From the age of five months old Rowan has attended weekly swimming lessons with Water Babies. Alex and I both believe that swimming is great for a child’s development, an important life skill to learn and a fantastic bonding experience. We’re really lucky in that Rowan loved the water from day one though we understand that it may take a little longer for other children to warm up to it.
We love our little adventures to the pool and I was delighted that Trunki gave us the opportunity (as a Trunki Chief Tester) to choose and test one of their lightweight water resistant swimming bags, known as a PaddlePak.
The PaddlePak is designed with a roll top closure to prevent water from getting in or out. It retails for £19.99 and comes in two different sizes (medium/large) in an array of brightly coloured characters. We picked Ribbit the Frog and I have to say the PaddlePak is amazing and fantastic value for money. You can fit so much into it. Rowan loves carrying it around!
Other features include:
- Adjustable straps
- Breakaway safety buckle
- External tail pocket
- Trunki Grip – for sunglasses or goggles
- Padded mesh back
- Reflective strips
- Hanging loop – perfect for use in changing rooms
- Write on name label
Swimming can seem like a challenge at first so here are a few pointers from Water Babies and things we’ve learnt along the way on how to get your little one swimming ready:
This is a great time to create a fun environment that will help your little one transition to the swimming pool.
- Encourage lots of splashing by playing with toys
- Smile, sing, talk and maintain reassuring eye contact
- Wrap them up in a snuggly towel once bath time is over to keep them warm
Our top tip which we learnt at our first Water Babies class was to say ‘Rowan, Ready, Go’, before pouring water over his face in the bath. The verbal warning gives him the signal to brace himself before the water comes in contact with his face and removes the surprise. This technique is then used in the pool before he goes under water so he is ready.
The swimming pool
Pool temperature is important with little ones. Guidelines say they should be at least 32 degrees if your child is under three months old or less than 12lbs. 30 degrees if they’re older or heavier. You can also purchase a baby wetsuit to help keep them warmer. We have been lucky with the heated pools that Rowan has been taught in and have also been able to borrow wetsuits on the odd occasion the air temperature has been cooler.
Choosing a baby swim school
There are lots of different swimming schools and it’s worth checking the instructor qualifications, given the level of knowledge required to teach babies to swim. Water Babies are proud to boast that their instructors obtain a national diploma in baby swimming. Alex was a little unsure of himself in the water at first and took a lot of confidence from the instructors that Rowan has had.
If you are starting lessons or thinking of starting lessons, you could look into a pre-lesson visit. This would give your baby the opportunity to see the pool environment and all the noise, colours and splashing involved!
When you do enter the pool for the first time, it’s important to reassure your baby that it is a fun experience with lots of talking and smiles. Once they see that you are calm and are secure in your arms they will take this as a cue to relax. Your shoulders should be underwater (this can be difficult in some of the shallower pools) and your baby up to their chest. Through the session you will learn to alternate holding your baby close and at arms length.
Remember to have fun!!!
What’s in Rowan’s PaddlePak?
- Disposable nappy and a neoprene happy nappy to go over the top. This prevents any little accidents escaping into the pool!
- A towel
- Drinking Water – The pools we tend to visit are heated and Rowan gets quite thirsty after swimming. So keep a bottle of water close afterwards to stop a toddler becoming dehydrated
- Snack – for afterwards. Rowan currently likes a pot of grapes to munch through!
- Comb – Rowan likes brushing his hair at the moment so this is a must!
When Rowan was younger we used to take along a mat for the changing rooms, so he wasn’t on the cold floor or balanced on a bench whilst getting dressed.
I hope you enjoyed reading about our positive experiences and would like to hear your stories and whether you have any tips you’d like to share.
Trunki are kindly offering one of my lucky readers the chance to win their very own PaddlePak.
To enter simply use the Rafflecopter widget below. T & Cs apply.
- Open to UK entrants only
- One winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter
- The winner has two weeks to respond to the notification or a new winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter
- The winner will be contacted and their address will be forwarded to Trunki to distribute their prize
- The competition closes 27/03/16 at midnight
Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post.