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PICS: Buoy, this baby spa beats mom's womb

Baby & Toddler
At first sight the bizarre, brightly-coloured doughnut-like ring around the babies’ necks was disconcerting. And then the smiles and peaceful states of sleep became clear. These babies were in absolute bliss.

The water floatation device, designed for newborn to six-months-old, allowed them to be immersed in water and buoyed by the rings, they bob about as if they were in the safest place they knew – back in the womb.

It’s all apart of the trendy, luxury baby spa experience and Instagrammers are lapping it up.

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BOBBING ABOUT: The current Instagram craze - babies at a baby spa - an idea conceptualised by a South African swimming coach.BOBBING ABOUT: The current Instagram craze - babies at a baby spa - an idea conceptualised by a South African swimming coach.BOBBING ABOUT: The current Instagram craze - babies at a baby spa - an idea conceptualised by a South African swimming coach.BOBBING ABOUT: The current Instagram craze - babies at a baby spa - an idea conceptualised by a South African swimming coach.

And why wouldn’t they be? It’s “baby season” in celebrity-ville with the likes of Beyoncé and Amal Clooney all showing off their bumps – both are expecting twins – and reviving competition for business in the “industry”.

Can you picture the clamouring for designer clothing labels? The makers of milk supplements? And the prams, etc

Let’s face it, it’s a new and very good-looking kind of “baby boom”.

What’s interesting about the spa is that it was conceptualised by a South African and, while it might sound the height of overindulgence, the premise, that babies need massage and spa baths, isn’t all that far fetched. (In fact, moms with colic babies are said to swear by it).

We – and by we I mean Google – are pretty sure that the baby spa concept is a South African special. According to an article in the UK’s Daily Mail, the world’s first well-recognised baby spa was said to have opened its doors on another world famous mom’s doorstep – Kate Middleton’s in Kensington, London in 2010 by South African swim coach Laura Sevenus.

Sevenus is known for pioneering the BabySwim method in this country and remains a member of the SA Swimming Teachers and Coaches Association, as well as the Institute of Swimming Teachers and Coaches, UK.

In the interview, Sevenus said she always knew she had a great idea.

But it was when her engineer husband developed the Bubby – said floatation device – which clips around the back of the baby’s neck and supports their heads while they are in the temperature-controlled water, that made it plausible.

It keeps their mouth clear of the water, while allowing them to float and kick about safely. The massage is said to be therapeutic as well. The back and the top of the buttocks are where babies apparently store a lot of tension from crying.

Sevenus has gone on to open up numerous other baby spas across the world in Madrid, Spain, in Perth, Australia, in Brackenhurst, Alberton in South Africa.

Of course, others have followed and Sevenus said she was flattered.

On her site she warns though, “ when it comes to your child, I am sure you will agree that you cannot be too discerning.

“The environmental conditions and quality of water used in any baby spa must be of the highest standard. These conditions can only be achieved with jet-free equipment that is specially designed for babies taking account of their unique and delicate nervous and sensory systems.

“Most importantly, all personnel working with babies should be medically trained and have an extensive knowledge of child development.”

If you’d rather massage and swim with your baby yourself, you’d be forgiven; but either way, with all the international swimmers South Africa has produced, I say why not get them into the water as soon as you can.”

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