Bathtime is a traumatic event for my girls. Well, I say bathtime but it is actually the last 10 minutes or so while they have their hair washed.
You’d honestly think I was torturing them the amount of fuss they make!
So when it has come to swimming lessons, I have always been a bit wary. I didn’t want to sign them up and them end up loathing every second.
It’s a toughie isn’t it?
We were given the most amazing opportunity the other weekend, the chance to have a swimming lesson with Rebecca Adlington! The girls enjoyed watching the Olympics and so I hoped that the excitement of swimming with an Olympian would help them overcome their fear of getting their heads wet!
I wasn’t able to make it on the day but they happily went along with their uncle and grandad – who were also excited to go to the Olympic stadium!
When the girls came home they were so excited to tell me all about it.
The main thing they were bursting to tell me? They both dunked their heads under the water!
Rebecca (or Becky as the girls told me they now call her) was brilliant with the children and made the whole experience fun and engaging.
If your child is a little anxious in the water, Rebecca has some fab tips to help get them started…
– Children can be initially nervous of the water, baby steps and lots of praise will help them overcome a lack of confidence. Try taking them alone to just watch for the first time, then toes in next time and so on, along with lots of positive praise to help encourage them to take that first dip.
– Toys are a brilliant tool, they are such a good distraction for anyone who doesn’t normally like putting their face in the water or splashing. Toys such as the new Baby Annabell Learns to Swim doll are a great way to give children (and parents!) the courage to take those first steps towards swimming.
– Swimming is huge bonding experience. The learning process is a lot to do with trust and really builds a closer relationship between and parent and child. For this reason, try not to use your phone during lessons to avoid distractions.
– The younger you start swimming lessons the better. I took Summer from 3 weeks old. It is all about building confidence and awareness of the water from a young age. Swimming also helps with a child’s muscular development and is fantastic for understanding their physical abilities.
– Make good use of the equipment that’s there. Whether it’s armbands, noodles, or vests, use whatever your child is more comfortable with. I tend to do five minutes with floatation equipment and five without, this helps when they’re really young and still building confidence.
– Mix up who takes the child swimming. Whether it’s mum, dad, grandparents etc. It’s good to go with someone they trust whilst getting used to swimming with different people.
Such great tips aren’t they? The girls enjoyed playing the games – the competitive side definitely helped them to overcome the worry of water splashing their face.
Of course, Baby Annabell was the focus of the day, being able to swim on her own in her cute little swimming costume. She comes with her own water wings and towel and splashes her arms and legs when she comes into contact with water. As Rebecca says, toys are a great distraction and they certainly helped my girls.
They have now asked if they can have regular swimming lessons, so their names are on the list! In the meantime, we are going to take their Baby Annabell dolls swimming with us to the local pool for family swimming fun!
Oh and the hair washing drama?
We’ll have to hope that changes soon!