FREDS Swimwear and Look & Light Review with The Thinking Baby

Every year our  24ft swimming pool goes up in May and stays up until September, the boys love it. We host swimming pool parties for their birthdays and they have lots of friends over to join them for some swimming fun. It doesn’t matter if it’s raining or if the sun is shining the boys will be in the water swimming around every day. They can spend hours playing with each other making up games and swimming up and down, sometimes they are in their before 8 o’clock in the morning and the other day i had to drag them out of the pool at 9 o’clock at night. It’s not hard to see how much my boys love to swim, so when offered to send the boys some swimming related products to review I wasn’t going to turn them down, I knew that they would definitely put them to the test.

The Thinking Baby was founded on the notion that families are best served with products of exceptional quality that enhance the experience of parenting making it more interesting, easier and more enjoyable they regularly seek out new and interesting inventory that they feel will be beneficial to your child and to you. Many of the companies that are represented on The Thinking baby website utilise environmentally-sound products and procedures and support the global community through various methods.

They stock products that come under 3 categories Play and Learn, Soothe and Comfort and Swim and Active.

For Oliver i received the Swimtrainer Classic, see here for separate review, I was very impressed with this swimming buoyancy even Daddy commented on how well it works and Oliver can enjoy being with his brothers in the water without feeling too restricted so he can join in with chasing the ball and splashing around. Along with the swimtrainer there was a pair of FREDS Swim Academy Aqua Beach shoes and a pair of FREDS Swim Academy Neoprene Swim Trunks for Joseph.

Aqua Shoes Pink & Blue

Joseph instantly fell in love with the shoes and says how comfortable they are, he first wore them to the beach on our holiday to Cornwall. He climbed over the rocks with them on and said he couldn’t feel the ragged edges of the rocks under his feet. The shoes are perfect for protecting little feet as the soles are made from silicone which offers ideal protection along a  stony shore, on hot sand and in the sea. The Aqua shoes are made from water permeable textile and are quite flexible through the elasticity of the fabric, they are soft making them easy for children to get on and off. The shoes come in two different colours, pink and blue and in sizes 22-28. Joseph’s was a size 27 and he is normally a UK 8, the fit was quite snug but left no marks on his skin and he never complained on how tight they were. The blue shoes shoes have little stars and palm tree designs on and the pink ones have flowers on them. I really like the look of the shoes and think they are very trendy, I am always on the look out for unusual quirky items of clothing for the boys and i think these are perfect, they are definitely a pair of shoes that i would buy if seen in the shops or online. Joseph has worn them none stop since they arrived, he’s wore them to the beach, to the shops, to the park, danced away at the disco and even on a day trip to London, they have been covered in sand, soaked through by water and caked in mud and yet he still prefers to wear them over his trainers.

Joseph wearing his Aqua Shoes In Hyde Park

The shoes cost a brilliant and well worth £9.99 for more information see here

Along with the shoes we received a pair of FREDS Neoprene Trunks which are designed to enable toddlers and babies to enjoy bathing fun for longer with unrestricted freedom of movement. The Trunks are made from 2.5mm of Neoprene which store body heat in when inside the water and as they are coated with Lycra inside and out they give the optimal fit and comfort. They come in the colour red so are unisex and a range of sizes to suit the child’s height. The waist has a elasticated belt with a clip fastener that can be adjusted to suit your child’s fit, ideal for my Joseph has he has a tiny waistline.

Joseph found these trunks to be comfortable when in the water but he does find them hard to get off when they are wet but that could be due to the fact that they are slightly too small for him. They are quick drying which is perfect if you are at the beach for the day. Joseph first tested them out by jumping into the pool with them on and they must have been comfortable as he spent a good couple of hours swimming around in them. They are soft and lightweight and very stretchy. I love the little FREDS frog on the front and the design of them. The Trunks are reasonably priced at £19.99 and can be found here


And lastly now to the LOOK & LIGHT Nappy change Mirror and Night Light.

The idea of this unique product is that nappy changes can be done with a gentle night light to ensure your baby doesn’t wake from their sleepy state. The beam from the light is a gentle one and not bright enough to wake the baby or anyone else in the room but it gives just enough light for you to see what you are doing. It comes with a heavy base to stop it from falling over and an adjustable leg which can be manoeuvred around so that you can aim the light in the right direction. When your baby no longer wakes in the night for a nappy change it can also be used as a night light for them as it lets of a gentle glow. Not only can it be used at night but on the reverse side there is a mirror which the baby can look at themself in throughout the day. Oliver enjoyed pointing at himself in the reflection and kept pointing at it, he can just about see his reflection in it when he is standing up. The mirror can be moved and positioned just about anywhere, the base of the leg manoeuvres around and the mirror/light moves backwards and forwards and rotates 360 degrees.

Oliver looking at himself

 The Look & Light Night can be used on the baby from newborn not just for a nappy change but also perfect for those midnight feeds when you dont want to wake the whole house up with turning on the lights and even when your eyes are feeling a bit sore from the lack of sleep you have been receiving the gentle glow and lack of white brightness can help. Oliver is 12 months old and he has been looking at his own reflection and smiling at himself in the mirror, It doesn’t have to be for the young members of the family either as Joseph who is 5 has used the mirror to look into when he is brushing his teeth and Jak has been using the light for some late night reading. As the Look & Light is cordless it easy to move from one room to the other and set up anywhere, it is battery operated and takes 2 AA’s.

The light and mirror will grow with your child and will be used for years to come, it is priced at £39.99 and can be found here. It would make a brilliant gift to any new parent.

I was sent these items for review purposes only and have received no payment for my review.


Swimming for the baby, Freds SWIMTRAINER CLASSIC Red Review

Swimming is a fun activity for the whole family but it can also play a huge part of a baby’s development. Being in the water gives the baby independence, they can learn balance and awareness, it gives them confidence and can help them with their social skills. Having fun in the water whilst swimming can help children develop a positive relationship with the water and can give them a sense of achievement.

As a family we have always been keen on swimming, the boys love to splash about all day long and enjoy the freedom they get when in the water, Daddy is a good swimmer too and has taught the two eldest to swim and both of them were confident swimmers by the time they were 4 years old. I am not too keen on swimming, i’m not very confident in the water but do still enjoy the sense freedom and like to play with the boys in the pool so i don’t want the boys to be like me I want them to have confidence and to be able to swim themselves to safety if they ever get into trouble in the water. Every year come May time we always get our pool, Daddy sets it up with the pump and heater, chlorinates it and cleans the filters, he puts a lot of work into the pool so that the boys can enjoy their swimming at any time of the day. This year is the first year that Oliver has been able to enjoy the pool too, he loves to splash his big brothers and likes to move about in the water. He has a baby ring that he sits in but he doesn’t like to feel restricted and is always trying to get out of it, he gets his little legs out of the seat within seconds so he isn’t very safe in it and as our pool is 4ft deep swimming with him isn’t very comfortable I am always worrying about him falling out.

The Swimtrainer Classic Red can be used with the baby from as early as 3 months old, it is designed to put the baby into the correct swimming position in the water by allowing the baby to lay forward instead of sitting upwards. The swimtrainer gives children the necessary sense of achievement and security in the water during every stage of their development. This forms the basis for being successful at learning how to swim. The specially designed swimtrainer aids are introduced according to the child’s age and learning ability (red, orange, yellow). The SWIMTRAINER “Classic” is used with babies to support their early development, it has inflatable straps and pads to prevent baby from slipping through and adjustable safety belt which also prevents the baby from tipping forward.

Classic Swim Trainer (Red)

We was sent a Swimtrainer classic from http://www, for Oliver to try out, it arrived a couple of days before we left for our holiday which was perfect and I couldn’t wait to see little Oliver in it. It took only a few minutes to blow up and was easy to get him in it, as i said before he doesn’t like to feel restricted and as soon as i put him in it he started to pull at it trying to get out of it. I adjusted the straps to fit him and clipped him in using the inflatable safety belt that is attached to the ring, the clip is extra safe as it has a safety piece of plastic that snaps on top of the clips ensuring that the clips do not come undone during use in the water. Once he stood up and started walking in it he started to become more comfortable and was getting used to having it around him, he could move around easily and the swimtrainer wasn’t stopping him.



We walked to the pool and in he went, straight away he leaned forward and i instantly grabbed out to him to steady him but i didn’t need to as the swimtrainer was supporting him under his belly. He looked very comfortable and was soon laying forward and kicking his little feet. The inflatable belly panel was supporting and hugging him making him feel comfortable, I let go of him and let him go of on his own, he was having lots of fun and was even moving in the water on his own, he had his arms laying forward over the ring and was moving his hands about in the water and generally enjoying himself splashing around. I felt at ease that he was safe and secure in the trainer and i was starting to enjoy being in the water with him, normally after about 5 minutes he is trying to climb out if his support ring to get into the water but with Oliver sitting in his swimtrainer and enjoying himself he just stayed put and carried on kicking his legs feeling completely free he went in any direction he wanted to.

I am very impressed with the swimtrainer classic and would definitely recommend it to other parents. It folds up into a nice and neat flat pile and is lightweight which is ideal for your luggage when packing a suitcase for a holiday. Not only does it give the baby freedom and confidence in the water but it also puts parents at ease knowing that your child will not tip over or slip through the ring. The swimtrainer classic red is suitable for babies of 13-40lbs/6-18kg.

The swimtrainer classic is available in three colours red, yellow and orange depending on age/weight of the child and can be bought here for £19.50.

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unfortunately i have no photographs of Oliver in the water wearing the Swimtrainer as i was not allowed to take photos of him in the pool

I was sent a swimtrainer classic red for the purpose of this review and have not received any payment. All words and thoughts are my own.

update from 6/8/12. Oliver had a swim in the pool today in our garden (the water looks a bit green but it’s just where it’s not been used for a while and the algae has settled on the floor, 15 minutes of swimming around and the chlorine was doing it’s work again)