All the advice says swimming is a life skill; start it earlier rather than later, but what happens if your baby develops water wobbles after enjoying lessons for months? Reluctant swimmers can present themselves when you least expect it; here are a couple of tried and tested tips from Bernadette Spofforth, CEO of Splash About to entice them back into the water…
My baby cries when I take her swimming, what am I doing wrong?
First swimming experiences can be a shock and many babies and toddlers will cry and fuss for the first few lessons, this is a case of persevering and talking to your swim teacher.
There is a range on the market but the Happy Nappy Wetsuit is the only one that complies with British Standard guidelines for baby swimming. This is because uniquely it integrates a swim-school approved neoprene nappy into the body of the wetsuit.
Made from supple neoprene, this wetsuit means no more leaving swim lessons early due to shivering babies and no need for disposable nappies too, making it cost effective and eco-friendly.
Is it worth investing in swim toys?
Sometimes distraction techniques can be helpful for reluctant swimmers. The baby swim mirror is a concept that has rapidly gained momentum since its introduction into a number of international swim schools. A wet smiling reflection provides a welcome distraction for babies who are not yet relaxed in the water and it’s a fun way to stop worried tears.
Babies learn through play so investing in a few great CE marked toys is also a must, but be careful about non CE marked toys because the paint tends to flake off after exposure to chlorine and this can be dangerous when mouthed by teething babies.
Toys such as Splash Pals are manufactured from natural rubber and hand-painted with a high-grade vegetable based paint so they are safe for teething babies. These swim toys are naturally resistant to mould because they don’t have any air holes. The colourful swim characters are ergonomically designed for little fingers to grasp, and will always flip on their backs promoting a great safety message for little ones learning-to-swim.
When should I use armbands?
Once your toddler is comfortable in the water a float suit is a great next step. Suitable from 12months with adjustable buoyancy, it positions the child correctly in the water for learning-to-swim and leaves arms unrestricted by armbands or reliant on holding floats. Be warned, putting on/taking off can be a struggle so make sure you choose one with a back zip to avoid changing room tussles!
Whenever you choose to introduce your baby to the joys of swimming, remember be patient – sometimes having fun takes practice!
Find out more at www.splashabout.com
Vote for Splashabout in the MMHA16 by using the hashtag #MMHASPLASHABOUT on social media