Babies are born with a natural affinity to water. After all, they spend nine months in the womb surrounded by amniotic fluid so they get used to this kind of environment very quickly. Despite this natural affinity, the sooner you can reintroduce your baby to a warm aquatic environment, the more at ease they’ll be in and around water.

While learning to swim and float are crucial skills to learn, even splashing around in the pool is beneficial for your baby. Newborn swimming lessons provide gentle challenges for the baby through various sensory experiences, which support the development of valuable cognitive and motor skills. Research has found that babies who have positive and nurturing experiences in the pool early are more likely to swim sooner and develop a love and respect for water.

Babies are also born with several reflexes that enable them to swim naturally without instruction. Unfortunately, many of these reflexes fade away early in life, so it’s critical to begin newborn baby swimming classes as soon as possible. It's never too soon to start building your baby's confidence in and around water, so keep reading to learn everything you need to know about taking your newborn baby swimming.

When Can I Take My Baby Swimming in New Zealand?

You might be surprised to discover that there’s no minimum age for taking your newborn baby swimming in New Zealand. Yes, even newborns can begin swimming lessons. Bath time may be a fun opportunity for you and your baby to get used to the water before going out for your first 'swim' together. Baby swim lessons are intended to acclimate your child to the water, assist them in learning to swim, and teach them water safety and survival skills. However, because babies can’t regulate their body temperature like adults, keeping them warm is crucial. 

Although it’s theoretically possible to begin training newborn babies to swim as early as birth, most baby swimming classes start at three months of age or later. There's no need to rush if you don't think your baby is ready. As a general rule, you can take your infant swimming when they are more or less at ease in the water. The safest method to assist your infant with being in the water is to have professional guided lessons to learn how to hold your infant safely in the water. 

If your child is under six months, ensure the baby swimming pool is heated to around 32 degrees. A huge public pool would be too cold for an infant under six months. At Fulton Swim School, we ensure that our baby swimming pools are always heated to 32 degrees for the comfort and safety of our swimming babies. 

Always consult your doctor before enrolling your child in baby swimming lessons, and never leave your child unattended in or near water, whether it's in the bathtub at home or a public pool.

Is Chlorine Harmful to Babies?

If you’re asking, ‘When can my baby go in a chlorine pool?’, the answer is simple—as soon as you like! The chlorine in swimming pools is safe for babies and children. In fact, treated water is often safer than natural bodies of water such as lakes or saltwater. However, you should always thoroughly rinse your baby after removing them from the water. Be sure to dry them properly and moisturise their skin with a formulated cream. You can also use a bathing cap to protect your baby's delicate hair for added peace of mind.

What Happens During Baby Swim Lessons

What Happens During Baby Swim Lessons?

Typically, newborn baby swimming lessons are made up of a small group of parents and babies who learn to swim through games and activities. A competent and experienced instructor will utilise games, songs, and other exciting activities in baby swim lessons to encourage your baby to feel comfortable moving around and floating in the water. You’ll also be in the pool with them to support your baby and enjoy the water. Don't worry if you can't swim very well, you won't need to swim because you'll be holding and supporting your child.

As your child grows more proficient over the weeks and months, they will be gradually taught basic aquatic abilities such as floating and moving in the water and safely entering and exiting the pool.

Don't be afraid to ask your instructor for a more detailed description of what will happen throughout each lesson. They’ll be able to provide you with an overview of how water skills are taught and improved through time.

What Does a Baby Need to Swim? 

For baby swimming lessons, you may be required to use a double nappy system. This is made of reusable or disposable swimming nappies and a neoprene nappy worn over it with a tight waist and leg cuffs.

Each swimming school and pool may have different needs, so check ahead of time to see what you need to bring and what the school will supply.

Why choose Fulton Swim School?

At Fulton Swim School, we provide a compassionate approach to newborn baby swimming, emphasising parent/child interaction in lessons to achieve optimum success and comfort. Our infant swimming classes begin at three months of age and require adult participation. The 20-minute lessons include an introduction to swimming and fundamental skills that can help your child's growth and swimming abilities. You'll be able to strengthen your bond with your child in a pleasant and nurturing setting.

Swimming for babies can also be good for their health and development. Plus, splashing around in the water with your infant may be a lot of fun with the guidance and supervision of a skilled professional. Of course, the advantages don’t stop with the babies. You'll meet other like-minded parents for a cup of coffee and a well-deserved slice of cake! 

Remember, it's never too early to encourage your baby to become comfortable in the water. Baby swimming is an excellent approach to instil in your child the confidence and fundamental aquatic skills they’ll need to be safe in the water. 

To find out more about our fun and interactive infant swimming classes, take a look at our helpful Swimming Lessons for Babies information page. It has everything you need to know, from preparing for the first baby swimming lesson to what to expect during your lessons.

And of course, if you have any questions at all about newborn baby swimming don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!