Baby & Toddler Swimming: When is the best time to start?

The easy answer is – as soon as you like! There’s absolutely no reason to wait to start swimming with your baby and NHS guidelines state you can start before their vaccinations.

There are actually a whole host of benefits from starting swimming early:

  • It’s the perfect start to an active lifestyle

Obesity in children is an ever-increasing problem but swimming is an activity that can be started from birth, and immediately begins to promote a healthy lifestyle. Babies are able to work muscles in the pool long before they can on land and baby swimming is proven to improve strength and co-ordination.

  • It’s a time to bond

We often hear about the importance of skin to skin contact, and swimming offers a great opportunity to do just that. Your first swimming lessons are gentle, supportive and progressive, with plenty of time for you to get close to your baby and enjoy the moment. It’s a great chance for Dads to get some bonding time in those early days too.

  • It’s natural

Babies have a natural affinity with water. They spend 9 months in the womb, and in their first few months they still retain natural reflexes that stop them from breathing under water. That means it’s the perfect time to introduce them to swimming and teach them breath control that is intrinsic to swimming as they get older.

  • It provides routine and structure

Swimming lessons are proven to help regulate appetites and sleep patterns, so hopefully both you and your baby will be able to have a well-earned rest after your lessons!


Water Babies believe in giving little ones a better start, which is why we only swim in warm pools (32° pools suitable from birth or 30° if they are 12 weeks/12lbs) so there’s nothing stopping you getting started!

Classes available Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at Waterside, Didsbury. Find your nearest pool at, call 0161 928 6385 or email