As a child, I was a complete water baby...it is no surprise that Miss A is the same! She loves pools, bath tubs, water tables, and even just puddles of water! I would have loved to put her in swim lessons this summer, but with the arrival of baby J and my husband working so much, it just would not have been possible! When I heard about the Swim Trainer from Thanks Mama, I knew that it would be PERFECT for her and I just had to try one out!!
Out of the box, the Swim Trainer doesn't look much different that your normal swim ring, but it is MUCH different! The swim ring has inflatable side panels and an inflatable stomach panel that hug close to your child as well as the larger inflatable ring that goes completely around your child! All of this is secured onto your child by two clips. These two clips even have a plastic safety piece that snaps over the clips so that they don't accidentally come unclipped during use.
I did have a bit of trouble at first getting my Swim Trainer blown up. It took me a few minutes to realize that some of the plastic valves were sealed shut. I simply (and gently) rolled the valve between my fingers until the seal broke and I was able to blow the ring up. Not sure if it was sealed from the manufacturer or if with out extreme heat, it may have resealed in our mailbox (aka. the 100+ degree oven). This was the only trouble that I had with the Swim Trainer, so I consider this a very small and very easy to fix problem! Be sure to follow the directions and fill the inner sections first before the larger outer ring!
Now, the real test...on the child! Miss A does NOT like change. I have talked before about how stubborn my little girl can be, so I was really not sure how she would take to strapping on this ring. Much to my surprise, she came over and stood still while I strapped her in! I was shocked! I think being at the pool and seeing other kids with their blow up rings really helped because she did not give me one stitch of trouble!! My only complaint is that the shoulder straps can be a little difficult to adjust, but once you get them moving, no biggie! It was quick and easy to strap her in and would not be a problem if your child was giving you a difficult time!
So with Miss A all strapped in, we headed to the big pool! The pool has a sloped beach entry, and my little daredevil has NO fear, so just like always, she ran right into the pool and headed for deep waters! Only this time, with her Swim Trainer on, instead of sinking as the pool deepened, she floated and began to kick and swim around! My just-turned-three year old was swimming for the very first time!!! She was SO excited and so was I! With no instruction she was able to just 'know' instinctively what to do! And she instantly LOVED it! She just kicked and kicked and was able to move herself around the pool, turn, and go in the direction she wanted! She was in love and so was I!!! I honestly did not have a hand on her the entire time, she was doing it all on her own, I was just there in case she needed me or tipped over! (or to keep her away from the water slides!) It was amazing to see my little girl swimming!!! She absolutely loved that she could kick herself around and could be independent from mommy!! She just giggled and laughed and kicked the whole time!!! (PS. she slept great that night...wore her out!!)
The instructions say very clearly not to leave your child unattended and not out of reach. Please listen to this. I did not allow Miss A out of arms reach and it is a good thing. Because she was not using her arms correctly (because we had to take 2 toy tigers into the pool) she kept tipping forward a little. It didn't happen often, but I was glad to be in arms reach to keep her from completely tipping over. If she had been using her arms to swim correctly, this would not have happened! (or if she had not been clutching two plastic tigers...)
Overall, I love the Swim Trainer! I would recommend it to ANYONE and EVERYONE wanting to teach their child to swim! Miss A never wants to get out of the pool, but on this occasion she kept trying to swim away from us when we told her it was time to go and when I took her Swim Trainer off she bawled hysterically! She LOVED it! So even Miss A highly recommends the Swim Trainer! While at the pool, two of the lifeguards and a few parents even came and asked me about it and said they wanted to buy one! They saw how easy it was and how well it worked! (much better than those cheap Walmart rings!!!)
The Swim Trainer comes in three different sizes/stages depending on your childs size and swim ability. The red fits 13-40 pounds and is for beginner swimmers, the orange fits 33-65 pounds and helps to teach correct arm and leg movements, and the yellow fits 45-80 pounds and helps to transition child to swimming without a flotation device. So no matter your child's age or ability, there is a swim trainer for you!!
Total Stars: ★★★★★
We took some videos of Miss A using the Swim Trainer! Keep in mind that my husband is videoing while holding baby J, so please excuse the poor quality! :) The first video is when she first got it on and was just figuring it out! The second is more of her figuring it out and trying to swim away from me! LOL (please excuse the butt shot!) And the third is her definitely trying to get away from me, but it really shows just how quickly she caught on to this! All three videos were shot within 5 minutes of her getting the Swim Trainer on for the very first time!
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