Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Getting Water Confident With Baby Annabell Learns To Swim

Tilly suffers quite a lot with her confidence and anxiety, so we try everything we can to build her confidence up and encourage her to do her best. Recently we were sent a Baby Annabel Learns To Swim Doll to help to build Tillys confidence in the water. She wasn't very confident in the water and was scared to go in the swimming pool. All it took was an incident at a pool in Rotterdam, where she went down a slide and her face was covered in water. It scared her enough not to want to go in the swimming pool again and she didn't until she started swimming lessons in September.
She has the Baby Annabelle doll to show her that she can swim like her doll and if her doll can swim, then she can try too. Rebecca Adlington has teamed up with Baby Annabel to help bring confidence in children when they are in the pool. We live by the seaside so Tilly learning to swim is extremely important to me. Rebecca has some tips for us for helping our children build confidence in the water.
  • Children can be initially nervous about 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 a 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 its Mum, Dad, Grandparents etc. It’s good to go with someone they trust whilst getting used to swimming with different people.
The doll itself comes with a swimming costume, armbands and a baby hooded towel - everything you need for the swimming experience. You need three AA batteries to make the doll work. Don't make the same mistake as me - I bought cheap batteries, You know the ones that are 30 for £1! Yeah, don't buy them because they are not strong enough to make the doll work. You need a good set of batteries like Duracells or we used Varta. When you put the batteries in the doll, make sure you secure the back tightly because the doll is fully immersible in the water.

The doll cries or makes happy noises as she sits on the side of the pool or the bath. The Tilly straightens her body so that she can 'swim' in the water. Baby Annabel splashes her arms and legs as she sings in the water. This shows Tilly that the doll is happy and content in there. Baby Annabel doesn't seem to be able to move her arms as much when she is wearing the armbands, so we removed them and Baby Annabel can still swim. But if you leave them on, then it encourages your child to wear his/her armbands.

When Baby Annabel comes out of the water, you can take her wet swimming costume off and wrap her in the baby towel to dry off. She has a switch on the back so you can switch her off to save some batteries when she isn't swimming. Baby Annabel went down well with Tilly and your child will be so pleased with her for Christmas. Baby Annabel Learns To Swim costs £39.99 from all good toy shops and also John Lewis. The doll is realistic for kids and interactive to really encourage their imaginative play. Although I think we expected a little bit more from the swimming aspect of the doll, and I was slightly disappointed that she didn't swim properly with the armbands on, she is still nonetheless a good interactive doll for the price.

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