One of the activities my husband and I constantly talk about is getting in the pool with our baby. Both my husband and I love the water, and can't wait to get the little one in with us once his is born. As a baby, my mom had me in mommy-and-me swim classes as soon as possible, and I plan on doing the same thing with my little one. I think these classes and swim time in general is such a special way to bond your baby. Well now, according to a new study, I have even more reasons to dip the little guy in the pool. Apparently, swimming at a young age leads to better balance, movement, and an ability to grasp objects as infants and children.
Two professors of psychology recently conducted a study in Iceland using 38 children to compare their development. 19 of the children engaged in baby swimming classes two hours per week between the ages of 2 months to 7 months, while the control group of the 19 other children did not. All other factors, including social economic status and parents' education were the same. The swim classes engaged in by the swimming group had activities such as a somersault on a float mat, diving under water, jumping and trying to grab floating objects while balancing on a parent’s hand.
At the age of 5, both groups of children were tested with activities such as jump rope, balancing on one foot, walking on tip toes, catching a bean bag, and rolling a ball into a goal. The results showed that the group of swimmers were better at the activities requiring balancing and reaching for objects.
The two psychology professors, Hermundur Sigmundsson and Brian Hopkins, are very excited about the results. Of the results, Sigmundsson says:
It's incredibly exciting that specific training for young babies has an effect later in life. Development is a dynamic interplay between maturation, growth, experience and learning. Our study shows that we must never underestimate the learning aspect.
As am mom-to-be, I am also thrilled with this news. Now, not only does pool time mean fun family time together, but I can also be sure that I am helping my baby's development!