Swimming from birth: the real benefits

Unsure about newborn swimming? Water Babies Paul Thompson says just do it.

4 min read 100%

Swimming from birth: the real benefits

Unsure about newborn swimming? Water Babies Paul Thompson says just do it.

4 min read 100%

We get it. Leaving the house in the early days feels like a miracle, let alone navigating a daunting trip to the pool. But there are plenty of reasons why starting early can benefit your baby. Founder of Water Babies, Paul Thompson shares his favourite five with us.

Paul Thomson’s top five early swimming benefits for babies

1. Your baby already loves to swim

We encourage carers to start lessons as early as they feel comfortable. Our youngest swimmer was just one day old! There are so many physical, emotional, mental, psychological, and cognitive benefits to taking your little one swimming, while of course teaching your baby the life-saving skill of learning how to swim. That’s because all the things that we teach your baby in the water are structured to align with their key development milestones.

2. Swimming helps your baby’s physical development

Did you know that being in the water allows your baby to move, roll and kick independently before they can even crawl or walk? Swimming strengthens their heart and lungs as well as their arm, leg, and neck muscles. It’s like a full work out – for them and for you in most cases!’

3. Swimming improves your baby’s balance & motor skills

The great effect of all that bouncing and splashing is that it stimulates your baby’s vestibular system (not to get too technical) which encourages balance and motion, so they become more coordinated out of the pool, too. As the vestibular systems matures, your baby will become adept at keeping their head upright, pulling themselves up onto their feet, cruising furniture and then actually walking. Activities like chasing toys (or grasping hold of them to give them a good chew) in the pool help with those finer motor skills; those smaller movements that occur in the wrists, hands, fingers, feet, and toes.

4. Your baby’s confidence and self-esteem will bloom

One of the biggest emotional benefits of baby swimming is one-to-one bonding time with you and your baby. That skin-to-skin contact in a relaxed environment, having fun in the water and learning new skills all rolled into one.

As they start learning to manoeuvre independently in the water, their self-confidence will bloom, too. This confidence and self-esteem can often begin to transfer to other aspects of their life as they grow.

5. Swimming will help your baby build skills for life

Let’s not forget that by introducing your baby to the water at a young age, they’re more likely to have a positive experience navigating water in the future. Not only are you teaching your baby a life-saving skill, but you are also helping to progress their development in a fun, safe, educational, and creative environment.

Our lessons are integrated with the EYFS framework and designed to teach exactly what is in front of us. Every baby is different, and tailoring lessons to support every little one’s progression is key to helping them build not just water confidence, but life confidence as well.


Did baby swimming make a difference to your child?

We asked parents what impact baby swimming has had on their children

The boys have never been afraid of water, being splashed, swimming pools or other people in the water with them. They’ve gone on to be very strong swimmers.
Chieko, mum to Oscar & Barney


They are all now good confident swimmers, with a real love of swimming pools especially on holiday when I can’t get them out of the pool. It’s reassuring (especially when you have three kids and only one pair of arms!) that they can get to the side and be as safe as they can be in water.
Cheryl, mum to Will, and twins Izzy & Charlie


We lived in Singapore and both kids learnt to swim very early as I knew that all the swimming pools around were a hazard. They carried on with lessons all through school too as I wanted them to be able to swim to the side, or float on their backs until someone could come and help them.
Millsie, mum to Ivo & Joely
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