As a competitive swimmer in the 1960s, Laura Sevenus experienced the multiple benefits of being constantly in water. With that in mind, she started a business that provided all those benefits to babies from two days old. The success of the business, shown by the amount of prams parked outside reception on a Saturday, is the result of a session that provides babies with more than simple relaxation
According to occupational therapist, Varsha Shah, babies need to exercise their muscles, in any form. “When the child moves, he is building new neural connections and pathways that makes them have more coordination,” she says. “Water is the best therapy because at that level the only thing they know is their sensory system, their motor system is not developed yet so that enhances their motor skills.”
The babies wear a flotation device around their neck to help them move more freely and feel safe. The first time they are left alone in the water some babies might feel a bit confused. But it is not long before they start making movements and swimming around the pool.
According to Shah, the deep pressure they feel when they are inside the water benefits the body’s sense of awareness: “That is very important, because once they know where their limbs are, their coordination improves and that enhances any fine motor dexterity, from sports to playing instruments”.
Once, we had a woman who brought along her baby, her mother and grandmother. It was beautiful to see four generations bonding
After the hydrotherapy session the babies receive a gentle massage, which according to Sevenus improves their circulatory and digestive system. “Any kind of deep pressure is good for them because in the womb they feel a lot of pressure, so feeling it makes them feel safe,” agrees Shah.
The success of Baby Spa goes beyond the benefits to the child. The atmosphere is relaxing and friendly - a moment for the baby to bond with their family. “Once, we had a woman who brought along her baby, her mother and grandmother. It was beautiful to see four generations bonding,” Sevenus recalls.
The effect of the session lasts all day long. According to Monica Levy, 30, her baby rests better than any other day when they go to the spa. “Once their sleep is better, they are less cranky when they wake up and their behaviour improves,” Varsha says.
Laura Sevenus seems to have conquered the aquatic world. With the same philosophy, she founded Laura Sevenus Swimming Tuition with her daughter. Once babies stop enjoying the benefits of the spa, which happens around eight months, they are ready to learn how to swim accompanied by their parents.
Varsha believes that this is a sensible method: “There is less trauma to joints and muscles, the kids that grew up in water will not injure themselves easily.”