Milestones are something I never used to think of, they used to be something that other people looked at. However, upon having a baby and following my pregnancy app throughout that part of the journey it then continues beyond their birth date. Milestones is another term for measuring. How is my baby doing against their height, weight and number of weeks since they arrived? Milestones are important as it can be an indicator if something is wrong to then follow this up. On the flip side milestones are a way of reassuring us parents that things are going ok. Reassurance is something us new parents need!
Swimming I have found to be a great way of helping my baby develop and meet milestone targets. I have found through experience however that the day the baby hits six weeks they do not automatically “achieve” a milestone but you learn to evaluate over a period of time things are happening at the right time and pace and swimming has supplemented this.
Other parents have suggested the easiest way to look at milestones is to think of them as building blocks, which all fit together to make up your little one.
As the weeks, have gone by I have witnessed my baby be in the water, happily watching the world go by, lying so still to then become a little wriggler. Their sitting reflexes are kicking in and they now want to explore a bit more. Added to that the weeks of swimming have helped the wriggler build their strength!
The Instructors guide us to use toys to move around and to attract your child’s eye, for them to reach out for a toy and pop it back in the basket. What the child doesn’t realise is that all the while their coordination is improving, they are learning to reach out accurately for things and to aim and hit a target by popping the toys back in the box. It’s also been highlighted by many parents that the toys are a great comforter for children, young children gather a sense of what things are by putting them in their mouths. Swimming toys are no exception!
Our instructors support us through these lessons, it’s reassuring to know that they too understand and empathise with our little ones and their developmental stages. Attending the lessons regularly has allowed the instructors to become familiar with the child and get to know them, they celebrate with us on new achievements yet all the while gently moving us onto the next one. Being a parent you quickly realise that the learning journey is on-going and encouragement is always welcome.
Babies and young children thrive upon routine, therefore weekly swimming lessons are perfect, they become familiar with what is happening, how to behave and react. Comfort to a young child can never be underestimated and will help steady them during periods they may suffer from separation anxiety. At times, it is noticeable which child is going through this and week after week its encouraging to see us all tackling it with vigour and smiles on our faces. If it’s not happening to us now, then we smile and nod reassuringly to those that it is. We can do this! “It’s a milestone, its natural, and we are managing it” has become a mantra.
Developing a sense and understanding of the world for a child is a big thing and they are continually developing, all the while building their strength at their lesson so they can explore that little bit further, so they can see more of their environment. This is something to celebrate. We are helping with this development.