Home > Fit Under 5's > Exercise for Babies: Yoga and Swimming

Exercise for Babies: Yoga and Swimming

By: Suzanne Elvidge BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 3 May 2010 |
 
Exercise For Babies: Yoga And Swimming

Even very young children should be as active as possible, because it helps their bodies and brains develop. Children who are active are also more likely to grow into adults who are active. Exercise also gives babies extra stimulation through sound, touch and sight, and being part of a group can help their development of social skills.

Any exercise should be done at the pace that the baby is comfortable with, and only when the baby is fit and well, and happy to keep going.

Yoga

Some people believe that baby or infant yoga helps with sleep, crying and colic. Baby yoga includes yoga movements and massage, and will relax both parent and baby, as well as helping with bonding. In baby yoga, the parent moves the baby’s arms, legs and body gently into certain yoga positions. As babies’ bones are not fully hardened, it is important not to move their legs or arms too far.

Swimming

Going to the swimming pool early will improve a child’s confidence in the water as he or she grows older. Swimming helps with bonding, because of the skin-on-skin contact between the baby and parent. Exercise in the water is good for both patent and child because it supports the weight of the body. According to the Department of Health, it’s safe to take babies swimming at any age, even before they have had their immunisations.

Start by playing with the baby in the bath, and getting him or her used to laying down and floating in the water. Once in the pool, hold the baby close with your shoulders under the water and bounce him or her up and down gently. As his or her confidence grows, play in the water, bouncing and splashing gently, and encourage the baby to reach out and move in the water by holding out toys, or throwing toys and supporting the baby, pushing him or her through the water to reach the toys. Blowing bubbles in the water will get the babies used to having water on or over their faces, and if they are happy with it, they might enjoy being ducked briefly under the water.

Baby swim nappies will help avoid any ‘accidents’, and baby swim classes or parent and baby sessions will provide instruction and support. Watch out for the baby getting too cold in the water, and make sure that some warm milk or food is available after the swim.

Other Forms of Exercise

Exercise doesn’t have to only be in structured classes – babies will get exercise by moving, stretching out for things, rolling over, sitting up and crawling. To encourage this, babies should only be strapped into seats, such as car seats and push chairs, when absolutely necessary (unless the child is sleeping). They should have the space to reach out and move around as much as possible. This will help their physical and mental development. Washable toys give babies things to pick up, throw, and pass from hand to hand, and holding toys just out of reach will encourage them to reach out.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Irene
    Re: Activities for 3-5 Year Olds
    I like the comments exercise is very important for young children
    8 October 2019
  • Cat
    Re: Compulsory PE in School
    My son is 8 yrs old and was in football club today. When I came to pick him up they were in shorts and t-shirt outside in heavy rain he…
    24 September 2019
  • Dave121
    Re: Compulsory PE in School
    I see some comments on here saying that PE is compulsory, however, the Education Act of 2002 prohibits the Secretary of State for…
    12 September 2019
  • PeIsBad
    Re: Compulsory PE in School
    I'm in Year 10 and P.E is made a living hell for me, the girls in the class shout at you and put you down swearing at you and telling you…
    10 September 2019
  • ASN teacher
    Re: Compulsory PE in School
    There is more to pe than simply sports. It is good for growing brain cells (for real). It is good for social skills (if delivered…
    25 August 2019
  • ellz
    Re: Compulsory PE in School
    My son went through he'll at school because of his bullying pe teacher my son has a pigeon chest and shortness of breath and is currently…
    6 August 2019
  • Joel
    Re: Compulsory PE in School
    I’m 12 and PE in my opinion is stupid. To me, it’s an entrance ticket for bullying. My school especially needs to understand not everyone…
    8 June 2019
  • fina
    Re: Active Games for Teens
    wow interesting thanks this is my essay!@!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    29 May 2019
  • Waleed
    Re: Compulsory PE in School
    Im in year 9 and we have 1 double lession a week and in those lessons we are forced to do exercise. The think I hate is the treadmills…
    23 April 2019
  • EndPE
    Re: Compulsory PE in School
    PE needs to not be compulsory for GCSE students, if the kids are unfit that's their problem but PE does not and will not help them,…
    26 March 2019