Mother and Baby

Water Babies Bubba swim float Review

£10.99

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Mother&Baby Awards
  • 2020 Shortlisted Best Swimming Product

At a glance:

The Water Babies swim float helps your little one gain confidence as they surf and swim around. It's easy for them to hold onto and is also bite-proof, leaving no debris around when your youngster is having fun in the water. 

How did this product make your life easier?

Julie: The water babies swimming float makes my life easier as a mum as it gives me a bit of added security in the swimming pool with my daughter, as swimming can be challenging as you must have them in your arms at all times. Adding the swim float made me feel more secure about her safety in the pool.

Catherine: This assisted my little one with his swimming without him even knowing - which is great when he is tired of been 'taught' and just wants fun! He was able to reach for it, hold on, lay back on it and attempt to climb on it which kept him entertained. It also built his confidence in the water and his strength to pull up out of the water. He loves the design of Bubba the whale, which added to his excitement to use this product. It made me more confident in the water with my little boy also - knowing he was confident using his float. We have previously used a 'woggle', but this was far easier to transport to the pool, store in the house and for my little boy to use independently.

Arabella: It's bright and friendly-looking so it's appealing to my daughter - she likes that it has a name! The notch at the top of the float is helpful as it makes it obvious where she should hold it and position it under her chin. The link to Water Babies is also handy, she did the classes when she was small so the reminder of class learning is helpful.

Would you recommend this to other mums?

Magali: It has lovely bright colours, and it's so nice that my little boy insisted on trying it in the bath the day it arrived. It fits perfectly into a normal-sized swimming bag. It's a nice, thick and sturdy-feeling float that does not feel like it would get damaged easily. It survived multiple trips to our swimming pool (and trial runs in the bath) while still looking new.

Laura: It’s a good product, it’s made well, it doesn’t feel flimsy but also has the right weight for my daughter's age. I love that they are customised to suit your child’s age and weight, as my daughter is quite tall for her age and is therefore often overestimated. The design has been kept quite simple and it easily fits into my daughter’s rucksack. It basically does what it says on the tin.

Emma: Teaching children to swim independently seems like an impossible challenge, and any device that helps that is great. This is really good for encouraging your child to kick while swimming, and keeping them leaning forwards, which armbands doesn’t do so well. It is one more thing to bring to the swimming pool, but it’s quite small and our little one likes to carry it herself, so that doesn’t matter so much.

Would you choose this product to win?

Lucy: No as it is only a gimmick to those children familiar with bubba through water babies, not children who have no association with bubba. It technically has nothing above a cheaper basic float as it is not longer-lasting or durable. It is thick and not flimsy which makes it more useful, but no better quality than any other plain float. 

Katie: I do think the float is slightly overpriced for what it is. You can pick up a similar float on amazon for half the price, so I think if money was an issue I would choose a cheaper product. Therefore had it not been gifted to me for this review, I wouldn’t have gone out and bought it myself. In fact, we own a cheaper float which does the job just as well really.

Juliette: I think it's a high-quality product and will become more useful as my little one masters the swim/kick technique, as I think this board will support that really well. At the moment she mainly uses it as surf type board and lies the top half of her body onto it. For mums looking for an aid for their little one to gain confidence in the water, then I would certainly recommend it, and compared to other products, it feels and looks very sturdy. For my daughter's age (nearly 3) I would personally rate buoyancy aids as a must-have swimming product in comparison to this type of product. Having said that, for its comparability to like for like products, it's a worthy winner.

What changes would you make to this product?

Catherine: I think that the addition of handle holes in the float may make this easier for little ones to hold on to when they're not feeling as confident (initially), as well as making transportation easier. This would allow me to clip it to my bag so hands-free! It would also mean I could store it on a hook when not in use, and hang when in the changing room to assist with the drying.

Katie: If I were to change something, I would put some cutouts at the top of the float for hand gripping when swimming. Due to the thickness of the float, it can be hard for younger children to grip onto it, and this was something my son did struggle with. Otherwise, I really liked the product and enjoyed using it.

Laura: Perhaps the size of the floats could be adapted to not only suit the age and weight of the child, but also the height? Being in the 97th centile for height for her age, it means my daughter often finds products for two-year-olds to be too short for her. Given her longer upper body, I wondered whether floats for older children might have been slightly larger and she may have benefitted from a float for an older child.

While training as a journalist at the University of Gloucestershire for 3 years, she was nominated for the Best Feature Category at the Midlands Student’s Media Awards this year, and Head of News and Social Media for the university’s radio station, Tone Radio. Ellie has been published by the likes of Heatworld, Heart, Gloucestershire Live, and ITV West Country. 

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