Babies immediately in the pool: neonatal aquaticity

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Marie-Ange Demory
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Neonatal aquaticity

Any pediatrician, or almost, is ready to recommend an 'aquatic course' or swimming for children. Public and private swimming pools are overflowing with course offerings for children of all ages, but what are the benefits of this practice for such young children and when should you start with a course? neonatal aquaticity?





In this article

  • What month to start?
  • The benefits
  • How the water courses work

What month to start?

Carrara, hydrokinesiologist and head of the Novate Inacqua center of the city, a center known for its' gentle approach, explains:



Children can theoretically enter the water already a few days after birth. But usually those who decide to introduce newborns to this practice do so at the end of the second or third month of life.



The activity in the pool with newborns is called hydrokinesiology, that is, movement in the water. We prefer not to introduce the concept of swimming until school age and after the age of three we pass from hydrokinesiology to aquatic courses.

Read also: The aquatic nature of children from zero to five years

The benefits

Why enroll to a neonatal aquatic course? Neonatal courses are a wonderful experience for both parent and baby. The aquatic environment in fact recalls the maternal uterus in the newborn, whose memory in the first months of life is certainly very vivid. For him it is a reassuring regression, which at the same time puts him in great intimacy with the parent who accompanies him in the water, cradling him in his arms.

Carrara specifies that:

Water favors an instinctive and sensual physical closeness, in the sense that it involves many senses and mothers are often able to get rid of many natural anxieties in the pool, typical of the first months of motherhood.

How the water courses work

However, it is not certain that the mother has to enter the tub with the puppy. Although, in the first months of life, the relationship with the mother is very exclusive, even fathers can very well enter the swimming pool with their children, specifies the expert. Indeed, if the mother is little "aquatic"Unlike the father, it is preferable for the latter to immerse himself, so as to avoid transmitting anxiety to the child. And in any case it is good that once the choice is made there is continuity, in order to give the newborn a precise reference point.
 
In the water the children discover a new world, and at the same time they have the opportunity to have very useful motor experiences even in everyday life. In many courses, for example, floating carpets of various sizes and thicknesses are used to allow the child to experiment in conditions of support or variable instability.

In the first months we use thick carpets on which the baby lies on his stomach, near the edge, enjoying stable sustenance on the water and playing with small objects. In the following months, the carpets become thinner and more unstable and the baby crawls and learns to manage balance and to enter the water when, too close to the edge of the carpet, it gives under its weight.

- Updated on 07.10.2009

TAG:
  • aquatic courses
  • water and children
  • Swimmingpool
  • swimming
  • sport
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