When I was in the hospital with Sophie the midwife gave her a bath and was amazed that she didn't once cry 'they normally don't like their first bath' I was told. Since then Sophie's love of water has grown. She loved bath time so much that when she was around 5 weeks old we enrolled her for some private swimming lessons.
I was really nervous on her first lesson, not quite sure what to expect from her, being in the bath was very different to being in a swimming pool, but she loved it! Since then she has gone from strength to strength and loves the water so much. Swimming with her is amazing, shes so keen and excited and we recently went to a local pool with a flume that you could take children down on your lap. Each time we got to the bottom she was dunked under the water and came up with a huge smile shouting again - we were exhausted by the end of it!
But enjoyment isn't the only reason we love swimming, there's also a safety aspect. I know if she fell into some water she wouldn't panic, shes been taught from very early on, that when you jump/fall in you turn around and go back to the side. Of course this is no guarantee, but it makes me feel better knowing that she has been taught basic water safety. You hear so many stories of children falling into the water on days out and on holidays ending in tragedy.
I would recommend all children to have swimming lessons if only to teach basic water safety. There are so many organisations now that teach swimming for babies - Water Babies and Puddle Ducks are just a couple, local leisure centres run lessons, or you may be lucky enough (as we were) to find a private instructor.
Another really important thing that has been highlighted recently, is actually knowing when someone is drowning - and its something that I wouldn't have thought about myself, but I have seen the following link passed around a fair few times since yesterday, and with holiday season upon us its a must read for anyone who goes swimming where children are present - Drowning doesn't look like drowning