Learning to swim with Rebecca Adlington and Baby Annabell

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I watched my little girl sitting nervously on the poolside of her first swimming lesson. Her sister was by her side as always. They kicked their legs on the side of the pool and before I knew it, they were all getting in. She looked around for reassurance before following her sister into the water. And what could be more reassuring than Rebecca Adlington coming over to help her?

Photo credit: Simon Jacobs

Building water confidence

We’ve been swimming regularly with our girls since they were just a few weeks old. But that doesn’t stop Lia from being a bit nervous. She loves to swim with her float on but she doesn’t like jumping in or taking her float off. As she explained to Rebecca, she’s “just a bit scared of sinking”.

Baby Annabell have teamed up with Rebecca Adlington to give some tips on building water confidence. Tips include starting to swim from a very young age and using praise and positivity to encourage them into the water.

A little help from Baby Annabell

Another brilliant tip from Rebecca Adlington is to use toys as a tool. They can distract children who don’t like to put their face in the water or be splashed. The Baby Annabel Learns to Swim Doll is perfect to give children the confidence to get in the water.

Photo credit: Simon Jacobs

The doll can go in the bath or swimming pool with children. She floats on her back and splashes with her arms and legs when she comes into contact with water. The doll comes with arm bands, a swimming costume and a towel. My girls have loved getting Baby Annabell dried and changed with them when they’re all out of the water.

The swimming lesson

We headed down to the London Olympic Aquatic Centre to meet Rebecca Adlington for the launch of the Baby Annabell Learns to Swim Doll. The lesson was run by a fabulous teacher called Donna and assisted by Rebecca. The children ranged from three to around eight years old, and the teachers managed to cater for them all.

They used swimming aids including pool noodles and kick boards. There were also pool toys such as balls as well as Baby Annabel. As the depth of the pool allowed all the children to stand up, they all quickly grew in confidence. Soon, they were going around the pool without swimming aids. For Lia, this was a bit step. She usually wears a swimming aid and although she could stand, it was great to see her with the confidence to take off her swimming aid and join in without it.

As for Libby, she is a confident swimmer and saw this as an opportunity to show off her skills. She became very competitive and tried her hardest in all the races across the pool. It was great to see how confident she was and see her taking care of her sister.

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    1. Good question! I know there was a little boy there who had a doll to take home but he wasn’t swimming. I’m not sure whether any boys were swimming or not.

  1. I love this! As someone who is TERRIFIED of water, I’ve been really keen to get Oliver in the water. We’ve found a fab one on one teacher locally who really gets Oliver’s personality. I keep hoping that one day I might get over the fear, but we shall see! Seeing Oliver starting to swim is definitely helping. I’ve told Oliver about your outdoor swimming actually and he really wants to give that a go one day.

    1. Ahh that’s great, I’m glad he has started swimming. Outdoor swimming would be brilliant for him, mine have both done it already and love it. I hope you manage to get over your fear too, it’s a great activity to do as a family.

  2. Am seriously jealous! I adore Rebecca. Such a great person and a very inspiring role model! I used to love swimming! Was literally a duck to water. Am no idea with the boys. Which I find a shame. I can’t take them safely and no idea if they go with their mum. After reading this I need to find out. Would love to see them thrive in learning this skill

  3. What an exciting day! My eldest would have loved this, but my 3 year old wouldn’t be happy in the water without me at all! The Baby Annabelle doll sounds like the perfect tool to get kids swimming! X