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Arm-bands/disks v's float jackets - what are the pros and cons?

(22 Posts)
Caz10 Sun 13-Sep-09 21:23:10

DD is 22mths, been going to the swimming pool since she was teensy weensy, about 2mths, has always loved it.

At about 1yr she suddenly started to hate it, and we eventually figured out that she was fed up being held - she is a stroppy independent wee madam girl - so we got her a float jacket and hey presto she was off on her own and loving it again!

Recently started swimming lessons and the teacher keeps telling me she needs to use armbands or disks - I don't really mind one way or the other, but DD just won't let me get near with them, so I'm wondering if it's really worth the hassle?

Her jacket is one of these ones where you gradually reduce the floats, so she wouldn't become overly reliant on it I don't think?

Seona1973 Sun 13-Sep-09 22:03:51

we have used armbands up until recently with ds (now 2.11 years). He now use one of those flexible noodle things.

morocco Sun 13-Sep-09 22:20:04

much prefer float jackets - we have the same style and they're great. for swimming though you might have to go with the teacher - can she have armbands just for the class?

Caz10 Sun 13-Sep-09 22:23:21

How often did/do you take a couple of floats out morocco?

I was just going to do with arm bands at lessons, but the 1st 2 attempts have ended in almighty tantrums, hardly seems worth it, but teacher is snotty re the jacket...

Littlefish Sun 13-Sep-09 22:30:20

Dd's swimming teacher never uses armbands because she says that it restricts their arm use.

To start with, the children use float jackets. Once they are confident, she moves them to waist belts which contain a number of plastic/polystyrne strips which are gradually removed. Both the jackets and waist belts allow full arm and leg movement.

morocco Sun 13-Sep-09 22:36:29

we just took 2 out and gave it a go - if they sink - put them back in again grin. dd is 2 1/2 and I think still on all the floats. ds2 didn't have any floats by the age of 3 so I'm guessing we cut down pretty quick between 2 1/2 and 3 (bit vague on the details lol)

Caz10 Mon 14-Sep-09 20:56:45

Fab, thanks for replying. I have this totally unfounded idea that arm bands are a bit old fashioned, but dd is the only one in her class not using them. She kicks really well already and can move in whatever direction she wants, so I think I might just stick with it. Was wondering if I would get any "float jackets are the devils work" type replies but obviously not!
We've taken out 2 floats already and she hasn't sunk yet...

ChasingSquirrels Mon 14-Sep-09 21:05:38

both of my boys just sank in float jackets, so armbands here, or woggle/noodle things which are fab.

Caz10 Mon 14-Sep-09 21:31:09

Oh I wonder why that was? Was it the kind with lots of little removable floats? DD eyes the noodle with the same kind of fury as the armbands!

ChasingSquirrels Mon 14-Sep-09 21:36:42

yes that type. don't know why - one was a little fatty, one on the slim size - so I guess not weight.
I thought the idea of the jacket was really good, just wasn't so happy with them sinking!

Caz10 Mon 14-Sep-09 21:57:49

No I can see that would be a little unsatisfactory grin!

I fear I am being a little PFB about this - DD is in the water, happily, on a regular basis - that is enough isn't it?! Never mind the theory behind the best flotation device blush

bruffin Mon 14-Sep-09 23:01:12

I would use discs which is what our swim teachers use, and how mine learnt to swim, I have never seen float jackets in a lesson, I can't see how they would help with swimming at all.

Caz10 Tue 15-Sep-09 21:14:07

It justs gets her in the water bruffin, she is happily "swimming" around completely unaided atm, and I think the idea is that you gradually remove the floats 2 at a time so reducing the buoyancy until she is unaided. Can't see how they don't help tbh!

Caz10 Tue 15-Sep-09 21:16:28

It's like this

bruffin Wed 16-Sep-09 08:11:17

I know what they are, but to anyone thinking of getting them they are a very expensive waste of money. Armbands/discs in the beginning would have been much better.

CMOTdibbler Wed 16-Sep-09 08:31:52

My DS hates armbands with a passion - and when I look at him with them on, I can see why - they are holding him up by having his arms outwards, and when he was really little they took up the whole of his upper arm.

When we are in water he can touch the bottom in, he doesn't have a floatation aid, and when in deeper, he has the float suit and is totally confident in it.

TBH, at 22 months, if the teacher is snotty, I'd drop the lessons and just keep enjoying the water with her

ABetaDad Wed 16-Sep-09 08:58:35

Caz10 - yes get a float jacket. DSs got stroppy about being held and this was the soluton we went for. Arm bands are to restrictive and create bad technique when learning to swim later. Float jackets are safe, do not need blowing up and kids enjoy the freedom while you can have a bit of freedom yourself and enjoy swimming with DD more too.

DD is too young for swimming lessons at 22 months. You are wasting money and probably risk putting her off swimming. Just take her in yourself. Att 22 monts she cannot understand instructions. At that age kids just need to get confidence to go under water and splash about. Our DSs are great swimmers but never had lessons until 5 yrs old.

bruffin Wed 16-Sep-09 11:10:52

Abetadad both my 2 had swim lessons from 6mos and 12mos using discs and they have beautiful technique and are excellent swimmers.
Although up to 3 they were parent/baby lessons and the lessons always provided whatever flotation device needed whether it be discs or woggles.

Just going off to my own swimming lesson and will ask our teachers what they think of swim jackets.

Caz10 Wed 16-Sep-09 21:39:22

Thanks bruffin, would be interested to hear what they say.

I am probably overstating them to call them swimming lessons - we did do waterbabies from about 2-9mths but had to stop that when I went back to work. The ones I'm at now are just the bog standard local authority ones, mother and toddler session, singing songs and splashing about - just stuff you'd do on your own, but with the bonus of company! Also things I maybe would have forgotten about, like last week they were practising climbing out safely. She absolutely loves it, no danger of putting her off. Proper independent lessons start at 4 at our pool.

It is great seeing her being totally independent in the water - I can swim ahead of her, facing her, encourage her etc and she loves being in charge so to speak!

Caz10 Fri 18-Sep-09 20:32:30

Bump cos I want to know what bruffin's swimming people said!smile

bruffin Sat 19-Sep-09 00:07:16

Apologies I didn't ask, Ds had a hospital appointment straight afterwards [see thread on child health]and I got distracted.
I have lunch with the teachers after the lesson so I will ask next week.
But discs/armbands would let her be just as independent.
Doesn't the swim teacher provide armbands/discs?

I used to have a brilliant pair of polyotter armbands like these combo floats

the clip goes under the arm so the blow up bit doesn't hold the arm out. You could also clip them together and they became a swim ring. Unfortunately I don't think you can buy them anymore.

Caz10 Sat 19-Sep-09 21:09:12

Aaw hope your DS is ok.

She'll happily give us armbands/discs, but getting dd to put them on is another matter...and when we only have 1/2 hr in the pool a ten minute fight over armbands just doesn't seem worth it!! smile

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