Blog guest: Rita Pesuth
Updated: Apr 1
Multiple world record holder in kickboxing (WAKO – World Association of Kickboxing in the category of 55kg in 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999), as well as the national champion of Hungary (18 times from 1991 to 1999) Rita Pesuth is today’s Swimming Dad #Blog guest. After her very successful career she decided to dedicate her time to kick box fitness as well as to baby swimming. Rita explains, from her own experience, what the benefits of the baby swimming are, who is more relaxed in the swimming pool mum or the baby, and when she decided to enrol her baby in the swimming classes.
From your experience, what are the benefits of the baby swimming for mothers and babies? In my experience, the benefits of the baby swimming are: babies can move more freely than when they are on the ground; regular exercises help muscle development and coordination; mums and babies are spending their time in a social environment; it improves baby’s social behaviour; water helps reduction of the muscle tone for babies who are suffering from higher tone or gentle spasticity; water is relaxing for both the babies and mums; babies and mums are spending quality time together which leads to deeper social and emotional bonding; it increases the resistance of the immune system.
Most babies love being in the water, but it is important to prepare them for the baby swimming classes, especially for the water temperature. Usually, home bathes are 37°C compared to 32°C pool temperature. Gradually cooling the water temperature during home bath can help babies adjust to the pool temperature. Also, babies should not be hungry or tired during the class. Arriving in time for the class, minimises a potential stress for both the babies and the parents. The first class is an entirely different environment for the babies and crying or the feeling of discomfort could be expected. This is not necessarily a bad sign.
The right time for submersion of your baby depends on his/her age. The earlier you start with the swimming classes the easier the submerging will be due to the natural dive reflex that exists until they are seven months old. Babies who are older than this need more attention and forceful submerging is not advisable, especially if the baby strongly opposes to it. Parents need to encourage this process by embracing a positive attitude in order to generate a positive experience.
Who is more relaxed in the classes? Being able to enjoy the swimming classes is important for both the babies and their parents. Parents should to talk to the babies before the classes to mentally prepare them for this experience. Patience and staying calm are essential during the class. Parents are advised to have reasonable expectations from the babies. If your child is having a difficult day, you should find a gentle way to make your baby feel relaxed. Our goal is to make everybody happy and comfortable in the class.
Have you enrolled your daughter into the baby swimming class yet? If yes, when did you start? We actually started quite early. She was only 2,5 months old and we took her to the seaside and after she received the obligatory vaccines, we continued swimming in the pool. Mums and babies love being in the water together and I can really recommend this useful activity to all parents.