With Water Babies S.A our aim is to encourage babies to feel comfortable in water (which they generally are) and also encourage parents to get past their fears of water. This is done in a safe and gentle environment and each baby progresses at their own level of comfort.
We start off slowly with new born babies just being held in mom or dad’s arms and gently being moved through the water so as to get them used to the sensation of water and also buoyancy. Different holding techniques are used to gently get baby more comfortable about exploring the water in a safe manner and they quickly progress from being close to the parent to exploring at arm’s length from the parent. Once baby is enjoying the sensation of the water, the parent is then able to support the baby’s head and bum and encourage floating.
After a few classes babies learn to blow bubbles on the surface and splash about effortlessly and usually with big smiles as they relish the opportunity to bond with parents and play in this wonderful warm water. The pool is salt chlorinated and the water is a warm 32c degrees, so the water does not burn their eyes or skin and babies can maintain their warmth for the full 25 – 30 minutes.
Over a period of time and when the parent and instructor see that the baby is ready (blowing bubbles and closing the mouth to hold their breath), gentle submersion can follow. Please see the video on Click Hear Facebook, who happily enjoys swimming underwater.
It is WaterbabiesSA hope that by introducing babies to water at a young age and teaching them to float and enjoy water that they will continue to experience the positive benefits of swimming so that by the time they are ready to swim (approximately age 2) that this transition happens smoothly and effortlessly.
We are also in the process of developing a DVD for parents to know what to do with their newborn babies at home to encourage water comfort as well as some simple surface techniques you can use if you have a pool at home.