We were sent the Baby Annabell Interactive Doll to review a few months ago. Diva G, now 8yo loves swimming – both lessons and for fun so this was a welcome addition to her dolly family.

She joins many Baby Annabell’s in our home and the launch of Baby Annabell Learns to Swim is supported by none other than Olympian Rebecca Adlington.

A passionate advocate of kids learning to swim with her own swimming programme, ‘The Becky Way’, Rebecca Adlington says: “Learning to swim is an important milestone, helping to instil confidence from an early age as well as being a really fun bonding experience between a parent and child. If your little one is nervous it can be a challenging process – expect plenty of tears and tantrums, however initial fears can be overcome by slowly building confidence and trust.” Whether your child is an anxious swimmer or an excited water baby, Rebecca Adlington’s top tips will help turn your child into a little Olympian in no time.

Baby Annabell Learns To Swim Rebecca Adlington

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.

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.

Baby Annabell Learns to Swim dollyjpgWith a name like Baby Annabell Learns to Swim as you would expect her specialist subject is “swimming” however she is only a baby and learning to swim. She comes in a swimsuit, her own hooded towel and little armbands. The required 3 x AA batteries (not included) provide the power Baby Annabell needs to moves her arms and legs and make little baby splashes in the water.

There is a knack to getting baby going and it took me a little while (I didn’t read the instructions – big tip there!) to work out that you need to follow the stages in a specific order. Sit Baby Annabell up where she splashes her arms, allow baby to float on her back with your hand underneath and she giggles and gurgles with delight. Then remove your hand and Baby Annabell kicks her legs and moves her as she learns to swim. She does move through the water but very  v e r y   s l o w l y.

Baby Annabell Learns To Swim in bathIt is definitely great to have a water compatible baby in our dolly family – it saves the others from an unexpected dip! My little girl enjoys having a baby to play with in the bath and also to take swimming. After a dip in the bathroom or swimming pool baby is generally drying out so hasn’t really been played with away from water.

My daughter is 8yo and whilst she enjoys this doll I would say it is more suited to younger children age 3-7yo who are learning to swim themselves. Diva G is a good swimmer now and our swimming Baby Annabell still comes to the pool but she does have to sit on the side to watch quite a bit!

Baby Annabell Learns to Swim Doll by Baby Annabell is available for £49.99 from all good toy shops and other retailers.

*Disclosure: We were sent Baby Annabell learns to swim for the purpose of this review, however, all opinions are my own.