Picture a toddler who is a novice swimmer running around a pool, jumping in the water and splashing around. To most parents, this probably sounds like a stressful scenario.
However, I recently saw a toddler doing just this, and his parents, who were of course closely watching him, looked relaxed. I think this at least partly had to do with the swim vest the little boy was wearing above his swim trunks.
This is why today’s hint is to consider outfitting your little rookie swimmer in a swim jacket or floatsuit, modern alternatives to old-fashioned arm floaties.
Over the last decade or so, a slew of such products have come on the market. Konfidence, for instance, launched its swim jacket, the “Original Konfidence Jacket,” in the United Kingdom in 1998 and began selling the roughly $40 product in the United States in 2006. Since then, Konfidence has rolled out a number of products in the United States, including floatsuits, i.e. bathing suits with floats built in. Konfidence is giving away $100 worth of its products to one lucky Hint Mama reader – details below.
A Konfidence spokesperson describes its swim jacket, which comes in sizes 18 months through adult, as “training wheels for swimming” and as safer than traditional arm floats. Each jacket comes with eight floats that parents can remove one-by-one as children become better swimmers, and the jackets allow for a swimmer’s arms to be free so proper stroke technique can be developed.
The company’s floatsuits, which come in sizes for 1- to 5-year olds and cost about $40, work similarly, and are meant for parents that prefer an all-in-one-swim aid style rather than an easier-to-remove jacket design.
So far, reviews of such products have generally been positive. Cool Mom Picks, for instance, wrote back in 2007 that the Konfidence jacket “is safer than those arm floats and smarter than a life vest.” Elsewhere, the Rookie Moms recently included Konfidence floatsuits in their great round up of “water toys and gear that make swimming more fun for rookie moms.”
To be sure, there are a couple of caveats to keep in mind. First, these products aren’t life jackets and shouldn’t be used as them. In addition, like childproofing products, they’re not substitutions for parent supervision – kids should always be supervised when they’re near water.
What are your tips for making pool and beach time with a novice swimmer a little less stressful? Have you tried these, and similar, swim aid products? Share your tips and experiences, and enter to win $100 of your choice of Konfidence products, below.
Photo credit: Konfidence