Category: Parenting

Swimming Lessons with Waterbabies

A few months ago I’d written about finding G some new activites that would help him burn off some energy, and learn some new skills.

cool dude getting ready for lessons (and a scratch 😂)

We were looking into sports based activities, as he has so much energy we knew that they would be something he would enjoy.

After recommendations from many parents and other bloggers too, we decided to try swimming lessons with Waterbabies. After two taster sessions that went really well, we started the very next term.

Every Friday has been swimming lesson day, and G has had an absolute blast! He gets so excited when he knows where we’re going and literally skips into the venue where we attend lessons.

dressed in his swimsuit and ready to go!

I wasn’t sure what to expect from a baby swim class at first. They’re still so little, and I know many start classes a lot younger, some only weeks old! So I just thought it might be a confidence building thing, enjoying the water and just having a splash about. But it is so much more!

It is of course fantastic for building their confidence in the water, but they are learning lots of skills and techniques, many of the safety based, so as well as learning to be in the water, they’re learning how to get in and out safely and how to behave around water.

Like I said many start a lot younger so I thought G may be behind and need to catch up, but he took to it so well and soon caught on to what to do.
Even so, I never thought that in just 10 weeks he’d be able to swim a short distance without any support! I was almost crying with pride and he was beaming.

From having no swimming skills at all, apart from how to make a splashy tidal wave, he can now get in and out of the pool safely, make doggy paddle arms, make breast stroke arms, swim with the aid of a float and dive underwater. So many new skills that we can use on our holidays soon! 

Totsbots swim nappy on
But even more than all the skills learnt (I am really pleased with them of course!) is that I’ve really enjoyed the lessons too. If you’ve got toddlers then you’ll know its near enough impossible to get them to stay still for our much longed for cuddles! Swimming practically forces them to stay close to you for a while, something I made the most of!!

not the Waterbabies venue just fyi!!
We have really enjoyed our time with Waterbabies, and we’re signing up for the next term (although it runs through my due date so Nanny and Mr H will be taking over at some point and I’ll be cheering from the sidelines!)

Do your littles have swimming lessons? What other activities do they enjoy the most?

Mrs H xxx

Disclosure – we were offered a discounted term in return for an honest review of our experiences. All views are my own. 

Extended Rear Facing Car Seats – Diono Radian 5

There are many discussions about the pros and cons of extended rear facing, but for me personally the safety aspect far outweighs any of the superficial reasons for forward facing. Extended rear facing car seats are extremely popular across the pond in America, and are becoming more and more popular here in the UK. 

Extended rear facing refers to children staying in a rear facing car seat position until at least 2 years of age, but car seats are increasingly catering to rear face until 4 years of age.

Studies are showing that remaining rear facing can be up to 5 times safer in an accident, that’s 500% safer! In an impact the seats are absorbing the majority of the force, and helping to distribute the impact better.

When forward facing any impact can send young children forward, putting strain on their necks and spine, like a whiplashinjury  that we would sustain. But their delicate bones are not able to deal with this kind of force as well as we may be able too, often leading to incredibly serious injuries, sometimes even from the most minor incident.

But to rear face after the 1 year mark you need the right car seat to do this. As with all car seats height and weight limits still apply. It’s no use leaving them rear facing in an infant seat when their head is clearing the top of the seat, the intended use to protect them from impact wouldn’t work.

Having looked into the best seats for extended rear facing, and with even more available than ever before, we were really taken by the Diono Radian 5. Based on the best seller in America where extended rear facing is becoming the norm, its safety features are brilliant, and as a bonus it is also really stylish and extremely comfortable.

It’s not a cheap car seat, but you can’t really put a price on your child’s safety. Plus it’s made to last until they are approximately 7 years old. It is not solely a rear facing seat so can be used when your rear facing days are finally over. We’ll have to use it forward facing if we need to put it in the family van or it just wouldn’t fit without restricting the driving view! 

We’ve only been using the car seat for a few weeks so a full review will follow once we’ve really put it through it’s paces.

Initially what I noticed was the weight! Because of it’s higher weight capacity it has a unique steel frame, not only providing incredible protection against crash forces but also meaning that it can be used up to 25kg. It means that the seat is really heavy, but it folds up to be able to carry it better. It even comes with a travel case.

Despite the heavy frame, the car seat is really narrow. Much narrower than the car seat we had before. It’s a lot more comfortable whe you have to sit next to it in the back of the car! They reckon you could even fit 3 comfortably in the back of some cars. Obviously we’ve not tested this theory out but I can certainly see that it could work.

The seat and interior is really nicely padded. As with the rest of the seat it’s not overly chunky but it has memory foam meaning that it is extra comfy. Perfect for all of our day trips and holidays that we’ve got planned this year!

G’s already given it a sleepy seal of approval a few times, and he loves the cup holder. So do I for that matter, no more mid trip scrambling for a dropped cup or bottle.

Have you, or would you consider extended rear facing? What are your thoughts?

Mrs H xxx