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Tips for Encouraging Children To Swim with Rebecca Adlington - Plus WIN A Baby Annabell Learns to Swim Doll

Baby Annabell - the UK's number one selling large doll brand has teamed up with Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington to celebrate the launch of their brand new Baby Annabell Learns to Swim doll.


Babbling happy, the Baby Annabell Learns to Swim doll splashes, moves her arms and legs when she comes in contact with water and floats on her back. The water baby comes with her own towel and inflatable water rings as well as swimsuit and is one of this year's must-have Christmas toys. Heidi has always loved playing with her baby Annabell toys (check out our reviews of the Baby Annabell Bathtub and Baby Annabell Learns to walk) and I can vouch for their quality - our Baby Annabell toys and products are still in perfect condition now. I think this new Learn To Swim doll is going to be a real hit with children and can imagine it will help to encourage their own confidence in the water too. To mark the launch, Olympian Rebecca Adlington has shared her tips for encouraging your little ones into the water too.......


Rebecca Adlington's Top Tips for Encouraging Children to Swim


1 - Children can be initially nervous of the water, baby steps and lots of praise will help them overcome a lack of confidence. Try taking them alone to just watch for the first time, then toes in next time and so on, along with lots of positive praise to help encourage them to take that first dip. 

2 -Toys are a brilliant tool, they are such a good distraction for anyone who doesn’t normally like putting their face in the water or splashing. Toys such as the new Baby Annabell Learns to Swim doll are a great way to give children (and parents!) the courage to take those first steps towards swimming.

3 - Swimming is huge bonding experience. The learning process is a lot to do with trust and really builds a closer relationship between and parent and child. For this reason, try not to use your phone during lessons to avoid distractions.

4 - The younger you start swimming lessons the better. I took Summer from 3 weeks old. It is all about building confidence and awareness of the water from a young age. Swimming also helps with a child’s muscular development and is fantastic for understanding their physical abilities. 

5 - Make good use of the equipment that’s there. Whether it’s armbands, noodles, or vests, use whatever your child is more comfortable with. I tend to do five minutes with floatation equipment and five without, this helps when they’re really young and still building confidence. 

6 - Mix up who takes the child swimming. Whether its Mum, Dad, Grandparents etc. It’s good to go with someone they trust whilst getting used to swimming with different people.



Suitable for ages 3+, Baby Annabell Learns to Swim Doll is available from all good toy shops and Amazon now (click here to buy - affiliate).

Baby Annabell Learns to Swim Doll Giveaway


I am delighted that Zapf Creation has provided us with one Baby Annabell Learns to Swim Doll to Giveaway to one lucky reader. To enter, simply use the rafflecopter below. There are 9 ways you can enter - you can do them all to increase your chances or just one, it's up to you. Daily entry is available via Twitter.




Terms and conditions:

  • Prize is one Baby Annabell Learns To Swim Doll. RRP £49.99
  • UK entries only. Prize can be posted to any UK address.
  • Over 18s only
  • Prize is non-transferable and no refunds or alternatives are available.
  • Winner will be selected at random from all valid entries within 7 days of the giveaway ending and contacted via Email.
  • Giveaway ends midnight 15/10/17
  • Employees and family of Zapf Creation and North East Family Fun are excluded from entry.
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71 comments

  1. Keep at it, never give up!
    Make it fun and perhaps let your little ones choose which swimming costume, colour of goggles they would like, try and get them involved.

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  2. Have fun and don't worry if they don't get it first time make it fun and be encouraging

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  3. Have fun and enjoy it

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  4. Most of all make it enjoyable for them. I really wish I had taken the kids when they were smaller.

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  5. Start early! Introduce your baby to water as soon as they are well enough to avoid fear later on. I took all my four babies to our local pool from the age of 6 weeks to get them used to the water!

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  6. I don't have any kids and can't swim very well myself. It would certainly be beneficial for kids to start swimming at a young age.

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  7. Join classes so that they can share the experience with other little ones rather than sharing a pool with lots of adults who splash and are loud

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  8. I would say start early to give them the confidence in water...

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  9. Just be patient and make it fun x

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  10. Start them from babies, make it fun, small goals! And keep it safe, don't push them x

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  11. keep it fun so they dont become scared of the water x

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  12. Swimming lessons from an early age always helped mine!

    @Kellycloggs

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  13. Start them when they are babies turn into a game take toys and have fun!

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  14. I was praising a lot when we my daughter started her swimming lessons. before she joined to a class we took her to the local pool couple of times a week and played pool games and she wanted to get lessons.

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  15. get in the water and show them its safe

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  16. Have fun...no pressure to swim-just enjoy the water :-))

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  17. Always go at your child's pace

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  18. The best way to get your child familiar with the water is to start in the bathtub or kiddie pool once he or she can confidently sit up on their own (typically around 6 months). Having this experience in a calm, happy place will help your child stay relaxed in the more chaotic environment of a public pool or beach.

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  19. To be honest I am not a confident swimmer myself so my husband teaches our children. My tip is to let the strongest swimmer teach your children!

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  20. Take the children to local swimming pool at a young age (baby), accompanied by competent swimmer/s. Introduce little one to the water (swimming pool) gradually ( at baby's pace). Make sure you all behave safely, there should also be life guards at the pool. Allow little one to have fun in the pool with use of floats etc ( suitable for age and ability of baby/ child). Book a session of swimming lessons when appropriate ( discuss with life guards / staff at local swimming pool). Flotation vests can be good for youngsters. Allow little ones to build up confidence and skills in the swimming pool whilst accompanied by competent swimmer / responsible adult.

    Rachel Craig

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  21. Take the grandparents to the pool and encourage the children to play with them and get used to the water before teaching them to swim

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  22. Start off with a nice heated pool, there's nothing less enjoyable for kids than a cold pool!

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  23. My niece is coming along nicely. I think having family and friends in the pool helps.

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  24. Start early and make it fun

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  25. Don't take your child out of their comfort zone, let them have fun in the water until they build up their confidence!

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  26. Start as early as possible before they develop a fear of the water

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  27. Start early! Make it super fun too with floaties

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  28. My top tips are to not over face them, or push too far too quickly - and if they're a bit older splashing around in the shallows where they can comfortably stand is a great place to start!

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  29. Take your little ones to the swimming baths when they are young -confidence and natural ability soon follow

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  30. Keep it as fun as you can but safety first!

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  31. get in the water with them and make it fun, dancing around in the water, quietly singing along to your child to reassure them, and telling them its just a big bath

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  32. Grandson gets taken where there are activities going on, floaty toys etc, he loves it

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  33. Starting young, we introduced our children to the water when they were babies toe ase them in, they then had lessons and are now all ace swimmers x

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  34. Make them feel comfortable and relaxed while holding them in the water and letting them splash so they don't mind water on their face

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  35. My children are very confident around water, we have taken them swimming since 12 weeks old, my son had swimming lessons in school and is a very confident swimmer, my daughter is five so hasn't started swimming lessons in school yet, she loves to go swimming/splashing/jumping xXx

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  36. Take them swimming often and make it lots and lots of fun 🏊

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  37. I would start early to give them the confidence in water. Maybe start with some classes with other children of the same age.

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  38. make it fun, and show them some confidence, use floating aids as I have found that the kids love them

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  39. To start young & to make it fun

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  40. Its all about the confidence, make it fun and instill as much confidence with lots of praise and cuddles!

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  41. Take siblings for support! Reward and encourage them.. giving them a confidence boost!

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  42. Take them often and look into swimming classes.

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  43. We go as much as we can and play games in the pool with floats and bits n bobs which gets them playing and enjoying the water

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  44. make lessons fun as well as educational

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  45. Start from a very early age . So that they get a feel for the water.

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  46. My 2 and half year old twin granddaughter are learning to swim at the moment! I go with their mum a couple of times a week to our local pool, and they are progressing well!! My tips are ... 1) Show confidence 2) make learning fun 3) Get them used to putting their heads underwater first 4) use arm bands fully inflated when first learning, gradually deflating them as the child gets more confident 5)Let them do things at their own pace, being patient with them!

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  47. Start them early at a young age - the earlier they feel comfortable in the water the better it will be. Start swimming lessons at 6 months, the perfect age to learn to swim.

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  48. i have had my lil ones in swimming lessons I really believe swimming is important its a life skill also the worry of a mum if they fell in a pool lake it takes some worry away knowing they can swim its also healthy exercise

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  49. I use lots of encouragement and make it as fun as possible with pushing them to far out of their comfort zone

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  50. get them swimming as young as possible so they can not build up a fear of water
    also get in worth them nice and relaxed and make it fun

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  51. We used to play games in the pool to get used to the water to start with rather than learning to swim at the beginning.

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  52. We hire a swim
    Slot at a local private pool for our family one a week, because we are there ourselves and have lots of fun our daughter daphne has increased her confidence swimming through play

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  53. I would stay start as early as possible to get them used to water and make learning fun!

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  54. To start as early as possible. Also, let them have lots of water play in the bath, as full as they are comfortable and let them splash, and pour water over themselves and head with encouragement.

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  55. I am just starting my baby daughter with swimming, we have introduced our niece who came to live with us two years ago and she loves it, I think making it fun helps.

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  56. Definitely start early and encourage games x

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  57. It's really important to introduce children to swimming as early as possible and it's really important to make it fun. One of the best ways is to introduce them to water and swimming through a paddling pool so they get used to getting water in their eyes and on their face.

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  58. I would advise you start baby swimming lessons

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  59. start early when they are babies, getting them used to the water and growing up enjoying it is massively important

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  60. start as early as you can make it fun

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  61. Start early - it removes the anxiety - or did in my daughters case xxx

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  62. You have to start early to build that confidence in them.......though letting them into the pool is so hard, it doesn't take them long to get used to then enjoy it

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  63. Make it fun and encouraging xx

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  64. Encourage blowing bubbles, its important to learn breath control. When you submerge and blow bubbles make sure you come up with a smile on your face to show your child how much fun you are having and they will want to try it for themselves, It will increase his/her comfort levels in the water x x x

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I always love reading your thoughts and comments - Sam x

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