Swimming is a popular activity in New Zealand, and many parents and families wonder when the best time is to start swimming lessons with their little one. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question – we all have different preferences and lifestyles, so it’s really important to decide when the time is right for YOU and your baby.
However, there are a few things to consider when deciding the best time to start swimming lessons with a baby in New Zealand, such as the season and climate, your baby’s age and developmental readiness, and most importantly - your own readiness.
It’s important to think about the climate and time of year that you’re starting swimming lessons. If you’re looking to start during the cooler months, you’ll want to check out the swimming pools in your area to ensure they warm the pool and facilities to a comfortable temperature for you and your baby.
Some parents find that winter bugs can be relentless, especially if your baby is attending ECE or has older siblings at ECE or school. If you’re planning to start lessons in winter, it pays to think about whether you’ll mind if you have to miss a few lessons due to the inevitable winter bugs.
Another factor to consider is your baby's age and developmental readiness. In New Zealand, the Ministry of Health recommends that babies are introduced to the water from around six months of age. Babies have a natural affinity for water and can benefit from early exposure to the water. However, formal swimming lessons are recommended between three and five years of age.
When choosing a swimming lesson provider, it's important to make sure they have appropriate qualifications and experience working with babies and young children, and that they deliver age-appropriate lessons.
Look for providers who have been certified by Swimming New Zealand or other reputable organisations, and who have experience working with children of similar ages to your own.
Ask your family and friends, or local Facebook groups, for recommendations, and head along to check a few places, meet the teachers, and see how their lessons are run.
The third factor – and one that we think is the most important – is your own readiness. Do you feel ready to add swimming lessons to your weekly schedule? Or do you feel like you already have enough on your plate? There is no right or wrong answer to this question – it’s so important to have an honest conversation with yourself about whether this is the right time for YOU to start swimming lessons.
There can be a lot of pressure to start swimming lessons with a baby, but if it’s not the right time for you, that’s totally okay too. Your baby will have other opportunities to be introduced to water, and there will be time later in their lives to introduce formal lessons.
So, in summary, there’s no straight-forward answer to when the best time is to start swimming lessons with a baby in New Zealand. The answer depends on a number of factors, such as the season and climate, your baby's age and developmental readiness, and your own readiness.
However - if you are feeling ready to take the plunge with your little one, and wondering what on earth you are going to wear in the water - check out our range of maternity swimwear. Our breastfeeding swimwear is thoughtfully designed with motherhood in mind. We combine flattering and comfortable styles, with mid-weight fabrics that hold you nice and close. And all our maternity swimwear feature discreet nursing access if you need it.