Before you begin swimming in a pool it is advisable to start at home in a baby tub, in your bathtub or in your shower. Use your imagination and investigate the water together in as many ways as possible. You can begin bathing the baby as soon as you wish. Before the navel has healed, normally after about two weeks, it is important that you dry around the navel after the bath with a cotton swab or similar. Before you begin pool swimming the navel must be healed and the child should not have any open sores.
Let contact with water be joyful from day one. See to it that the child is rested and not hungry when you begin to get acquainted with the water at home. Bathe or shower your child in a warm and draft free room. The water should be at body temperature, 37oC (98.6oF). Adults often prefer a somewhat warmer bath water. Check the water with your elbow or use a thermometer before you sink the baby into the water.
Keep in mind that the signals you radiate will steer the childs reactions. Show that it is fun to be in the water. Your baby trusts you! It wont find it strange with water or to have water poured on its head unless it has in some way learned to be suspicious. If you should in some way release your hold so that the baby slides under the surface, dont panic. There is no danger. The child has a protecting dive reflex which keeps water out of its lungs. Its very important that you are relaxed and help the child up with a confident movement. Think of how you look! If you get scared and violently lift up the child it will surely become frightened and remember next time!
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