We asked Rachel Hope, owner of Turtle Tots, an award-winning UK baby and toddler swimming franchise located in Melbourne's South East, and it turns out there are so many more physiological, social and emotional benefits than we even thought...
Babies have a natural affinity with water, having of course been suspended in fluids in the womb for nine months. When babies are born they are hard-wired to learn by watching those around them and, as soon they become able, by attempting to copy their actions. Being in the water together from a young age teaches your baby that water is a wonderful place to be and they will naturally mirror and mimic your actions, so exploring the underwater world together in a gentle, safe and supported way is how babies best learn to swim.
5 reasons why water is important for kids, and one for you too...
Better Eating & Sleeping habits
Activity in water will increase lung function, cardiovascular output and stamina and improves eating and sleeping habits of your baby.
Getting in the water with you baby helps to build strong bonds of trust, respect and communication from the early weeks and months of life (and one of the reasons why our carriers are designed with face-to-face carry positions).
Essential Lifesaving Skills
Getting children in the water early is vital to learning lifesaving skills. If they're familiar with water at an early age, by the time they are around three years old, they will have learnt to paddle and will most likely have mastered some basic strokes to be able to turn and swim to hold on in an accident.
Healthy Family Routine
Water play is something the whole family can enjoy together and you can be incorporated it into your family routine right from the start.
Buoyancy helps to exercise and strength muscles, develop muscular symmetry, improved joint mobility and neuromuscular development like early coordination and sensory awareness. Winning!
And One for you... Post-Natal Fitness!
As a new mum, getting in the water provides a gentle, toning workout that can help to regain postnatal fitness in a safe, supportive environment. Moving with your baby against the resistance of the water helps to tone and strengthen your core muscles weakened by pregnancy and childbirth. Exercise is also a wonderful way to reduce the impact of the 'baby blues' - it is a very effective treatment for depression and anxiety, as it changes brain chemicals including endorphins, the 'feel good' hormones.
Thanks so much Rachel for your expertise and support of Frog Orange. Check out Turtle Tots they are seriously thought leaders in the world of water and babies. Plus, we were lucky enough to be invited to one of Rachel's classes for participants try a Frog Orange and here's what she said...