How Swimming Lessons Strengthen The Parent-Child Bond

Understanding the benefits to your child's development by enjoying time in the water together.

Did you know that even prior to birth a baby is learning about the world it will soon enter? Sleep rhythms, the mother's heartbeat, tastes and smells in utero all contribute to your unborn baby learning about its new world.

After your baby is born your child receives these signals from you above all other stimuli. Your child instinctively listens and feels for your heartbeat, your touch and voice tone. Before we can understand words we understand so many other senses. After all our babies have been practicing in the womb!

In "Can Love Last?: The Fate of Romance over Time" Stephan Mitchell writes "The mind of the newborn, as we know it today, is not definitively shaped; Essential neurological connections that control basic biological rhythms of sleep and wakefulness, eating, action and relaxation, are built through adjustments and non-adjustments, complex and delicate contacts between the particular baby and the particular caregiver figure. The baby and the mother shape each other in order to create a world into which the growing child will fit."

Quote from Stephen Mitchell in blue Aquanat branded font that says "the baby and the mother shape each other in order to create a world into which the growing child will fit..."

In infancy, when words are not yet spoken or understood, the non-verbal things such as touch, movement experiences, tone of voice, and the responsiveness of the caregiver, will leave their impressions on the newborn’s preliminary neuron connections which will then impact their lifelong emotional and somatic memory.

You as the parent are giving gifts that last a lifetime for your child!

Harry Harlow, the father of the "psychology of affection" theory, discovered in his mid-20th century research that the mother's physical closeness is necessary for the proper development of the baby.

A mother with closed eyes is holding and cradling her newborn baby in her arms looking peaceful

A stressed mother who holds her baby’s hand tightly sends non-verbal signals to her baby that she is upset.

A father who says that he is listening, but caresses his son’s head distractedly because he is all focused on his phone is sending signals to his child that he is not really listening.

It is clear to us that our touch says something, speaks our truth, and that it is stronger and more accurate than words.

There’s a growing consensus among child development professionals that touch is necessary for the normal development of newborns and that parents should be encouraged to touch a lot, give the baby massages, play together in the water, pet, hug, kiss, and cradle the toddler in their arms.

In recent years, many studies in the field of child development have also shown that physical touch improves the closeness between kids and their parents, helps to develop the child’s self-confidence, as well as their cognitive, physical and emotional skills.

 A man and woman hold their breaths as they hold their baby underwater who is holding a yellow float stick during a swimming lesson

Baby-parent swimming classes present parents with a unique opportunity to deepen their connections to their newborns as the water provides physical closeness and emotional security.

Being safely held by an attuned parent, adding the sensation of skin touches skin and heart close to heart, provides a deep sense of belonging that resembles the safety and warmth of the womb. It thus creates a unique and enjoyable experience between parent and baby.

Being together with your baby