Create a Splash this Christmas - Splash About Christmas Gift Guide
We’re fast approaching the most wonderful time of the year. Whilst for many of us, this time is filled with excitement and joy, for some of us the stress of Christmas shopping takes over! What to get the man who wants nothing, the lady who has everything and the children who can’t move in their bedrooms for toys?!
Here at Splash About, we may be able to help; with the babies and children in your life at least!
Whilst swimwear and swimming accessories may not be the top of your list of gift ideas, they should be! We believe swimming is one of the most important life skills and we have developed many different products to help babies develop their passion for the water early.
The Warm In One wetsuit is the perfect gift for babies. Fleece-lined, this full wetsuit will keep babies cosy and warm in and out of the water. It has been proven to extend pool time and has even kept babies warm enough they have fallen asleep in the pool!
Pair with a matching Happy Nappy and you have the perfect gift for the baby who has enough toys to see them through the next 10 years! (and their parents will thank you. The Happy Nappy will save them a fortune in disposable swim nappies and they will never have the embarrassment of the pool having to close because their baby has had an accident!)
Struggling for siblings? The hooded towel range may just be the answer! Hooded towels in our popular Nina and Noah’s Ark ranges are suitable for newborn babies to 2 years and match perfectly with the hooded ponchos in the same designs for older children up to 6 years. A perfect gift that will definitely provide the ‘ahh factor’. The best part is these can be used at home for bathing as well as at the pool. 100% cotton. 100% gorgeous!
If you would prefer to gift a toy, we can still help! We have a range of teething toys that can be used in the bath or the pool and are totally safe for babies to chew. Made from all-natural rubber, painted with food grade paint and free from chemicals, our Splash Jacks and Splash Pals are the perfect gift. Fully sealed they will not fill with water and mould and babies love the sensory design and bright colours.
All of these products can be bought together in Bundles to make gift buying even easier. We’ve done the hard work selecting matching and complementary items and knocked 10% off. All you have to do is choose your favourite design!
If this has really inspired you to get swimming, use our Find A Swim School tool to help find your nearest swim classes and get set for the New Year! New Years resolution sorted too!!
Merry Christmas from all at Splash About!!
National Baby Swimming Week & The Benefits of Baby Swimming
National Baby Swimming Week & The Benefits of Baby Swimming
Now in its third year, National Baby Swimming Week is a time to discover and celebrate all the joys of baby swimming for both babies and parents.
Created by Water Babies back in 2016, National Baby Swimming Week runs from the 13th - 19th October this year.
It is the perfect time to raise awareness of the importance of water safety and water confidence, as well as the documented benefits of swimming with your baby.
The Benefits of Swimming With Your Baby
By Emma Reed.
A weekly swimming lesson will start to build your baby's water confidence from an early age.
The routine will soon become very familiar to your baby, the fun of the lessons will aid in building up water confidence and it will become an activity that they will learn to love week after week.
Once your baby becomes more confident in their swimming lessons, they will learn exactly what they need to do in order to remain safe in the event of a water-related accident. In baby swim classes your little one will be taught how to safely blow the water away, rather than inhale it.
They will be shown how to hold onto the side of the pool in order to keep their heads above water and they will be encouraged to swim under the water and then safely return to the surface all by themselves. Babies as young as 4 months old can often prove that they can do this very quickly and with ease.
Builds Muscle, Strength and Improves Health
Compared with non-swimmers, baby swimmers generally show that they have stronger heart and lung functions and will often walk earlier. Recent research by the German Sports College, Cologne have studies that show babies who swim are significantly stronger and more coordinated.
As your baby’s body is predominantly supported by the water and, of course by you, they can focus their attention on working on their balance.
The actions babies use whilst swimming incorporates the whole body and they will begin to fully acknowledge how everything feels, moves and works.
A Norweigan study which was carried out in 2010 has shown that swimmers have a far better balance over babies who do not swim, hence why they also tend to walk at a younger age.
The findings from an extensive 4-year study in 2009 by The Griffith University in Australia have remarkably shown that children, under the age of 5, involved in learning to swim were not only more advanced in both their cognitive and physical development than non-swimming children but that they were also far better at math solving problems.
One of the best parts about going swimming with your baby is the fact that you get to further work on that all-important bond.
Your baby has to fully trust your every move, they have to focus on you through the duration of the lesson, making plenty of eye contact and positive gestures, not to mention all of that wonderful skin to skin contact you get to enjoy.
As we all know, exercise releases endorphins, the happy hormones, around our body and it works in the same way for babies too.
Your baby will feel so much happier during and after their lesson.
Sleep Like a Baby
Exercise promotes sleep and everybody wants a baby that sleeps well! You will most probably find that naptime after your weekly swimming lesson will be the easiest one to put your baby down for and maybe even the longest as well as the most peaceful.
A Better Appetite
Exercise will always improve your baby’s appetite and swimming is a perfect way to keep them active but in a gentle way.
Don't be surprised if your baby requires a snack or extra milk after their lesson!
Having a routine in your week will benefit both you as a parent as well as your baby.
If you join a weekly baby swimming class, it will become a regular sociable activity for the both of you, it may spark up new friendships and prevent that loneliness a lot of parents can experience at some time or another.
Swimming is such a fantastic all-round activity for you and your baby and as you can see, it provides plenty of benefits for their physical, emotional and cognitive development as well as being great fun.
For more Splash About baby swimming guides click here, or choose from the list below:
Protect your baby’s eczema from irritation at the swimming pool
How safe is it to take your baby with eczema swimming? It is well documented that swimming is extremely beneficial for babies. It can help aspects of their growth and encourage positive behavioural developments such as confidence and patience, as well as improve balance and coordination. Despite this, the pool can be extremely daunting for parents of babies with eczema as some might worry that chlorine will aggravate the skin and cause infection. However, research shows that it can provide long and short-term health benefits. Although there are concerns to consider before taking the plunge, there are a variety of ways to help protect your baby’s skin before, during and after swimming.
Bernadette Spofforth, managing director at children and baby swimwear specialist Splash About, says: “Swimming can be a bit of a worry for parents of babies with eczema, which is understandable, but if you do your research you’ll find those fears can be put to rest and swimming can become an enjoyable experience for everyone.
“It is an important skill for anybody to master and having eczema doesn’t necessarily mean that learning how to swim isn’t a possibility for your child.”
Research how the pool is cleaned
The majority of public swimming pools are cleaned with chlorine, which can make skin dry and cause aggravation. As part of an eczema and swimming factsheet, the National Eczema Society advises you to contact the facilities to find out what time they add the chlorine into the pool and to avoid swimming immediately afterwards. The higher the level of chlorine, the larger the risk of skin irritation.
Other options that can be kinder but are much more uncommon are pools containing ozone, which usually aren’t as drying to the skin, and salt water, which can be soothing but can also sting the skin if the child has broken skin.
When exploring each possibility, it is advised that you only spend a short amount of time in the pool in case it worsens your child’s condition.
“Unfortunately, it is trial and error to find the most suitable option for your baby’s skin. You may want to arrange a taster session with a swimming teacher, which most are happy to do,” Bernadette said.
Apply barrier cream and moisturiser
As swimming pool water can be quite drying due to the cleaning chemicals it contains, applying a generous amount of moisturiser an hour before can stop these chemicals from angering the skin. If a child has unhealed scratches, a barrier cream will help protect them from external irritants and infections. After leaving the pool and showering, apply moisturiser again.
Dr Adam Friedmann, from The Harley Street Dermatology Clinic, said : “Chlorine is quite an irritant to eczema, so often parents complain that the children get dramatically worse after swimming. Before swimming, I suggest applying a greasy moisturising cream all over the child, as this acts a little like a barrier and can prevent the chlorine irritating the eczema, whilst hydrating the skin.
“Ensure your child showers afterwards and moisturises well before getting dressed. I normally advise to wash the child using only creams, not soaps or detergent (EG aqueous cream, Dermol 500). Then, re-apply the child’s regular moisturiser immediately.
“I’d recommend when bathing or showering to use warm water, as hot water can make eczema worse, and keep baths/showers short as the skin can get irritated if kept in the water for too long.”
Use a protective wetsuit
A baby wetsuit is ideal for preventing children from scratching vulnerable areas of their body. Another benefit is that it will stop any barrier cream that is applied underneath the suit from being rubbed off or absorbed by the fabric. Equally, such suits allow parents to keep a firm grip of their child in the water. A wetsuit also helps protect the skin from abrasions due to the material on swimming floats, and from being in contact with other external irritants.
Water temperatures that help and hurt
Baby swimming classes are often held in warm temperatures, which are usually ideal for infants but not for eczema sufferers. Health experts warn that this can be drying to skin and worsen existing symptoms, while cooler water can be extremely soothing towards angry skin. Before taking your child, it is always worthwhile ringing the centre to find out the pool’s temperature.
Prevent itching at night
Many babies with eczema struggle to sleep due to their itchy skin and anything that can be done to change this is a huge help for parents. Recent findings discovered that for every hour of the day a child is inactive, three minutes are added on to the time it takes them to fall asleep. Swimming is a great way to get children active from a young age and although it isn’t guaranteed that they will sleep well every night, using the extra energy can improve sleeping patterns.
Short and long-term health benefits
Research shows that up to 80% of children with eczema develop asthma later in life. However, swimming can help control the symptoms by strengthening the heart and lungs.
Swimming can help irritated skin because chlorine kills the bacteria that develops infections. However, the National Eczema Society advises parents to avoid taking their child swimming if their skin is already infected or flaring badly.
Learning for life!
As everyone starts this new year afresh, with resolutions made and not yet broken I thought this would be a good opportunity to remind you why those baby swimming lessons are so important and why you could make it a 2018 resolution to get booked in and start Splashing About!
Splash About is the world’s leading supplier of specialist baby swim wear, with the famous Happy Nappy insisted upon by leading swim schools in order to keep pools free from leaks. We work with some of the best and most respected baby swim professionals all over the world. They all agree baby swimming is an essential part of your baby’s development.
Drowning is the second biggest cause of accidental death in under 5’s in the developed world. Teaching your child to swim is the greatest life skill you can give them
. In the UK there are hundreds of specially trained professionals working in specialist swim schools all over the country, check here to find one closest to you.
It's never too early to start
In the UK, specialist lessons can start from as young as one day old. The NHS guidelines agree that there is no need to wait until your baby has been vaccinated before they go swimming. Although keeping baby warm is essential.
Bonding Kangaroo style; Skin to Skin
Swimming provides the perfect way to have that important skin to skin contact with your baby. These early bonding experiences can help to deeply connect with your child, in a meaningful and calming way. Sharing the swimming experience can be particularly important if baby is unsettled and mum/dad is tired.
Physical and Mental wellbeing
Physical activity and mental stimulation is good for your baby’s physical development, as an added bonus it increases their appetite and tires them out. The water provides a warm and relaxing environment outside of their normal routine, which helps to promote a more calm and contented mood. Swimming lessons provide a great workout for your baby, helping to strengthen their heart, lungs and muscles. It also stimulates the nerves that formulate the senses in the brain.
Providing early opportunities for physical activity helps children become habit forming and we know that babies who are more active, tend to be more physical later in life, which can help them to stay fit both physically and mentally into adulthood.
Physical activity builds muscle strength. Whilst swimming water resistance helps babies use their muscles more efficiently and research has shown that babies who swim regularly, walk earlier than those who haven’t, this more rapid progress if due to better muscle control and core strength.
Structure and routine
Babies and toddlers with good daily routines sleep better and are more prepared for learning activities at school. Early swim routines help them get into the habit of being ready at a certain time each week. Routines also provide a bit of structure and social activity for frazzled parents.
Research including a Norwegian study show that babies who swim regularly have better balance and grasp objects more intuitively than those that don’t swim. Water activities such as kicking, splashing and floating all aid improved co ordination. In Iceland swimming babies as young as 3 months old are showing standing skills normally only attained by babies of 9 or 10 months old.
Fear of Water
Many non-swimming children develop a fear of water, meaning they never learn to swim, putting themselves and others in danger. Early water experiences allow a child to understand their buoyancy and develop skills that could one day save their lives.
Learning through play
From your first lesson babies will learn for to respond to repetitive and fun commands. Singing songs, clapping hands, splashing faces and many more water experiences increase your baby’s mental skills and their cognitive levels of understanding. So much so that by the time they reach school age studies have shown children who swam in their baby and toddler years, were up to 15 months ahead of non-swimmers in language, counting and problem solving skills.
Citations and references
- Professor Liselott Diam – Cologne
- H Sigmundsson & Hopkins - “Baby Swimming and exploring the effects of early intervention on subsequent motor abilities in childcare, health and development.
- Diem, Undeutsch, Lehr, Olbrich “Early Motor Stimulation and personal development: A study of 4-6 year old German children”
- Field T, Scafidi F, Scanaberg S, “Message of preterm Newborns to improve Growth and Development” pediatric nursing
- German Sports collage cologne “ Baby swimming: Advance independence and Development of intelligence”
Swimming in the winter? Are you serious?
Yes really, I know you don’t feel much like battling the rain and wind on the way to the changing rooms from the car, but trust me you and your baby are worth it.
Although it’s tempting to stay inside and keep warm, studies show that getting out and about even in the fiercest of weather is great for body and soul. Winter can be especially hard on new mums and can isolate them from friends and family leaving them feeling lonely. Baby and toddler swimming lessons are a great way of meeting and mixing with other mums and allows babies the time to socialize with other babies. Plus getting out of the house for a few hours will leave you feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and feeling more relaxed. I promise. So if you aren’t enrolled in lessons, have a look for your local baby swim class by using our ‘Find a Swim School’ checker. Start a new hobby this winter!
There are of course other things to consider with winter swimming, even though pools are lovely and warm, it’s important that babies and toddlers don’t feel too chilly in changing rooms, where the air is cooler this time of year. We recommend wrapping up even when in the pool and have developed a range of specialist baby swimwear for even the coldest of days.
Fleecy wetsuit – This cuddly Warm In One is the perfect way for your baby to keep warm even in cooler pools. This super soft fleece lined wetsuit, is easy to get on and off and will insulate babies body, legs and arms, helping them to regulate their body temperature and enjoy the water for longer.
Happy Nappy Wetsuit – This super value wetsuit has a built in Happy Nappy that means it’s perfect for all baby swim classes. Made from super soft neoprene, the Happy Nappy Wetsuit is the choice of swim teachers and thousands of babies agree.
Baby Wrap – For chunky toddlers and slippery newborns the BabyWrap is the most versatile of wetsuits, designed to keep the core body warm, leaving maximum movement for arms and legs to kick and splash. Perfect for those most energetic little people.
Swim Hat – Not only do these hats keep little heads warm but they also serve to protect sensitive skin from chlorine.
Keeping warm after swimming, can be tricky and our range of wetsuits will continue to keep baby warm even in the chilliest of changing room whilst you get dressed. Our waterproof, antibacterial Changing Mat is great for baby to lie on and our range of Apres Splash cuddly toweling all in ones and hooded towels make dressing a much less stressful task.
Come on, get out there this winter and enjoy the benefits baby swimming brings to both of you.
Christmas 2017 unique gifts for babies and toddlers
Looking for something unique and useful as a gift for a baby or toddler this Christmas? We have some fantastic gift ideas for the baby or toddler that has everything!
Rather than the usual plastic fantastic gifts, how about being the one that starts them off on a life long passion for swimming or yoga or even singing.
You are never too young (or too old) to start learning a life skill.
Check out these goodies:
- Swimming lessons
It is never too early to start introducing your baby to the pool. From birth right up to pre-school, baby and toddler swim classes teach amazing life skills whilst offering plenty of skin to skin contact with your child. The UK leads the world in these specialist baby and toddler swim classes. Try our Find a Swim School search engine to find your nearest baby swim classes.
If your baby / toddler is already at swim classes, how about a new Happy Nappy for the New Year and swim term? Check out our beautiful and stylish range. A practical yet perfect Christmas gift.
- Baby Yoga and mat – Just like baby swimming these specialist lessons promote early cognitive development and are a wonderful way to relax with your child. Our changing mat doubles as a fantastic yoga mat making it a versatile addition to the yoga lessons.
- A perfect Teether Toy
Made from all natural rubber and hand painted with food grade paint, Splash About’s Splash Pals, are perfect for teething babies in and out of the bath or pool.
- Baby music lessons
Choose from so many music themed lessons available all over the country and give them the gift of music that has been proved to aid early cognitive development. Who knows you may be helping to prepare a new Mozart!