I started the Water Babies mini-series as a way of promoting water safety with mums and their kids. After the increase in child drownings in NSW in the last few months (Which I wrote about HERE), I felt the need to get more information out into the community. I’ve partnered with some amazing businesses and organisations to share this message, as well as share some amazing products that can help your bubs in any aquatic environment. This next post in the series is no different.
Introducing the SwimTrainer
The SwimTrainer is a flotation device designed for 3 different age groups, starting from as young as 3 months. It differs from other flotation products as the SwimTrainer holds bubs and children in a forward facing, belly-down position – the ideal positioning for swimming. This position enables them to practice and further develop the “frog kick reflex” that babies instinctively have, which is foundational for learning to swim. It also gives confidence to mums (and bubs) that their little ones will be safe in the water until an age where they can independently learn to swim. So how does it work?
The SwimTrainer has SEVERAL (6) blow up parts (this is REALLY important to know, as you’ll read below) that all require inflation before it is safe for the water. There are two inflation holes for the red ring (found at either end of the donut/ring), two inflation holes in the white square parts in the center; then on the under side there is an inflation hole for the straps and an inflation hole for the white supporting piece. You really need to ensure that they are ALL blown up so it is safe for bubs to use.
Our first experience with the SwimTrainer
We went over to the in-laws for a swim – nice hot day, celebrating a birthday, what better way then to duck into the pool? I thought it was the perfect opportunity to try out the new SwimTrainer. When we got there a bit late though (babies!!), we had to madly rush to get in while everyone else was in the water too. We quickly blew up the SwimTrainer (or so we thought) and jumped in with our little Starfish. While the family initially commented it was cute, we realised he looked a bit uncomfortable and maybe it wasn’t totally as safe as we thought. We were a bit disappointed, and I went home to contact SwimTrainer about it. However after re-reading the instructions and re-evaluating the product, I realised that we hadn’t blown up all the parts – no wonder our poor little guy looked so uncomfortable!
Take Two: The properly inflated SwimTrainer!
With this new knowledge in mind, and a properly inflated SwimTrainer by my side, Starfish and I ventured to the pool once again to give the SwimTrainer another crack. I was pleasantly surprised (and relieved) to see that the SwimTrainer held him up a lot firmer than previously, and he looked a lot more secure in it too. He wasn’t face planting into the ring (unless he was trying to eat it, which did happen!), and we felt a lot more comfortable and confident having him in the water in it – without us having to carry him around the whole time.
What I also noticed was that his legs were indeed positioned in the “frog kick reflex” position, and he was even trying to kick his legs in the water, which he’s never done before!
The SwimTrainer for Water Safety
I can’t wait to continue using the SwimTrainer with our Starfish, as a combination with his swimming lessons. I like that it can support our boy with less supervision (this doesn’t mean NONE!) than if we had to hold him constantly in the pool, and I like that it is better for his future swimming development than any other flotation device currently designed for this age. My two key points to add along with the SwimTrainer for anyone who wants to purchase one:
- Make sure that ALL the parts are Blown up – read the instructions and inflate all SIX components!!! Super important!
- The SwimTrainer does not replace adult supervision. Stay with your bub the WHOLE TIME in the water – it can just give your arms a slight rest from holding a big bubba (if yours is like our Starfish!)
Stamp of Approval
The SwimTrainer is an amazing product that will support your child’s fundamental positioning for swimming (however it won’t replace swimming lessons or lessons on water safety!). It also enables parents and bubs to grow comfortable around and confident in aquatic environments, which is always an important predecessor for learning to swim – it’s hard for kids to learn to swim if they don’t want to be near it!
The SwimTrainer earns my Stamp of Approval for promoting Water Safety with countless families, which is such a passion of mine – I would definitely recommend this product to other mums and families looking for a product to keep their child safe in the water and help them to grow accustomed to being in water.