Former world swimming champion and co-founder of the Baby Swim Foundation Karen Pickering advises how to get swimming with your baby.
- Go as soon as you're happy to do so: you don't have to wait until your baby's had his immunisations. You may have to wait until you've had your six-week check-up, though.
- Avoid peak hours at the swimming pool, if possible. Feed your baby at least an hour beforehand.
- Ask about the pool temperature before you go swimming with your newborn - it should be at least 30degC.
- It's best if you get in first, then someone passes your baby to you. Ask a staff member to help out if you are on your own.
- Hold your baby close, keep eye contact and talk reassuringly to him or sing a song. Bouncing your baby up and down in the water is a great way to get him used to it.
- Don't stay in the water for too long during the early days. Ten minutes will be enough on your first swimming trip.
- Don't give up if your baby appears not to like the water first time round. The sounds, smells and tastes are all new and it takes some babies a while to get used to all the new experiences.
To find your nearest baby swim class, visit babyswimfoundation.co.uk