Regular readers will know that we are working as Konfidence Swimologists over the coming year. We have been big fans of Konfidence swimwear for a couple of years now having previously reviewed the Babywarma and Warma Wetsuit and then Konfidence Sun Protection clothing for the girls on holiday in France last year.
You might have seen me mention a few times recently that Amy has been wearing a new Konfidence Shortie Wetsuit for her Puddle Ducks swimming lessons and I’m thrilled that it seemed to be the turning point for Amy in getting over her Water Wobbles. She’s gone from being really stubborn and not wanting to do anything in the water to loving her lessons and being happy to splash about and try new things.
With that in mind, I was really looking forward to seeing how she would get on at the Splash Landings Water Park last weekend – the last time we took her for a “play swim” was when we were on holiday at Slaley Lodges and she clung to me like a limpet, crying – so anything had to be better than that!
My gut feeling had been that it would be best to get straight into the pool first thing when we arrived at Alton Towers so that Amy wouldn’t be too tired to enjoy herself. As it turned out, going swimming on arrival didn’t quite work out and we ended up going at tea time instead. Thankfully Amy had quite a good snooze during our day in the theme park and was full of beans when it was time to go swimming – we actually ended up spending around two and a half hours in the pool!
All three kids were really excited to wear their Konfidence Shortie Wetsuits, as I’ve mentioned Amy already loves hers but the other two hadn’t had chance to wear theirs prior to our Splash Landings adventure. The suits are really easy to put on and zip right up the back with a protective section to stop you catching bare skin in zips. We did find that the wet suits can be quite tricky to take off when they are wet – and even harder to put back on again if you’ve been to the toilet!
I loved that they were all matching as it made them quite easy to spot in the busy pool! Of course the most important thing is do they work?! They are so incredibly effective. I literally couldn’t believe it the first time I took Amy’s off and her back was so warm you’d think she’d just got out of bed. Two and a half hours in the pool and not one complaint from any of them that they were cold or that their wetsuits were uncomfortable. I had thought that perhaps the wet-suit would slow Ben down on the slides but he certainly didn’t seem to notice a difference.
It’s worth mentioning that the suits do hold onto the water a bit so it’s worth having a separate bag to take them home in – you certainly can’t put them in the cossie spinner in the changing rooms!
For me, the proof of the pudding (or indeed wet-suit in this case) is that Ben and Chloe both chose to wear theirs again for their swimming lessons on Tuesday night. My only regret is not investing in them sooner – when Ben started his swimming lessons at just over 3 years old I would watch him visibly shivering and turning blue as his lesson went on – imagine how much more comfortable the poor kid would have been wearing one of these! I can’t see either of them choosing to wear a normal swimming costume in our icy cold council pool now!
Our second swimming session was on Sunday tea time, after another full day in the theme park. This time the girls wore their Floatsuits (how flipping cute are those navy polka dots!) We were so incredibly lucky with the weather that we were able to swim quite comfortably in the outdoor pool and enjoy the bright blue skies and sunshine – if you’d told me I was in Greece I’d have been hard pushed to argue with you!
Amy didn’t quite trust her float suit at first and was a little more clingy than she had been in her wetsuit but soon came round to enjoying her swim. Chloe, on the other hand, had been absolutely desperate to jump in the day before (hilarious when you think that was her “target” on holiday in France last year) but the indoor pool didn’t have anywhere safe to jump from. Outside, she could jump to her heart’s content and the Floatsuit meant that when she did go under the water, she came back up just that little bit faster! Taking advantage of her confidence and excitement, we took her up onto the Flash Floods slides – it had been her suggestion initially but once we got up there she wasn’t so sure. I knew she would love the slides (having been through exactly the same with her in France) so firmly coerced her onto the slide with the promise that Aunty Custard would be waiting for her at the bottom, that she would be sat on me knee and I would keep hold of her and that her Konfidence Floatsuit would help to keep her at the top of the water . . . Well, had you seen her at the top of the slide you would never have believed that the shrieking, laughing, excited bundle which splashed down at the bottom was the same girl! She was straight back up those steps for another go! By the end of our swim she was going down the slide on her own with a grown up waiting for her.
Chloe doesn’t wear arm bands in her swimming lessons any more but her Floatsuit is ideal for a “play swim” as it allows her to be a little more independent and not have to work quite so hard – she can concentrate on the fun stuff like jumping in! The benefit of the floats being integrated into the suit rather than on her arms is that they don’t get in her way, she can practice her stroke, knowing that her middle is being lifted. Over time, as your child becomes increasingly capable in the water, the floats can be removed steadily (much like when your dad used to start to deflate your arm bands when you were a kid!) and the buoyancy level adjusted to suit your child’s needs.
To give you a real taste of the Konfidence kit in action, and to show you how much fun we had, I vlogged our Splash Landings adventures:
Thanks so much to Konfidence for sending us to Splash Landings, we had an awesome time! I must also give a shout out to Aunty Custard and Chris for being our extra adults in the water – the ratio requirement for Splash Landings means that we couldn’t actually have gone swimming without them!
*Disclaimer – Our visit to Splash Landings and our Konfidence swimwear were given to us free of charge for the purposes of review as part of our role as Konfidence swimologists. All thoughts and opinions remain our own*