Armbands, floatpacks, noodles etc are all designed to promote safety in the pool. I bet more people injure themselves on wet changing room floors than in the pool though.
The kind chaps at Nattymat sent us a couple of their mats to try out as they knew that we are keen baby and toddler swimmers. It's always nice when you get sent something because of your interests!
I was a bit bemused about what it actually was when we were introduced to the product but having used one, I am a bit surprised that they aren't more common. There's nothing worse than trying to keep a giddy toddler upright on a wet changing room floor whilst you change yourself and this is a perfect solution.
A Nattymat has two sides - a waterproof side that you can put down on the changing room floor and a soft side that is made from a microfibre and bamboo blend. You can't feel the bamboo, it should be noted - it feels a bit like standing on a slightly padded flannel.
The advantage of having your own little mat with you is pretty obvious :
no standing on grubby, verruca-harbouring changing room floors
your child cannot fall over (and nor can you!)
it's much softer on your feet
Bamboo has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties but most importantly it is absorbent, that means that when you drip onto the mat, it doesn't get sodden through.
Now, I am not one to wax lyrical, but having spent many hours standing on horrible changing room floors, I can assure you that standing on my Nattymat was infinitely preferable.
But the best bit about the Nattymat is that once you are done, you simply drop your wet stuff onto the waterproof side of the mat and zip it up! Voila! A handbag sized parcel of all your wet stuff that won't get everything around it wet. Quite simply, it's a great idea.
Now it should be noted that the Nattymat wouldn't accommodate a beach towel, but a regular sized towel and trunks fit easily. It's easy to carry around afterwards and looks a bit cooler than transporting everything in your Tesco carrier bag. Once you get home, just empty the stuff out and hang up the Nattymat. It dries easily in a couple of hours with no wringing out and it is machine washable.
I have to admit that we got two and I would advise anyone to do the same if you have kids, rather than queuing for the Nattymat!
All-in-all, a great bit of kit that will last you years. :) The product costs £9.99 and can also be used for lots of other things - a bit more padding ona stadium seat, sitting out on the park; sitting on damp garden furniture etc etc.
Both mummy and daddy have full time jobs with long hours and so we had to make the decision over whether or not to put Doofy in nursery. Even if we have a day off he sometimes goes in. Does this make us bad parents?...