Wellness Wednesday:  7 Benefits of a Baby/Toddler Swim Class 

~We have been taking Dahlia to Swim class at La Petite Baleen in San Bruno for a little more than 6 months now & I can’t stress how much she’s learned since she’s started going.  Classes are 30 mins. and repetitive, but trust me, at this age, their brains are like sponges and you’ll want them to retain what they learn in class.

It became very apparent to me last week that Dahlia was retaining everything from class when she mimicked what we do in class at home & finishing all the songs we sing as well.  The classes aren’t cheap, but I know we’re getting our money’s worth.  (You can also do a free trial class if you give them a call & sometimes they have free classes specifically for babies under a certain age)

Listed below are the 7 benefits of going to a baby/toddler swim class:

(These benefits are also true for adults too! It’s never too late to start swimming!)

1.  Safety

This is an obvious one & though we don’t have a pool at home, we do have a bathtub, shower, sink, or maybe a friend does or maybe the hotel does if we go on vacation – you get the picture.  Whatever the case may be, water is everywhere!  And drowning is the 3rd leading cause of unintentional death in the world according to the WHO.

What better way to protect your child then to practice safety.  Safety, by-the-way, is the number one thing stressed in these classes.

2.  Building Strength

Doing all the Safety drills gets tiring for a little one and that’s all right by me.  Anything to get her to nap & sleep well at night!

She’s much stronger.  Dahlia can now pull herself out of the pool using her elbows & knees.  The best part about it, she actually tells me where her elbows and knees are.  In addition to that, she’s developed her leg muscles.  She used to not be able to do the running & jumping in the water but now she can and even enjoys it.  Here is a photo of Dahlia proudly doing just that.

3.  Building Confidence 
Not only do I think the classes help build strength physically, but I think it helps build confidence mentally.

Children are very impressionable at this age & the more you build them up, the more confidence they will have.  Praise is very important in this class & positive vibes only.

4.  Overcoming Fears (for the kids & for the parents)

We were very hesitant at first to take Dahlia to swim classes because we thought she’d be too young but the fact that one of us has to be in the water with her has eased our fears.  Not only is she comfortable in the water and submerging herself but we are too!  She also used to be scared of having water poured over her head in bathtime but not anymore.

I’ve asked a lot of parents why they take their kids and a majority of them tell me that they, themselves, can’t swim so it’s reassuring to know that they are establishing this life skill within their kids.

5.  Establishing a Routine

Everyone loves routine so what better way to get your baby/toddler started than a class like this.  Dahlia knows that every Thursday morning, we get into Mommy’s car to go swim.  I can tell she looks forward to it whenever I pack the bag the night before.

She also sees the same kids and get familiar with them as well as her surroundings.  And after we’ve showered and get ready in the locker room, she knows she’ll see the same baby in the class after her that she loves saying hi to.

All of this will come in handy when we start getting her into sports or when school begins.

6.  Getting Them used to Wearing Funny Things

It’s true!  Putting on goggles, fins and a tube can be a challenge with a baby/toddler but you’ll reap the benefits later on in life, I’m sure.

Also, getting them used to this protective gear means they’ll learn what they are specifically used for.  They also look darn cute in these things too!
 

7.  Lastly, It’s Fun!

Overall, Dahlia has so much fun in class and that’s what matters most.  She’s making friends, she smiles when we sing, gets a kick out of the fun exercises we go through & lastly, she gets to bond with mom or dad individually.  What more could a kid want?!

I’m glad we started going to these classes and it also gives us piece of mind that she is comfortable in the water.  Both my husband and I love swimming and hope she does too!

~Happy Swimming~

*La Petite Baleen has swim schools in Redwood City, San Bruno, San Francisco & Half Moon Bay*

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