Week 1 – Introducing Baby to the Joys of Swimming Through the Bath at Home: A Guide for Parents

On the 7th of May, Mark and I welcomed baby Evie into the world. The first thing on the agenda was to teach her to swim… At the hospital the midwife showed us how to bath the baby… little did she know that for us bath time wasn’t going to be about keeping the baby clean but actually about teaching our baby to swim.

At four days old Evie had her first swimming lesson… I guess you’re thinking… how is it a swimming lesson? Well we are using the bath to prepare baby Evie for her formal learn to swim lessons.

In the bath we can maintain her natural affinity with the water, stimulate her senses, give her the freedom to feel buoyancy and the floating sensation, let her exercise freely and most importantly teach her breath control on command.

Teaching baby breath control on command is very important to ensure that a baby’s first underwater experience is free from fuss or trauma. To teach Evie breath control on command we use a technique called conditioning. When conditioning Evie we always follow these rules:

  1. Sit baby upright 2. Use the trigger words “Evie ready go” 3. Pour the cup of water on top of the forehead 4. Congratulate Evie on a job well done

Learning to swim should be a fun and positive experience for both parent and child. Its very important that if the baby shows any signs of discomfort that you don’t condition the baby. Remember at this early stage the most important thing is to teach baby to relax and love the water.

A few more tips: 1. Always hold the baby gently so that they can feel the waters buoyancy 2. Communicate with the baby by making eye contact, smiling, talking and reassuring them that all is well 3. Stay calm and relaxed babies can read their parents body language

And finally some warnings 1. Never leave a baby unattended in the bath drowning is the greatest cause of accidental death in Australia 2. Always make sure babys mouth and nose stay clear of the water 3. Sit baby upright when conditioning 4. Never condition a crying baby

Now that you know what we’re doing check out the video of Evie at 4 days in the bath on the home page.

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