Water Babies is good for you too! – Water Babies Wiltshire, Bath and Bristol
When you choose to take your baby swimming it’s purely for your baby, right? Wrong.
Swimming is wonderful for your baby in so many ways, but it’s also wonderful for you. Let us explain why!
There’s plenty of information out there about the benefits of baby swimming for your little one, but have you heard about what it can do for you too? Whoever you are, whatever your story, swimming with your baby has wonderful benefits.
Before you give birth, you expect that when you meet your baby it’ll be love at first sight. This isn’t the case, and research has shown that as many as one in five new mums struggle to bond. Sadly, this leads to feelings of guilt and inadequacy, and often contributes towards post-natal depression.
Getting in a warm pool with your baby is naturally bonding thanks to all that lovely skin-on-skin. But more than that, Water Babies knows just how to capitalise on bonding, creating opportunities to build strong bonds between babies and their carers – this also works a treat for dads, adoptive parents and grandparents.
If you ever shied away from wearing a bikini, the idea of getting into a swimming costume just after giving birth can be off-putting. But with your baby in your arms in a pool full of like-minded parents, it actually helps build body confidence.
With the water to support you, moving around in the pool helps strengthen your post-natal body. And having the support of your group helps build your self-esteem and confidence. The focus is on your baby and on what you’re doing rather than how you look, and that’s very liberating.
A level playing field
Or rather, a level swimming pool! We’ve all come across competitive parents, or felt a bit lost, and it can be very demoralising. But, unlike other areas of parenting where some may have a physical or social head start or simply have more confidence, swimming is a great leveller.
You start your Water Babies class together in the same position. It doesn’t matter how easy your birth was, whether or not you struggled with breastfeeding, or when you started weaning. Even second-time mums have no head start because their babies are also starting from the beginning.
The same goes for your baby. It doesn’t matter how big or small your baby is, whether they’re breast or bottle fed, how quickly they’re reaching milestones, whether they have health issues or learning delays, with the water to support them and the same set of natural reflexes, they are all completely equal. Best of all, you learn with your baby – not only how to teach them to swim, but also developing your own water confidence and even your confidence as a parent.
“When I first meet a new class, I have no idea what each person’s back story is, and it doesn’t really matter,” says Rowan, who has taught Water Babies in Bristol, Bath and North Somerset for more almost a decade. “I can always spot which mums are confident and who’s a bit nervous, but the class environment really encourages everyone to work together and support each other so that quickly levels out.”
“Lots of mums tell us that they start Water Babies because they’re scared of water themselves. I’ll never forget one lovely new mum, Jayne, who’d had a bad experience in water as a child. She was terrified of going under the water, but determined to do it with her daughter. With lots of support, she did it. I don’t think there was a dry eye in house! It’s wonderful to see parents grow in confidence.”
So while you may choose baby swimming to give your baby water confidence, safety and early swimming skills, it’s also a great activity to choose for yourself. Swimming is the highlight of the carers’ week as well as their little ones.
We teach across Bristol, Bath, North Somerset and Wiltshire.
Call 0117 946 6919 to book your place or enquire online www.waterbabies.co.uk