A few infants take to the water like the fish to a pond, they are what you can call the natural water babies, it is easy to handle them in the water. However, there are a few babies that are born with an innate fear for new surfaces and it would be nothing less of a nightmare to deal with these infants in the pool.
Remember, you can never be too early to introduce your infant to the water, you may start by sprinkling some water on your little one’s head a day or two after she’s born. However, if you are planning on giving her a shower, make sure you wait until the umbilical cord dries and falls off, or you secure it with a belly button cap so that the water doesn’t reach it.
Whatever category your little one fits into, we have the tips to help you in introducing your infant to the water for the first time.
Introduce your baby to the water early in life. An early bird would have fewer fears and more willingness to explore new surroundings. Also, make sure you take your little one to the pool in the morning when the sun is less harsher on her skin and the pool is less crowded.
Introduce them slowly and gradually to the water and make them get used to the new environment. Make sure your little one is calm and take them away from the pool if you see that they are uncomfortable. You may start training her to swim under the guidance of professionals who are specialized in training infants and babies in swimming.
Stay close to the baby:
Infants constantly live in the fear of separation.This makes them panic and get cranky. Don’t let your little one alone in the water and stay as close as possible to her. It is important to ensure that the baby experiences a sense of freedom in the water and is able to explore with motion, but is also held securely to avoid any accidents.
It would be a nice idea to let your baby play around in a bathtub before you take them to a pool. Although the experience is completely different, your baby might be able to relate the experience in the bathtub to that in a pool and stay calm.
Make it a play time:
Children tend to panic in new environment so introduce them to the pool by making it a play. Infants thrive and learn when they indulge in pretend play, so this could be your opportunity to make them enjoy taking a dip, experience water, and have fun while learning to swim. Engage them in games, toys, and stories that would engross them into the fun and take away any fears of the water. A great start is all it takes for your little one to adapt to water, so make sure you give them one.
Make sure your baby is well-slept and fed before you take her out to the pool. This will ensure that your baby is a little more open to new experiences than on days when she’s not gotten enough sleep. While you’ve successfully entered the pool with your baby, make sure you watch for those non-verbal cues that your little one gives about being present in the water. If it is making her uncomfortable, get her out of the pool and help her relax.
Pick the right tools and toys:
The right neck ring, Buoy, Swimming armband Floats, and pool toys are essential for your little one to get acquainted to the pool and water. If you have decided to pick one, make sure it doesn’t restrict movement and is approved by her pediatrician.
Infants as young as two days old can be introduced to hydrotherapy, which are temperature controlled water pods that recreate a womb-like environment for infants and help them relax. As the water hits against the baby’s body in a rhythmic fashion, they infant would calm down, experience reduced muscle strain, and be more willing to explore the new environment. Once she gets comfortable in the hydropod you might consider taking her to the pool to start your baby swimming classes.
Team up with your friends and plan for fun playdates for your little one. Children tend to engage and learn better when they see infants the same age exploring the water and having fun. This could also give you the much-needed time to catch up with your friends and parents of other infants.
These are just a few popular tips, make sure you consult with your pediatrician before trying them out, as every baby is different and would react differently to water.
Do you know of any more tips and tricks to introduce infants to water for the first time?
Share your tips in the comments section below. Also, don’t forget to share this article with all the parents who might need some help with taking their babies to the pool for the first time.