For decades, experts have researched the benefits of enrolling your infant in swim lessons. In fact, studies are showing evidence that children who start infant lessons (before the age of one) experience numerous developmental benefits. Here are 5 reasons to start infant swim lessons:
1. Infant swim lessons help your baby to develop cognitively: The Griffith study, conducted over a four-year period with nearly 7,000 children, found that children who had taken baby swimming lessons were more cognitively developed than children their age who had not. At the end of the study, it was found that baby swimmers were:
- 11 months ahead of the non-swimmers in verbal skills
- six months ahead in math skills
- two months ahead in literacy skills
- 17 months ahead in story recall
- 20 months ahead in following directions than non-swimming children their age
2. Improved coordination and movement: This 2010 Medical News Today article describes a Norwegian study that demonstrates how baby swimmers have better balance and coordination skills compared to non-swimming children in the study. The Norwegian University of Science and Technology compared the results of 19 baby swimmers with 19 children that had not participated in baby swim lessons, revealing that the baby swimmers clearly had better balance and could grasp items better than their non-swimming counterparts.
3. Early baby sensory development: Babies who are exposed to stimulation early get a brain boost. Professor Van der Meer’s research on hundreds of children over the years confirms that sensory perception, motor skills, and brain development happen simultaneously , and that the baby’s brain is more malleable in the earlier months of life. As a result, babies need to be stimulated and challenged at the appropriate level from the time they are born.
4. Safety in the water in later years: Although the studies are inconclusive about reducing the risk of drowning in ages one-to-four, baby swimming lessons get children comfortable with the water, allow for bonding time between the mother and infant, and provide the baby with techniques that can be applied later in life.
5. Confidence in the water: Studies have shown baby swimming lessons help children achieve self-confidence. One study showed that children who received early swimming lessons year-round demonstrated better self-esteem, better self-control, and a stronger desire to succeed.
Because of the benefits of baby swimming lessons, there are now early swim programs that offer swimming lessons for infants, as well as toddlers and older children. But always remember: no matter what age your child is or how long they have been taking swimming lessons, there is no substitute for supervision.
If you’d like more information, or if you have any questions about our programs and swimming lessons, please contact us today or stop by one of our locations.