How to get the most out of your baby's first swimming lessons.
By Adam Knight, Angel Swim London.
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We've been chatting to swimming coach and co-founder Adam Knight about his top tips for getting the most out of your baby's precious first swim experience.
1. Arrive early
To get the most out of your baby's first swimming lesson, it's essential that you are both in a calm, relaxed and happy frame of mind. Babies are extremely perceptive and can sense your stress which they in turn reflect. Happy parents = happy babies, so please leave enough time to travel and get changed and you will give your baby the best possible chance of a happy and successful first experience in the water.
2. Get the gear
The majority of swim academies including Angel Swim London operate a “double nappy policy” - you fit the Huggies disposable Swim nappy on first, followed by a neoprene (wetsuit material) over nappy. This provides your baby with some extra warmth, but most importantly provides a water-tight seal against any little accidents that may occur.
3. Hold them gently
Some mums and dads enter the pool environment with a sense of nervousness and anxiety, which is perfectly normal. What you may not realise is that these emotions manifest themselves physically - a strong grip on your baby may cause discomfort. Be mindful of how tightly you are holding your little one, take a few deep breaths and your body (and baby) will relax.
4. Listen to your teacher
To get the most out of your lessons pay close attention to your teacher's instructions and demonstrations. When you're in a swimming class with your baby, singing, moving with only three hours' sleep, it can be very easy to lose focus. The karate kid always listened to Mr Miyagi so please follow suit and carry out your teachers requests and you will unlock your little one's full potential!
5. Smile, connect and enjoy
You are your baby's role model, therefore if they see you smile in the pool they will reflect that happiness and associate that emotion with the water. Eye contact builds connection and trust in all human interactions and it is the same for baby swimming - make eye contact with your baby as much as you can, connect with them and enjoy the experience together.
Thank you Adam!
Adam Knight has been an aquatic professional for the last 9 years and runs Angel Swim London, teaching babies, toddlers and children to swim just off Kings Road in Chelsea, London.
"In my opinion, swimming is like any physical activity, the earlier you start and the more you practice, the better you become. We teach babies as young as 4 weeks and focus on creating a positive connection with the water from the very beginning using their natural reflexes and adaptations."
To learn more please visit www.angelswim.london or follow Angel Swim London on Instagram or Facebook.