The “Aqua-man” ability: The swimming reflex!

This reflex is a really neat one! The swimming reflex is essentially babies’ ability to move when they are in the water. Seeing as they have been floating in amniotic fluid for nine months, this is a reflex that has been developing since as early as 15 weeks of gestation. After birth, when your baby’s face is placed in water, they child will kick and paddle as if he or she is swimming. Generally, this reflex will fade once your baby hits the six-month mark (Min et al. 2011).  In fact, many baby swimming programmes rely on this swimming reflex. This is because swimming instructors generally use the swimming reflex as a building block to teach them to swim.


Min, S., Ahn, Y. & Lee, S., 2011, Assessment of Primitive Reflexes in High-Risk Newborns, Journal of Clinical Medicine Research 3(6), December, 285-290.

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