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Swim jackets and float suits, are they worth it?

(23 Posts)
madmarchhare Tue 27-Feb-07 18:07:44

you know, those ones with the removable floats.

We go to swimming lessons but he doesnt have arm bands or anything. I am with him in the water and there are two instructors to 5 children.

Anyway, we're off on hols this year with pools galore and not as confident to be in with no floats/whatever when there are no life saver types about. Im rambling now...

Overtiredmum Tue 27-Feb-07 18:10:48

My DS is 20 months and we got him one (at the cost of thirty quid from Mothercare) and he won't wear it He wears armbands OK, so am thinking I'll just take those rathern pack a rather bulky life jacket thingy that he won't wear - waste of thirty quid and can't find the receipt so can't take it back

Overtiredmum Tue 27-Feb-07 18:11:26

* rather than - its gonna be one of those nights!!

Ladymuck Tue 27-Feb-07 18:15:52

It may depend on the child - neither of mine took to armbands!

We used jackets with removable floats and found that they were great for learning to swim. During their swimming lessons some of the floats got removed over time until they didn't need the jacket, but when we took them swimming for fun we always put all the floats back in. It was also a lot easier when on holiday, though I have to say that I always prefer to have a lifeguard around.

I've managed a reasonable resale value for mine on ebay (given the amount of use we got out of them!).

CorrieDale Tue 27-Feb-07 18:17:58

DS (also 20 mo) has swimming lessons where the instructor uses a variety of floats. Last week, really fancy lifejackets, with 8 sewn-in floats, appeared. DS hated it and we quickly had to swap for his usual woggle and float-belt. But the other 3 children loved them and I think all the mums have bought one. I can see why - they're ever so safe looking, and all of the toddlers could kind of swim when they were wearing them. But if your child won't wear it, then it's money down the drain. So to speak.

Overtiredmum, try ebaying it! Or see if DS will wear it in a month or so...

KezzaG Tue 27-Feb-07 18:21:11

I normally use arm bands with ds. It was such a relief to let him bob about without having to wear my arms out!

I went to Centreparcs though and they have those lifejacket things and I thought they were really good, but not neccessarily any better than arm bands tbh if you are going to be in the water with them.

however, if it came to a lifesaving situation where ds had managed to get into a pool without me realising (god forbid) I would trust the lifejacket thing to keep him upright and safer than just arm bands.

roisin Tue 27-Feb-07 18:24:47

If you are at a pool with more than one U5 non-swimmer to supervise, then buoyancy aids can be helpful (though they should still be very closely supervised.)

If you've just got one child I don't think they're necessary.

SecondhandRose Tue 27-Feb-07 18:26:55

There were for us, definitely. Although DD once jumped in forgetting she didn't have it on! So much less sore than pulling bands on and off.

Overtiredmum Tue 27-Feb-07 18:47:48

We're off to Center Parcs in March so will try his jacket again then. Then off to Spain in May but its too bulky to pack when we can only take two cases. We are gonna try and take him swimming every weekend between now and then and hope for the best! It was well embarrassing the first time we took him swimming, he screamed the place down and everyone looked at us as if we were trying to drown him!! Will keep trying though, and if no luck will maybe try and sell on Ebay or MN!

madmarchhare Tue 27-Feb-07 19:19:42


I never thought about packing and being bulky, mmmm.

rarrie Tue 27-Feb-07 20:18:07

I bought mine from mothercare on Sat and they had 20% off. My DD loves hers and it helped to give her confidence.

nikkie Tue 27-Feb-07 20:40:30

I had one for dd1 who never really used it, used it for dd2 who is a dare devil and really helped that I could blink and know she hadn't disappeared!

Only used it on holiday as that was the only time she wasn't on a 1:1

Callmemadam Tue 27-Feb-07 21:48:11

Yes, big fan here of Bobbins, which I used for last 3 dcs with great success. Have one dd who swims at a very high standard for her age, and her instructor always said that the bobbin helps little ones to learn arm movements more easily than those with arm bands which restrict forward motion. TBH, I also found that if they were wearing a bobbin around the pool I worried less than with armbands which can deflate. My local leisure centre stocks Bobbins.

FluffyMummy123 Tue 27-Feb-07 21:48:46

Message withdrawn

madmarchhare Tue 27-Feb-07 21:54:26

think you might be outoted fish

madmarchhare Tue 27-Feb-07 21:54:45

outvoted even

Hulababy Tue 27-Feb-07 22:00:56

DD has always had a vest which she prefers to arm bands. Really came into their own at the water parks in Florida. We have gradually removed floats as she has gotten my confident in the water - now down to 2 most of the time.

ediemay Tue 27-Feb-07 22:04:26

The jackets are great for improving confidence. Arm bands restrict arm movements and make it difficult to teach them to pull forwards with their arms. The arm discs are a good alternative too and take up less room in your case!

Surfermum Tue 27-Feb-07 22:06:08

For safety purposes arm bands are fine, but for getting them swimming properly a back float like this is better.

Last summer when dd was just 3 we put her in arm bands if we were messing around on boards in the sea, but at the pool always used the back float.

FluffyMummy123 Tue 27-Feb-07 22:06:35

Message withdrawn

ediemay Tue 27-Feb-07 22:08:50

that's a great site surfermum

Surfermum Tue 27-Feb-07 22:16:17

Ediemay's right about arm bands. They restrict arm movements and hold them too upright in the water. Dd came on great guns with her swimming once we put her in the floats.

mckenzie Tue 27-Feb-07 22:30:39

Overtiredmum, fwiw, DD didn't like the look of the jacket at all until we put it on her teddy a few times and just left him sitting in it. Today she wore it with no problem.

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