It helps develop motor skills and muscle coordination, strengthens respiratory capacity, strengthens the circulatory and cardiovascular systems, improves appetite and sleep, creates a social bond… Swimming provides many benefits for babies. In this article you will discover the best aquatic stimulation exercises for babies , according to the child’s age.
But before you start, it is important that you remember that during the first months of life (up to 6 or 9 months), babies present a reflex known as “glottic cut”. Thanks to that, the baby’s glottis closes and prevents water from entering the airways. The more you stimulate, the longer it lasts.
That is why it is good to start taking the children to the pool as soon as possible and try to keep that reflex active with some exercises. It can be, for example, standing the baby up in the water, holding him well by the armpits, counting to three, blowing on his face and submerging yourself next to him for a moment. In the same way, you can take the opportunity to put it under water when entering the pool.
AQUATIC STIMULATION EXERCISES FOR BABIES UP TO 4 MONTHS
You can also stimulate the glottic reflex at home, at bath time. You can do something as simple as pouring water over his head, counting to three slowly, blowing on him to close his glottis and moistening his face a little with the sponge.
Another exercise that you can do both in a pool and in a bathtub is to lay the baby on his back, holding him by the head and bottom. Once well secured, rock it over the water while you sing to it. In this way, he relaxes while becoming familiar with the water. Check out our parenting site for more and great ideas for your new born.
To strengthen the muscles and start to control the little head, you can put it face down over the water, holding it by the torso and being careful not to submerge the head. The father or mother will stand in front showing him a toy. This will fix your attention on him, which will make him raise his head. You can also rock him on top of the water in that position.
AQUATIC STIMULATION EXERCISES FOR BABIES FROM 5 TO 8 MONTHS
When the baby is a little older, it is time to do exercises that help him with his balance. You can start by sitting him in the bathtub, with lots of toys around for him to play with. At first you will have to hold it, but you will soon see how it holds on its own. Of course, although he can stay seated without help, do not trust yourself. Let it splash too.
Before he starts walking you can train him in the pool. To do this, you have to stand it up on the water while holding it by the trunk. Let him move his legs as if he were running.
AQUATIC STIMULATION EXERCISES FOR BABIES FROM 8 MONTHS TO A YEAR
From 8 months you can have fun with your baby in the water. You can sit him on the edge of the pool and pretend he’s going down a slide (without actually submerging his head). It is important that at that age any activity or game in the water is preceded by a count to three or a “ready, set, go”. In this way, the little one will learn that he should not get into the water until mom or dad tells him to.
Another aquatic stimulation exercise for babies that you can do is to place a churro under the belly and put a toy in sight, so that it tries to move to reach it. You can also stretch him out on his stomach, hold his hands and walk around the pool while she tells him to move his feet.
It is important that all aquatic stimulation exercises for babies are done when the child is predisposed. If you see him crying, change your activity. If it doesn’t stop, then it’s better to take it out of the water.