#childsafety | Four-time Olympic medalist Rebecca Adlington shares baby swim tips with classes on offer in Wakefield

Most parents understand the importance of getting their child into the water to learn to swim, with children typically starting structured swimming lessons from age three to five, but four-time Olympic medallist Rebecca Adlington advises that lessons from birth to three are crucial in building water confidence.

Being a mother of young children herself, Becky set up Becky Adlington’s BabyStars classes which are currently running at Total Fitness Wakefield.

Becky said: “Parents assume baby swimming is a nice-to-have, but it’s vitally important for water safety, connection and confidence.

Four-time Olympic medallist Rebecca Adlington OBE has shared her tips to increase baby safety and confidence while swimming.

“It is absolutely crucial parents know how important it is to get your baby into the water in those early years, for both physical and mental development.

“Children develop a fear of water between the ages of three and five, so if they’re water confident from an early age, you’ll see huge benefits when they begin mainstream lessons.”

Health visitor, Lisa Williams added: “To say the benefits of baby swimming are endless is an understatement.

“In baby development we talk about the ‘critical 1001 days’, essentially most learning we do is done by the age of three.

Britain’s Rebecca Adlington competes in the women’s 800m freestyle heats swimming event at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Photo FABRICE COFFRINI/GettyImages

“Getting babies into a pool early is a brilliant way to get the most out of this never more important time period, to set your child up for a good start.”

Becky and Lisa have shared their expert advice on why baby swimming lessons are so important.

Enrolling a baby into swimming sessions from an early age will pay dividends later. They’ll arrive at the next level bursting with confidence and ready to learn.

It’s the perfect opportunity for dads to get some skin-on-skin with their baby too, creating that deep connection as they have plenty of fun together.

Having lessons with an expertly trained teacher can stimulate brain development and build behaviours that a young baby can carry forward with them.

From birth to two years of age in particular, babies’ brains are like little sponges and they learn incredibly quickly.

Whether it’s to compare notes on feeding or simply have a chat about lack of sleep – that feeling of community can bring with it a huge boost to mum or dad’s mental health.

Swimming is a great way for babies to strengthen their growing muscles.

Moving around their arms and legs and finding their balance in the water are brilliant ways to build up strength.

A swimming session will certainly tire out little ones as they use their arms and legs to splash about in the pool.

As well as the physical demands of swimming, babies are hugely mentally stimulated as they take in the new environment, actions and sounds, and this is tiring for them too.

Start as early as possible

Babies can start enjoying swimming from any age, as soon as a parent or caregiver is ready to take them along.

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