this is the superior control over muscles that they develop from the hydrotherapy sessions.
Warm water in the pods relaxes your baby and stimulates hunger, which would, in turn, regulate her feeding and sleeping patterns. These apart, Hydrotherapy is also known to enhance their grasp, coordination, and balance, as reported by a study published by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
It also helps babies get over the fear of water later in life and has been proven to develop them into better swimmers.
What is infant swimming?
Babies are born with a reflex to kick, and these kicks, when done in water, produces over a billion neurons that foster development in your little one. Child development experts believe that when the baby kicks or glides through the water, she develops gross motor skills, body balance, immunity, and cognitive functions.
A four-year-long study conducted by the Griffith University in Australia on over 7,000 children found that children who learned to swim early in life have advanced physical and cognitive development when compared to their peers who don’t know how to swim. The study also found that when kids in the age of 3 to 5 years learned to swim, they were cognitively ahead of their peers by at least 11 months.
Another study noticed that children who learned to swim early in life had a higher level of confidence when compared against their peers and were better at adapting to new situations and challenges in life.
How is hydrotherapy different from swimming in children?
Unlike swimming, infants as young as two days can be introduced to hydrotherapy. However, that is not the only factor that differentiates hydrotherapy from swimming. Hydrotherapy is performed in a temperature-controlled pool, where the water is slightly warmer than in a swimming pool where special exercises are performed.
Hydrotherapy is performed under the supervision of the specialists and differs from baby to baby based on the result one is trying to achieve at the end of the session. For instance, one baby would undergo hydrotherapy for stress, while the other may be exercising to strengthen the muscles.
In short, hydrotherapy for babies is used to strengthen the muscles, reduce pain, introduce to water early in life, and relax the body.
When a baby is introduced to hydrotherapy as an infant, they overcome the fear of water, which would enable them to learn swimming with ease later and also reduce their risk of drowning. It teaches the little ones to thrive in a non-competitive environment.
Do you have any more questions about hydrotherapy for babies or how it is performed? Visit BabySpa or talk to our experts now!