When “Captain Hook” was born we took him to baby swim class from age 4 months to 8 months. He loved it. Hubby and I would take turns going into the water with him. Funnily enough that was one place that the cultural difference of Hubs being native Belgian would appear. In baby swim class while doing activities with the kids in the water they sing nursery rhymes and baby songs – which are very different in the US vs Belgium. So he’d do the motions but not sing along because he didn’t know the words. Luckily for me, the nursery rhymes and songs in the US vs UK are very similar. I’ve been looking into getting “Tinkerbell” enrolled in a baby swim class as I thought she might enjoy it.So, when I had the opportunity to take baby “Tinkerbell” to a baby swim class last week I jumped at the chance.
Hosted by Huggies Little Swimmers, the class was led by a teacher from Water Babies, and we were joined by the UK’s most successful swimmer, Karen Pickering.
While surprised at first that the water wasn’t as warm as her bath – she quickly got over her shock and began having fun as the instructor led us through the activities.
I had just bought her very first swimsuit for an upcoming holiday ( SwimZip swimsuit, style: Daddy’s Little Girl, pictured here) and was pleased with how cute it looked and how easy it was to get on and off with the zip up rashguard. I had been a bit concerned that the swim diapers would be too bulky under the bottoms but the Huggies Little Swimmers diapers I used were perfect. They fit snugly under her suit and were easy to put on and off and didn’t inflate into a mushy mess like a normal diaper would have.
Karen Pickering also answered swimming questions and gave tips on how to do swim exercises while holding a baby. She shared that you can get a get swim workout by having the Mum lay on her back in the water, supporting herself under her back and arms with a water noodle. The child then lays on the Mum’s chest with their head out of the water. The Mum then does back strokes the length of the pool or I suppose because of the support of the noodle could hold the child and just use their legs to kick.
Here are some cute pics of Karen Pickering holding “Tinkerbell”
Besides the Huggies Little Swimmers swim diapers, we were also introduced to one of my new favorite things – their “Hygiene Mat.” Not so great a name, but definitely a great product. What it is is a non-slip, machine washable, waterproof changing mat that folds up into one of 2 pouches, a frog or a penguin. Both are adorable, versatile and functional.
While it’s meant for changing your baby on pre/post swim – I was immediately struck with all of it’s other possible applications. My older children take swim lessons and there are never enough changing rooms available so they are standing on tip-toes or balls of their feet to avoid the floor of the dressing room as they change. I could bring this along and allow them to stand and change on it. It can be used for picnics to prevent soggy bottoms from damp grass, or even protect the car upholstery after a child gets soaked on an outing. The list goes on.
What I have been using it for in the last week since I got it is replacing 2 items from my baby bag. The changing mat, and the play blanket. This Huggies “Hygiene Mat” is now doing double duty. It’s more compact than my changing mat as you can see here:
The Huggies Hygiene Mat and my changing mat both folded and unfolded.
- machine washable
- bright colors
It’s been functioning quite well as a play mat or blanket would. You can see “Tinkerbell” here playing on it at the BritMums Live conference this past weekend.
I love products that do double duty. Not only has this lightened the load of my diaper bag – but it can be used by my different children, even though it’s a large age gap. I think I’ll be investing in a couple more of these as they are so handy. Yes, I was given this one for free – but I will be buying more. I think it’s one of the most practical parenting products out there right now. You can pick one up at most Boots, Tesco or other retailer near the nappies/diapers. It’s currently available (as of the date of this post) on Amazon.co.uk for £5.11 and free shipping.
This is going to go on my essentials list for travelling with baby.
*Disclosure: Huggies provided the swim diapers, hygiene mat and swim class. The opinions of the product are solely mine, and I really like it so much that I will be purchasing more.