Featured Business of the week- Aquatots Swimming

Are you looking for a swimming course for your baby and confused about all the classes on offer.  Our featured business this week is Aquatots Swimming.  Founded in 1998 Aquatots has recently celebrated its 17th Birthday and their 10,000th baby! This family run business not only prides itself on providing the elite in baby swimming teaching but also a customer service policy providing experienced support staff 5 days a week.

 Aqua Tots
The classes take place all across Gloucestershire,Worcestershire, Hereford, Wiltshire and Birmingham, providing you with lots of choice of venue,location and times.
Managing Director and founder Fiona Munt-Whittle personally trains every teacher ensuring the highest quality of teaching continues throughout the team. Aquatots teachers must be ASA or STA level II swimming teachers and undergo over 100 hours of training to become a fully qualified Aquatots Instructor and also attend life guard training every 8 weeks.  Aquatots teachers also undergo continued learning and CPD.
Aquatots will never cancel a course once it has started (due to insufficient numbers) and does not allow new members to join after week 3. With 28 exercises to pick up in the first term too much learning would have been missed! Aquatots will never automatically take money from you for the following term.
Structured 9 Level Programme
Whilst we appreciate you can probably find cheaper baby swimming classes we are not all the same. Aquatots believe that continued investment in our teachers and constantly evaluating our programme provides the outstanding results we have become renowned for.
Aquatots also offer :
  • Free Taster Sessions
  • 3 Week Introduction Courses
  • Free Catch Up Classes if you can not make your class (subject to availability)
  • Classes available 7 days a week
  • 24 hour Online Booking System
  • Maximum of 8 babies in a class (We average 5 per class)
  • Beautifully embroidered badge and certificate following each completed level.
  • ‘Recommend a Friend’ gift vouchers to our parents
  • Gift Vouchers for presents
  • Competitively priced photo shoots 3 times a year
 Aquatots have an amazing 86% re-booking rate.

Kangaroo Care for Babies and the Benefits of skin to skin Contact

Originally Posted on April 30 2015 on http://www.vija-design.co.uk/

All babies thrive on touch.  For babies, close skin to skin contact is a natural expectation, representing safety, food and shelter.  It is within every parent’s power to initiate this amazing first embrace and yet parents are not always aware of the power of Kangaroo Care for their new baby.  Many dismiss it, believing it is only for premature babies.

Kangaroo Care/Skin-to-Skin Contact has enormous benefits for preterm infants but it also has huge benefits for full term babies and yet it is often overlooked in today’s busy birth units.  It is often mistakenly thought of as an intervention only for low birth weight and preterm infants however the same life-saving responses a pre-term baby has to being held skin to skin are life-enhancing experiences for all babies and those responses can have an incredible positive effect on all babies development.  Practising Skin-to-Skin daily for the first 6 months of a baby’s life creates an amazing foundation for them to build the rest of their life on.

Full term babies held Skin-to-Skin remain in deep sleep for longer periods of time, they show improved brain development, regulation of temperature and heartbeat, reduced stress, improvements in weight gain and are at lower risk of serious infection.  Close physical contact with their mother stimulates natural breastfeeding behaviours in babies and enables sharing of antibodies and immunity from mother to baby.  Production of the hormone ‘oxytocin’ is raised enormously in both parent and child during Skin-to-Skin Contact and this encourages bonding and greatly reduces the symptoms of Post Natal Depression in mothers.

Whatever your birth environment you can ask for immediate Kangaroo Care/Skin-to-Skin Contact with your baby.  It is not just for preterm.  Have you added it to your birth plan?  Is it something that has been mentioned in your antenatal appointments or classes?  Skin-to-Skin contact with your full term baby for 60 minutes immediately post birth greatly increases the chances of initiating breastfeeding successfully and continuing it ongoing.  It also immediately implements  all the other benefits of Kangaroo Care/Skin-to-Skin Contact – Oxytocin release for mother and child, 10 x less crying, improved mental and physical development for the child, temperature and heart rate regulation in baby, improved sensitivity to infant cues and enhanced bonding.

Regular, daily doses of Kangaroo Care/Skin-to-Skin Contact during a full term baby’s early life (up to 6 months/15lbs), offers the chance to maximise the health benefits and positive effects on babies physical and mental development, it increases natural parent and child bonding and will have a lifelong benefit to all the family.  Vija Design offer a range of specially designed Kangaroo Care Garments to allow easy, daily Kangaroo Care/Skin-to-Skin Contact anytime, anywhere whilst getting on with the rest of your daily routine.  It is our mission to build a smarter, stronger and better bonded society through Kangaroo Care/Skin-to-Skin Contact.  Find out more about this powerful tool for supporting your baby’s development at: http://vija-design.co.uk/pages/benefits-of-skin-to-skin-kangaroo-care


Free Things To Do With Children When it’s Raining

The wonderful British Summer is doing it’s usual trick of fooling us with one or two lovely sunny days, and then dumping a bucket-load of rain on us.  So what do you get up to with your children when it’s raining and you’re stuck inside?

Here are a few ideas to keep you all busy, and that won’t break the bank either:

1. Try a treasure hunt. Make one set of clues for every player (try rhyming the clues for fun), each clue leading to the next one and, finally, to the treasure. Put them in envelopes marked with a clue number (i.e., 2/7, or “two of seven”) and hide them around the house.  The numbered clues will help the treasure hunters keep track and let them know when they have nearly found the treasure! Whoever solves the clues first and finds the treasure—a small toy, a choice of their favourite dinners, maybe a cache of coins (regular or chocolate)—is the winner. Any prize will do.  Maybe your kids can play as a team to solve the clues—and uncover the treasure—together.  Try getting them to invent a treasure hunt for the grownups once they have finished theirs.

2. Den building can be something which keeps kids busy for an afternoon. Who says tents have to stay outside? If you have a pop-up or small dome tent, it’s easy to set up camp for your kids indoors. If not, you can create tents by draping sheets over the sofa or a clothes airer. Make them comfy with airbeds, pillows, and sleeping bags, then follow through with an indoor picnic to be eaten “under canvas.” As a special treat they can sleep there for the night.

3. Play games together. If you have very little ones, it is the oldest child’s job to help themthink of what comes next.

One-word story: Starting with “Once upon a time,” go around the room and have each person add a single word to the story. Tip: Decide on a genre in advance―fairy tale, ghost story, etc.―and go from there.

Improvised poetry: One person says a line of poetry, and the next must say a line that rhymes with it, and so on. Let kids say the first line; it’s up to you to find the rhyme.

Yes, and…monster! Invent an imaginary monster, with each person adding a new characteristic to the first person’s monster description. Every new idea has to start with an enthusiastic, “Yes, and…” and build on what has already been described.

4. Dance! Put on some cds or a music channel and dance together. Nothing gets rid of energy like a good boogie.  You could add a game like musical statues or musical bumps, or keep it simple and get everyone moving.

5. Do some baking.  Kids love baking. Keep it simple and make something like flapjack or cookies, or get really creative.  Maybe allow each child to choose an extra ingredient to add (maybe give them a choice instead of allowing them free rein!) and then eat the results.  Baking is so rewarding for children, even more so when they can indulge in the final result.

The power of having continuous support in labour (Testimonial)

Are you thinking about having a doula? This couple used one and share their thoughts on why they felt it was a great option for them,and helped them get the birth they wanted.


If you are considering using my services, or hiring a doula, please read the testimonial below.

After a traumatic experience with my first labour which I didn’t feel went well I

was keen to have a more positive and less stressful experience the second time

round. As well as the physical recovery being a long one with my first birth

despite a normal delivery, I also found the emotional recovery hard. After much

discussion between ourselves as to whether we could just manage on our own and

whether a doula would be worth the money for us we decided to hire a doula for the

second birth. We were unsure to start with whether this was the right choice for

us, as having a baby is a very intimate experience and would having an additional

person in the room be of benefit or feel more like a hindrance? Would my…

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Fun Summer Activities for you and your family.

Summer is here although we wouldn’t know it when we look out of the window!  Here at GlosNatal we’ve put found some great ideas to keep you and your family entertained whether it rains or shines.

Loads of ideas and activities from the Woodland Trust to keep you busy:


This website gives some brilliant ideas for things to do for all ages:


More ideas for toddlers here:


Looking for holiday playschemes?


We’ll be adding more local events and activities as we get closer to six weeks break.