Children playing in water Children playing in water

How to swim

Going swimming is a great way to have fun and bond with your baby. However, like many things, the first time can seem quite daunting.

To put your mind at rest, we’ve answered some frequently asked questions below:

Swimming lessons

1) Is baby swimming really that important, wouldn’t a trip to the soft play centre be just as good?

Swimming is a fantastic activity for babies. By attending the pool regularly, you could be:

  • Teaching your baby the basic safety skills which could one day save his life – jumping in, turning around, holding on, swimming back to the side and back floating
  • Enhancing physical development – strength, fitness, co-ordination and early muscle formation
  • Improving social and behavioural habits – stimulation and regulating eating and sleeping patterns 

It’s also a fantastic way to have fun and bond with your baby, so why not start planning your next trip to the pool? 

2) What is the best way to introduce my baby to the water?

Babies feel more secure in smaller environments so, if they don’t take to the pool, try a deep bath to build up his confidence. 

It’s a good idea to introduce a bath toy, which you can bring with you to the pool to familiarise your baby to the new surroundings. Keep trips to the pool relatively short until your baby gains enough confidence in the water and remember to smile and reassure them. Time your trip between feeds and well before they are due for a nap or sleep. 

3) What do I need to pack?

  • Huggies® Little Swimmers swim pants are a must! Disposable swim pants are a far more hygienic way to enjoy a swim session. They are specially designed not to swell up in the water like regular nappies and their super safe leak-guards help protect against floating embarrassments.

  • Towels – for you and baby. Your baby can get cold very quickly so have a dry towel at hand when you come out of the pool.

  • Toy – a bath toy can be one way of familiarising your baby with their environment.

  • Bottle or snack – your little one will probably be hungry after your time in the pool.

  • Huggies® Nappies for changing – Don’t forget other great Huggies® products such as Huggies® Baby Wipes. 

4) What do I do if my baby doesn’t like the water?

Don’t panic! It may not be the water they don’t like. 

Chances are they find the scale of it a little intimidating. Go back to the bath. Take it slowly and in time their confidence will grow again. In the pool or the bath, it is important that you are confident. It is important to remember baby swimming is a gradual process and one that cannot be rushed. Go at your baby’s pace and make sure you both have fun. 

5) What should I consider when choosing a swimming class?

Where possible you should take recommendations from other mums but the following considerations are recommended:

  • Have the instructors been accredited by a Swimming South Africa Accredited (SSA) Swim School or Centre? Swimming South Africa is the governing body of aquatics in South Africa.

  • What is the length of the classes? 30 minutes maximum is recommended.

  • What are their guidelines or policies on wearing swim pants like Huggies® Little Swimmers®

For more information see Learn to swim or Parenting

For more information:


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