Unhappy Baby

I want to reinforce the point that learning to swim should be a happy and positive experience for both parent and child. But as all parents know, babies will sometimes cry during bath time.

Crying during the bath can be very worrying and stressful for the parent. In fact it can even turn you off bathing your baby altogether. Babies cry for a number of reasons. Baby may be hungry, tired, cold or even feel insecure. But let me reassure you, if you know how to respond to your baby cues, then bath time can be a magical experience.

Tips for a successful bath time:

Choose an appropriate time to bath your baby

If your baby is hungry or tired then it’s probably not the best time to bath them, especially when they are newborns. Newborn babies are not very patient when they want their food and they will certainly let you know.

Bath baby in a comfortable environment

When bathing the baby, make sure that the water is an appropriate temperature. Cool water, especially during the winter months will make your baby very uncomfortable. Ideally the water should be warm but not hot to touch.


Babies can interpret their parent’s verbal and non verbal cues. Not only will baby be listening to your voice but they will be reading your body language. Always ensure that you are calm and relaxed before venturing into the bath with your baby. If you are nervous then your baby will be too!

Let the baby float

Floating is the basis of all learn to swim. Very often once the baby experiences the floating sensation they become relaxed and at home in the water. The way the parent holds the baby will determine whether the baby gets an opportunity to feel their buoyancy. Go to the floating page for some tips.

What can I do to relax my baby if they cry?

– Talk to baby and reassure them that all is well

– Put a warm wash cloth on their tummy – this will keep them warm

– Put their feet at the end of the bath – this makes them feel secure

– Gently move them through the water or change their body position

– Use toys to distract baby – this will only work if baby has developed an interest in toys