The air was filled with a general buzz, nothing really stood out, but you could tell it was a sound of lots of people having fun, mixed in with the echo of the large room, and the sound of gigantic splashes in the pool. Of course it was the leisure centres swimming pool, at the public swim session. A perfect place to take J for extra swimming sessions as it was much cheaper then the quiet, small private gym, she has her weekly swimming lessons at. When it was time to get out, that was where the fun stopped.
As soon as we stepped into the changing rooms, I felt dirty. The floor was just concrete, no tiles, and was stained with various stains. Something that looked like mud, but could also have been something else. Either way, I didn't want to examine it. We quickly gathered our stuff out the locker, and headed to a private cubicle. There it was no different. It was the quickest time we have ever got dressed and out of there. Reluctantly putting a towel down to stand on, and sharing a towel between myself and S. When I got home, I took to twitter to say how disgusted I was with the floor. Asking if this is the norm? The gym we use regularly for J's lessons, always look immaculate, but she has had a verruca since starting, so maybe not as clean as they look.
I was quickly pointed in the direction of Natty Mat. They had so many recommendations, that when they got in contact, I jumped at the chance to try it out, and review the item. They sent over 3 mats for us to try. I was thrilled.
After checking out their website, I soon realised they were not just for swimming, but can be used on days out too. This became very apparent when we went to Crosby beach. When it came to packing the rucksack, with the picnic, drinks, camera, spare jumpers, etc. there was not much room left for a picnic blanket. After a little panic, I remembered, compared, and it was a no brainer. Just look at the size difference to our waterproof backed picnic blanket (not a very big one) in comparison to three natty mats. The natty mats fitted no problem.
When it came to the picnic, with the girls having their very own mat, which unzips and doubles in size, they could pick exactly where they wanted to sit. The soft top meant there were no grazed, cold, sore bottoms. Yeay, which means happy mummy.
Now, if you have read the beach post, you will understand that J got soaked. She needed a full clothes swap. Now, I did not fancy carrying around wet clothes in the rucksack with my camera, or snacks. This is where natty mat came in use again. When its folded back up, it zips up into a bag. You can pop wet clothes, in this case, her entire outfit, or a swimming costume if swimming, on the waterproof side, and zip it out of the way of everything else. The contents of the rucksack, remained dry.
When I got back home, I simply, unzipped and popped it all in the washing machine. Mat included.
We have used it for swimming since too. However, I felt extremely uncomfortable taking photos when people were getting changed, so didn't. The top of the mat is soft, and had no complaints from any of us. It is lightweight, and small. I now carry these on days out, as you never know when you may just need a natty mat.
You can purchase them online here. At £9.99 I think they are good value. And highly recommend to anyone using changing rooms. I spent more then that on J's verruca treatment when it was needed. With the extra benefit of keeping other items dry in your bag, you will not need to worry about electronics getting damaged. Don't just take my word for it though, they have many, many positive reviews, which can be read here.
* I was sent the Natty mat, in return for an honest review. All words, pictures and opinions are my own.