Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington tells us her favourite games to play in the pool with her daughter Summer:
Encouraging your baby to blow bubbles in the water with you is great fun and a good way to help her feel confident putting her face in the water. Becky explains, “The best time to introduce this game is once your baby can hold her head up and is confident floating on her back.
“Place her gently on her front facing you and hold her under her arms, then blow bubbles in the water and encourage her to copy you.”
Holding your baby under both arms is ideal for playing lifting games, says Becky. “Summer loves it when I lift her up on to the side of the pool then back down into the water. You could put a towel down on the side of the pool so it’s not too cold.
“You can also lift your baby up and down in the water as she’ll love the motion and it will help her get used to the sensation of being in and out of the water.”
Splashing in the water
“Summer really likes splashing and smacking the water with her hands, which helps her get used to the texture of the water, as well as helping her feel happier getting water splashed on her face.
“I hold her round her waist with both hands so she’s facing me. This helps us keep eye contact, which is reassuring for her, and also leaves her with both hands free to splash about.”
Recently we featured our columnist, Olympic champion, Rebecca Adlington, talking about taking your baby swimming for the very first time. Becky shares her unique insight and gives helpful, practical advice to make your baby’s first time in the pool a positive and bonding experience for you both. Read the feature in Mother&Baby - click here to get the M&B app and download your issue.
When your toddler gets to three she’ll be ready for more structured lessons in the pool. To find out more about Becky Adlington’s Swim Stars scheme visit beckyadlingtonsswimstars.com