N’s been swimming for 5 ½ years – you’d think by now he’d be able to swim unaided for a decent distance, but no not yet. N does everything in his own time. However after our experience trying out some Zoggs seal dive sticks and a swim fin from Baby Swimming Shop, I’m thinking we might have progressed further using these in the past.
Baby Swimming Shop, despite the name, isn’t just for babies. They also sell children’s swimwear and accessories, with us also being sent a shorty wetsuit.
After N’s newly discovered love of body boarding on holiday in Woolacombe, we seem to have been collecting wetsuits in various different sizes. Baby Swimming Shop stocks a choice of baby wraps, and childrens shortie and long wetsuits. I prefer shortie ones for N, purely for ease of getting them on and off, and he seems to be comfortable in them. Unfortunately the sizing didn’t quite work for us (as it so often doesn’t), with the choice or age 4-5 which would have been miles too small, and age 6-7. So I opted for the larger because hopefully by next summer it’ll fit perfectly, and might even fit him the year after as well.
The Jakabel wetsuit has full velcro fastening at the back, a reach cord to help do the zip, and apart from being a little big, looks like it’ll be a good in-proportion fit once N has grown a little.
We love the brighter colours, and while we chose the blue colourway, it’s definitely unisex enough to pass on to a boy or girl after we’ve finished with it. N put it straight on and was prancing around his bedroom, admiring himself in the mirror. So he’s one happy boy, hoping for another holiday next year with body boarding opportunities.
Although N wears a swimbelt at his lessons because they can’t reach the floor, and to keep the right body position, when I take him swimming he just uses a woggle, float or nothing. But the woggle gets in the way of his arms, so I thought the swim fin would work well.
He wasn’t too keen to begin with but now he’s tried it out he thinks it’s cool. Plus a little girl was scared seeing him and a fin swimming towards her, so he thought that was funny!
The swim fin is a foam fin shape that attaches to the back with 2 velcro straps going round the body. It’s really secure, and obviously the velcro adapts to the child’s size. It comes in various different colours and will hold the body in a good swimming position on the front. N is able to swim really well with it on and it hasn’t felt uncomfortable. The only issue is swimming on your back isn’t possible. Well, it’s not meant to be possible, but N has managed it!
N’s a bit of a fidget so takes it on and off during a swim session, but it’s definitely good to use when he gets a bit tired out. Plus when he has the swim fin on he does swim, rather than walk about, even in shallower water. It means he gets a lot more swimming done than he would usually in a fun swim session.
Zoggs seal dive sticks
I’ve debated dive sticks for a while, but seeing as we rarely go swimming outside of N’s lessons, that there wasn’t much point. In the past (at Water Babies), he was never keen to go underwater diving for them, and they don’t use them in their current classes. I suppose with a float belt on it’s hard to get down diving.
Big mistake. Maybe if we’d had these dive sticks a year ago, N would have been swimming by now.
He absolutely loves them. We went to the pool a couple of weeks ago for the first time trying them out, and he was like a fish diving to get them (admittedly not that deep because the trainer pool isn’t a metre deep). But he was staying underwater for a lot longer than just dunking his head, and was pretty much getting them each time. It helped we bumped into an NCT friend who was also enjoying playing with them too.
Diving down means he’s really having to kick his legs harder and attempt to use his arms more to stay under water. Hopefully this will help his swimming on the surface too.
The only hard thing will be going back to his swimming lessons and not being able to put his goggles back on for putting his face in the water, but I’m hopeful that a couple of fun pool sessions with these fun toys and swim accessories will help his confidence that he can do a lot more swimming than he thinks.
All items are available directly from Baby Swimming Shop, online and if like ours, your local pool.
Disclosure: We were sent some items to try out for the purpose of review. All words and opinions are my own.
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