By Claire Harrison, owner of Swimming Rocks.
Being in the water is a wonderful sensory time for a baby. It helps develop cognitive and physical awareness, builds confidence and is a great bonding experience. You will be very surprised what your baby can achieve in a short space of time whilst having lots of fun too.
And it’s a magical experience for both you and your baby. One that often provides some of your most treasured memories!
Here we try and give you some of our ‘Top Tips’ for a great swimming experience.
Start Lessons Early
- Babies have a set of reflexes that mean they have a natural affinity to the water. These reflexes go away as babies get a bit older so it’s wise to consider starting lessons early to capitalise on these reflex abilities meaning instinctive action becomes controlled action later on. The gag reflex allows babies to be able to hold their breath under the water and the grab reflex means they can even hold onto the side of the pool themselves.
- Current advice is that babies can start swimming from a very early age. So despite common theory, you don’t need to wait until your baby has had their vaccinations to start swimming lessons.
- The earlier you start, the happier, safer and more confident your baby will be and the sessions will also help develop good motor skills as well as co-ordination.
Don’t stop just because it’s cold outside
- Swimming is a year round activity so don’t stop swimming just because it’s cold outside. The continuity and consistency will prove valuable with your baby’s swimming progression. Just make sure you choose a pool where the temperature is 30degrees. If it’s less than this, choose a baby wetsuit. We like the babywarma wetsuits by Konfidence and the babywrap from Splash About.
- Take a towel for you and another for your baby. Even better, invest in a small toweling robe for yourself. You will be glad of the warmth when getting your baby changed after the lesson.
Some helpful advice for your lessons;
- Don’t worry if your baby doesn’t like the water straight away. Smile, persevere and encourage and they will get there very soon.
- Your baby will look to you for que’s. So relax, and enjoy yourself and your baby will follow your lead.
- Choose a time slot that works with your routine and ideally wait about 30minutes after a milk feed or an hour after a solid feed before you go into the pool.
- Take a drink or small snack or feed your baby after the lessons. Learning to swim is thirsty work!
- Wear a neoprene ‘happy nappy’ over the top of your normal swim nappy. This will avoid any unexpected explosive poo incidents and prevent lessons being cancelled whilst the pool gets cleaned. These are available from both Konfidence and Splash About.
- You don’t have to be a good swimmer to attend swimming lessons with your baby but inform your Instructor before your lessons and they can offer you and your baby extra assistance if needed. Better still, take the opportunity to take some swimming lessons yourself!
- Understand your provider’s lesson program and talk to your Instructor about what you want to achieve. At Swimming Rocks there is lot of emphasis on water safety in the lessons. Making sure a baby can turn, float and get themselves to the side with ease is all part of their lesson ‘milestone’ progress.
- We found that parents often didn’t know what they can expect to achieve at each development stage so we have designed a take home pack detailing these milestones plus helpful hints and tips and a guide to making bath time easy! Ask your provider if they do the same or email us and we will send you ours for you to enjoy.
And finally, make bath time fun
- Bath time is fun time. Remember to use the same commands, prompts and songs from your lessons at home too.
- Bring a favorite bath toy along to your lesson to associate a positive water experience.
- ‘Its raining… its pouring’. A little plastic cup with a few holes in the bottom makes a lovely little rain shower. Tickle those tummies and toes whilst gradually working up the shoulders, back of the head and eventually baby’s face and nose.
Claire Harrison is the owner of Swimming Rocks and mummy to her own water babies Samuel (4) and Eva Tilly (1).
Tel: 07557 051 904
by Shaylini of The Sacred Self
Reiki is a wonderful and powerful healing method with its roots in Japanese origin.
Reiki is the beautiful life energy that flows through all living things. A person’s ki or energy should be strong and free-flowing, when this is the case a person is physically, mentally, and emotionally balanced and their body and mind are in a positive state of health. When the energy becomes weak or blocked it could lead to symptoms of physical or emotional imbalance.
Through personal experience I have found Reiki to be a powerful healing method which serves to align and balance you in a beautiful, natural, gentle and non-invasive way. Receiving Reiki healing is a deeply relaxing and peaceful experience, which will leave you feeling balanced and rejuvenated. Reiki energy encourages one to let go of all stress, tension, anxiety, fear and negative emotions to reach a state of health, peace and well-being.
Reiki holds many wonderful benefits and its healing energy works on many different levels and dimensions. Primarily, Reiki works on all four levels of our being:
Reiki naturally brings you into a state of deep relaxation, promoting grounding, balance and a release of stress, anxieties and tension. This mental balance also enhances learning, memory and mental clarity. It allows you to let go of negative thoughts, patterns, behaviours and attitudes, replacing them with positivity, peace and serenity.
Reiki can help heal emotional wounds and enhances your capability to love, enabling your relationships to grow and flourish. Reiki provides you with an insight in to your emotional response to life events, allowing you to let go of negative emotions and replace them with feelings of love, care and trust. Reiki also provides great relief during emotional distress, sorrow and grieving.
Reiki stems from Divine origins and promotes the qualities of love, understanding, acceptance and guides you on your path towards spiritual growth and development. It helps you to love and accept your whole self and to have compassion for both yourself and others. Reiki brings about the realisation that you are part of something magnificent and greater where each individual is not just a human being, but a soul that is connected with all others.
Reiki supports and accelerates the body’s natural ability to heal itself, helping to release blockages, alleviate pain and relieve any other symptoms. It is wonderful for all types of physical ailments, from migraines and digestive disorders to arthritis, diabetes, bodily pain and even pregnancy. Reiki helps you to get in touch with your body’s natural healing energy which assists you to become more in tune with your body and to develop a greater awareness of your body’s needs.Reiki energy works on the body, mind and spirit as a whole. It balances the emotions, brings clarity to the mind, stimulates spiritual growth and reconnects us to our true selves. This in turn enhances both our physical and overall well-being enhancing every aspect of our lives, bringing our Sacred Self back to its natural state of peace and balance.
Reiki Master, Teacher and Practitioner, Holistic Health and Well-being Coach, Columnist and Feature writer
About the Author
Shaylini is a professional Reiki and Holistic Practitioner, Huffington Post Blogger, Nutrition, Health and Wellness expert, Columnist and Feature Writer and the inspiring creator of The Sacred Self. She provides Reiki healing, Chakra balancing and energy therapies to help experience freedom from emotional, mental and physical imbalances. Through her heart-centred approach, she provides a unique experience of deep healing which will enable you to let go of what doesn’t serve you, align you to your true potential and help you achieve ultimate inner peace and abundant self-love. The Sacred Self has been created to help you feel nurtured, inspired, balanced, free and most importantly happy. Through Shaylini’s techniques you will naturally experience an alchemical shift in energy leading to peace, joy and freedom. Shaylini leads her healing with a compassionate and heart-centred approach to bring clarity of mind, balance of body, healing of the soul, and nurturing of our Sacred Self. To find out more please visit: www.thesacredself.co.uk