• balance;
  • infant stimulation;
  • motor development;
  • prehension


Aim  The aim of the study was to explore the effects of baby swimming on subsequent motor abilities.

Background  A range of motor abilities was examined in 4-year-old children who had previously participated in a programme of baby swimming (n= 19) and compared with a matched group of coevals who had not had this experience (n= 19).

Results  As predicted from the nature of the exercises that comprise the programme, the effects of baby swimming were restricted to abilities associated with prehension and balance.

Conclusions  Suggestions are made as to how the theme of this hypothesis-generating, demonstration study can be pursued in the future with more rigorous experimental controls and applications to children with disabilities and impairments.