As warm summer days fall to cool temperatures of autumn, swimming tends to take a backseat to all the wonderful fall activities. That’s why Baby Safety month is in September – to help remind us that water safety is a year-round consideration.
As you make think through your baby’s safety plan (electrical covers, childproofing, and more), remember Babies can start swim lessons as young as four months – helping them acclimate to the water, while learning life-saving skills.
Having a new baby means a lot of learning for mom and dad too, and who better to lean on during that time than your pediatrician? Pediatricians can be a huge asset for answering questions, giving suggestions and steering us in the right direction as we navigate the adventures of having a new baby at home.
In honor of September being Baby Safety Month, we sat down with board-certified and o-fish-al pediatrician of Goldfish Swim School, Dr. Molly, to learn more about how parents can prepare for a new baby, especially when it comes to water, and how beneficial swim lessons can be – not only in keeping them safe, but ALSO in aiding in their development!
Prepping Your Home to Keep Your Baby Safe In and Around the Bathtub
Dr. Molly likes to think of baby safety in your home in three different phases: before your baby arrives, when your baby is mobile, and when your baby is curious and getting into things. In each phase, it’s important to be sure bathtubs are as safe as can be. Here are some of Dr. Molly’s top tips:
- Turn down the temperature on your water heater to be sure the bath water won’t cause any scalding or burns.
- Put a soft protector over the tub spout, and never use a baby seat in the tub.
- Use a non-skid mat on the bottom of your tub to prevent slips and falls – this is good for older kids and grown-ups, too!
- Never leave a child alone in the water – not even for a moment! Keep your eyes on your baby, and remain within arm’s reach. Avoid distractions like cell phones, checking email, or checking on dinner – they can all wait!
Water Time is a GOLDEN Time!
It’s important that parents take measures to ensure their bathtubs are safe, but it’s also important to know that the water can be a Golden Experience! Water is great for a baby’s development, and can be lots of fun!
“Babies can be in the water as soon as a couple of months of age. Though body temperature regulation takes a couple of months to settle in, warm water pools (90-95 degrees) are fine at any age!” says Dr. Molly. That’s why we start our mini swim lessons at just four months AND feature a shiver-free, 90-degree pool!
Dr. Molly says that being in the water for swim lessons, especially when it’s warm, is actually very comforting and feels natural to a baby. Not only can it be relaxing, but it can also help to increase motor movement and development, which is then translated to outside of the water as they are moving and grooving at home!
H20ohhh Baby! The Benefits for Babies Keep Going!
The benefits don’t end there! Dr. Molly notes that being in the water and taking swim lessons also helps with cognitive tasks, socialization skills, and bonding with their parents – one of our fav benefits of our mini lessons! Let’s dive in further:
Cognitive Skills: Babies who use their bodies fully and in different ways show developmental progress in all areas. As children get older, pairing motor movement with cognitive tasks solidifies learning and repetitive movements, like those in swimming, appear to lay down neural pathways that enhance learning as well. As they grow older, strong swimming skills can boost their confidence.
Socialization Skills: As the baby grows older, having swim lessons as some of their earliest memories is an opportunity for them to see themselves in a group of kids with varying levels of competency. They also learn to trust and be comfortable with their instructor, helping them become more confident in what they’re learning – something that they’ll take with them to preschool and beyond!
Bonding: Being in the water is fun! It is relaxing for the parent and child and feels more like play than learning. When the baby and parent are doing something new together, the shared experience and progress solidify a relationship.
Baby Safety Month is all about keeping our little fish safe – and water safety is a big part of that! The best way to ensure your kiddo is safer in and around the water (including bathtubs!) is to get them enrolled in swim lessons!
Did you know that you register for mini classes at any time at either our Birmingham or soon to be open West Bloomfield location? Simply visit goldfishswimschool.com and choose your location.
Have a family member or friend who’s expecting? Shower them with our H2Ohhh Baby Gift Cards and Packages are the golden gift that will last a lifetime, and are available at participating Goldfish Swim School locations! Reach out to the Goldfish location near you to learn more and dive in!