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How soon can you and your baby go swimming?

Studies have suggested that it is best that you wait until your baby is six weeks or older before you get into a pool. If your baby gets into a pool sooner there's a chance you may pick up an infection. If you have had a perineal tear or a caesarean section or, it is recommended that you wait longer than six weeks, usually until after your postnatal check. Even if you your child birth was straight forward and complication free, you may still experience some bleeding, which is normal, as your body sheds the lining of your womb after birth.

Your baby is a different story because your baby can go swimming at any time after birth. However, most baby’s swimming classes start accepting babies from six weeks and older. If you would like your baby to be introduced to swimming before six weeks, your partner or someone else will have to take your baby swimming. We suggest a warm, baby pool. Furthermore, you do not need to wait until your baby is immunised before getting into a pool because the chlorine in the swimming pool will kill off any germs.

If you are planning to take your baby to a big public swimming pool, it is advisable to wait until your baby is six months old. This is advised because, the water will be too cold for your baby, who may also be put off by all the noise and activity. Most baby swim classes tend to use small pools, which are heated to about 32 degrees C, which is perfect for babies and toddlers.

If you start swimming lessons early you are able to take advantage of your baby's natural ability to do basic strokes. Furthermore, your baby has an inbuilt gag reflex which is generally at its strongest before six months. Therefore, your baby can hold his or her breath under water without even thinking about it.

If you do decide to take your baby swimming, Swim Baby has superb swimming lessons for toddlers and babies. We advise that you keep swimming times short initially, starting the lessons from 10 minutes a session, and building it up from there. We advise that the swimming lessons do not last longer than 30 minutes and stop the lessons if your baby starts to shiver or looks like they have had enough. Finally give swimming a miss if your baby is tired or is feeling unwell.

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