Encouraging the Joy of Floating

Baby Splash Program: Bath time increases cognitive and emotional development.

woman helping baby float in pool

Floating is a unique and relaxing experience for your baby while learning to swim, which can be done in the comfort of your own home. A shallow bath or tub can be the perfect place to enhance a floating experience. Studies show that bath time is critical for your baby’s development where visual, audio, smell, touch, buoyancy and balance senses are all engaged.

In the Splash Program, the Rackley Swim Teachers demonstrate a variety of supports which allow your baby to experience buoyancy and the stimulation of the warm water flowing across their body.

Co-bathing with your baby is a perfect opportunity for skin on skin contact which is vital for your baby’s development. This uninterrupted time together allows their body to move in ways unable to be experienced on land. But take each step slowly. Floating on both front and back with gentle rocking and bouncing stimulates sensory development.

The key to a happy floating baby is the soft hands supporting your baby. This technique allows your baby to feel the buoyancy of the water whilst in your gentle hands. Floating, singing and swaying in the bath are surprisingly beneficial to relaxing your baby into slumber. At Rackley Swimming we know your baby will sleep well after being in the pool. Bath time is also known to relax and de-stress a baby, as the brain waves respond to the touch of a hand or water over their body, physiologically slowing the heart rate into relaxation.

In the Splash class, the gentle support whilst moving through the water on their tummy helps strengthen their neck and shoulder muscles in preparation for sitting, crawling and standing. Placing your baby for some short frequent tummy time moments on the floor will complement the tummy time experienced in the pool.

My baby doesn’t like being on their tummy.

When a baby buries their head and turns it left and right, this action is a reflex, and not an indication that they don’t like it. This is a great sign that your baby is integrating this essential reflex for neck and shoulder muscle development.

Allow your baby to be on their tummy for short periods of time but as often as they can! The floor is a gymnasium, as a place to explore and experiment with lifting and turning the head. The interior muscles are developed and in turn exterior muscles also are developed when arms and head move to explore. Tummy time can be introduced for short periods, roll them onto their back and then roll back again onto their front. Tummy time is not recommended immediately after a full feed.