Rebecca Adlington on embracing motherhood and her first swim with baby Summer

hellomagazine.com

With a personal trainer and a former Olympic champion for parents, it's no wonder that Summer Needs is a little water baby. The six-week-old daughter of Rebecca Adlington and Harry Needs has only just arrived into the world, but she's already enjoyed a dip in the pool three times.

Becky, who has previously said that giving birth was harder than winning her gold medals, has opened up about her baby's first swimming lesson – and how much motherhood has changed her life.

"It was absolutely brilliant," Becky told HELLO! Online of Summer's first dip. "You never know how babies are going to react but Summer was absolutely brilliant in the water. When we first bathed her, she just screamed the whole time so I was a bit worried but now she loves bath time."

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Becky Adlington's daughter Summer was three weeks old when she went for her first swim

Baby Summer was just three and a half weeks old when she first had a splash in the pool, and since then, new parents Becky and Harry have taken their daughter back twice.

"We both love being in the water so for us, it's amazing that we can take her in and share this family time together," said Becky, who has collaborated with HUGGIES Little Swimmers. "Harry and I go in the water and pass her to one another and take turns going under the water. She comes back up, blinks a lot and there's been no tears at all. It's going really well so far."

Calling it her best memory yet, Becky, 26, added: "That's the one thing I was so excited about, taking her swimming and buying the costumes. She can't do much at this stage – we can't take her to the zoo and she doesn't really play with toys yet – but swimming is the one thing she can do and we can all do it together as a family."

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"She's really laid back and chilled but when she wants something, she definitely lets you know about it," laughed Becky

Speaking about her little one, Becky, who says Summer has her eyes and Harry's nose, said: "She's really content. She's really laid back and chilled but when she wants something, like her nappy changed or she wants food, she definitely lets you know about it. She's a bit feisty in that way and she doesn't give you much warning.

"It's like, 'I want it now'. And you have to let her scream for a little bit while you get it ready and you're like, 'Okay Summer just chill out, you've literally gone from fast asleep to bawling your head off!' She's a bit impatient like us as well."

While Becky has been on maternity leave, personal trainer Harry went straight back to work after one week, but the nature of his job – working in the early mornings and late at night – has meant that he hasn't missed out on taking care of Summer during the day.

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The former Olympian said of her husband: "Harry's definitely hands-on, he's been absolutely amazing"

"Harry's definitely hands-on," said the former Olympian. "He's been changing her and feeding her. We share the responsibility and he's around for everything – he's seen Summer smile for the first time. It's hard for him because he's juggling work with family time but he's been absolutely amazing."

The Mansfield-born star has fully embraced her new role as a mother – something she has always wanted to be.

"Life is completely different but not in a bad way," she admitted. "You have to plan a bit more, you can't just walk out the house, but at the same time I've always wanted to be a mum.

What Sundays are all about #family #love @harryneeds

A photo posted by Becky Adlington (@beckadlington) on

"Life is completely different but not in a bad way," said the new mum

"It's amazing how you love your baby straight away. You can't really explain it, you can't describe it. People spoke to me before about unconditional love and that you'll do anything for your baby, but you don't really realise it until it happens to you. It's bizarre because you don't know them and they don't know you but you just love them so much. It's absolutely amazing.

"It's definitely been life-changing but I guess it'll change when I go back to work, when Summer starts nursery. You have to accept that life will never be the same again but that's what's so exciting."

Describing motherhood in a nutshell, Becky added: "I'm such a family girl, it's amazing having that family time. It makes you realise that that's all you really need in life, as long as your family are happy and healthy then that's all that matters."

It's early days but the couple have already spoken about having more children.

I think my dog thinks she's my baby too!! Cuddle time #love #dogs #baby #cuddles

A photo posted by Becky Adlington (@beckadlington) on

Becky added: "It's amazing how you love your baby straight away"

Becky said: "About two days after I gave birth, Harry asked, 'So babe, when are we gonna try for another?' I said 'Not yet, I need my body to recover!' Nine months being pregnant is a long time! We do want a big family and we'd like a close age gap between our children, but we also want to give our time to Summer."

Becky, who has partnered with HUGGIES® Little Swimmers®, is encouraging all parents to don their swimsuits and have fun with their little ones in the water – even if babies and children are a little hesitant at first.

"For a kid who's absolutely tiny, that big pool is very, very big," said Becky. "Parents should recognise that each step is a huge achievement. Even if their child is just sitting on the side with their feet in the pool, that's better than last week when they just stood around.

"It's about persistence and taking them swimming regularly, and then that fear will disappear. Also taking them out of their lessons and going together as a family is good. If your children see you in the water as a parent, they'll know it's not a scary place."

Rebecca Adlington is working with HUGGIES® Little Swimmers to show parents how enjoyable a dip in the pool, a splash in the sea or a paddle in the garden can be. For practical advice, support videos and a step-by-step guide to baby swimming, visit www.littleswimmers.co.uk.

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