Swimming together starts at home in the bath. A bathtub is a wonderful place for you and your baby to first become comfortable together in the water. With your newborn, a bath offers a controlled environment that can feel safe.
In your loving arms, you and your baby can learn and enjoy to move through and experience the water in a way that will transcend your bath-time routine into something much more meaningful.
You can read more and get great tips on how in my new book - 'Happy Babies Swim'
As I promised in my last post here comes my answers to some of the frequently asked questions and concerns parents have expressed.
How much water?
As much as possible and that you feel comfortable with. Aim for that there is enough water to carry the baby’s body and allow him to be able to float while resting his head in your hand/arms. With your support, you want your baby to be able to move as freely as possible.
How do I know if I am supporting him right?
Tune in on him, he will let you know. If he feels uncomfortable he will not be able to fully relax and enjoy the sensations water gives him and the time together with you.
Often, because of insecurity, the support can be too much, if you are nervous the movements can be jerky. Put yourself in those arms and you will not be surprised if it’s hard for your baby to relax and enjoy. Give your self time, both for the bath and to learn to be comfortable. He will guide and respond to you and together you will learn and soon enjoy even more. If possible get into the tub with him
You are responsible for time, your baby have no concept of it, and will not have for a long time yet. If your baby is getting tired or hungry (he uses more energy in the water) he will express it, in his own way. By paying attention and tuning in on him you will learn to read his signs of when it’s enough. When he experience that you take responsibility and are responsive to his cues, you are growing trust and your relationship becomes more harmonic.
Should we use the seat holder?
No, not if you don’t have to due to a physical need of your own. You do not want to miss the opportunity of holding and supporting your baby. Your hands offers a dynamic support that not any static seat holder can. You learn and your hands and arms become the competent arms and hands your child’s trust and feels comfortable in. Using your hands makes it safer for your child, because you can never leave your child in and around water. He can not take responsibility of his safety, that is your responsibility. Never leave a child unattended in or around water! Drownings happens fast and are silent.
He splashes a lot, is that normal?
Water is fascinating, it’s alive, it moves, you can move it and it can move you. The fact that it gives immediate response when the child hits the surface of it is something that is very appealing for children. They are reaching out to learn about life in the world they have been born into and water is a big part of it. More than 70 % is water so to give your child opportunities and time to explore and learn well in it is of great value. For many adults water is a mystery. To spend time and play with your child in water gives you a wonderful opportunity to re-explore and learn with your child.
Share his interest and take the opportunity of exploring the laws of physics together with your baby. While doing that you are supporting the growth of important life skills and your relationship is growing stronger.
Enjoy the happy splashes!
Your baby wants to feel comfortable in your hands so he will help and guide you by responding to your actions. When you hold and support him so he can relax he will explore and enjoy the world more. He will love that you share the magic he experiences while you invite him to explore the world.
In the new book ”Happy Babies Swim” you can read more and get off into a great start and make water and swimming into a activity as beneficial for you as for your baby!
Love and splashes