8 Best Baby Floats | April 2017

8 Best Baby Floats | April 2017
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Whether in the pool or at the beach, give your child confidence in the water from an early age, with one of these top baby floats that will keep them safe and secure while they splash around. Skip to the best baby float on Amazon.
Your baby will swim like a shark in the Swim School Confidence System. The cute shark shape includes a play and splash area for fun, and comes in pink for girls or blue for boys. But it punctures easily and won't last long.
  • velcro straps for folding and storage
  • sun shade is 50 upf
  • cover tends to fall down
Brand Swim School- Confidence
Model ET9013B
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
The Swimways Spring Bug won't irritate your child's skin because the inflation chambers are covered with soft and waterproof fabric. Making them feel even more secure are inner air chamber rests which provide balance and stability.
  • two large inflation chambers
  • keeps your child high out of water
  • no sun protection
Brand Swimways
Model 11604-LP
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0
Your baby will look like they are riding a giraffe while sitting in the Swimways Baby Spring Animal, which makes for some great photo opportunities. The bright colors will also keep your child happy and interested.
  • sun shade clamps on in three places
  • tall head makes it hard for child to see
  • not a lot of support for smaller kids
Brand Swimways
Model pending
Weight 1.8 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
The YY GIFT sits higher in the water than many other choices, making it good for children who are still getting over their fear of the water. It has leg holes to let them practice kicking and moving in a specific direction.
  • horn actually makes a honking sound
  • won't tip over easily
  • has a very strong plastic smell
Model pending
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0
The Swimways Baby Spring will make your baby love the pool because of a special mesh play space that allows them to sit comfortably in the water without fear. It also provides a place for splashing and to keep toys.
  • low center of gravity to stop flipping
  • inflates easily through a jet valve
  • canopy is removable
Brand Swimways
Model 11606-BL
Weight 1.8 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
The Arshiner Kids has a large sunshade to protect your babies' sensitive skin while they float in the pool, and two handholds to make them feel secure. It is suitable for children between ages 1 and 3.
  • cute and playful design
  • steering wheel keeps kids occupied
  • quality build holds air well
Brand Arshiner
Model pending
Weight 1.7 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
For a pool float that will keep your baby occupied, look no further than the Swimways Baby Activity Center. It features an interactive play station with activities for every developmental stage.
  • has squeaker, rattle and stacking rings
  • easily folds up for storage
  • canopy is removable
Brand Swimways
Model 11601
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
Whether you're at the pool or the beach, your baby can float safely in the Panda Air Plane. It is made out of sturdy vinyl which is hard to puncture, and features a turning steering wheel, with functioning horn, for imaginative play time.
  • great for children under age 5
  • leg holes for your baby's legs
  • bright and vivid primary colors
Brand Panda Superstore
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

Swimming As Part Of Childhood Development

Dedicated parents care about the healthy, holistic development of their children. That's why they try to expose their children to all the right influences, such as art and music, toys and play areas that help to hone and challenge the mind, and to activities that can help a child best use his or her mind and body.

If you are looking for one of the best activities to help foster your child's productive development, both physically and mentally, look no further than the swimming pool. Researchers overwhelmingly agree that regular swimming is one of the best ways to help overall childhood development.

Evidence suggests that children who begin to swim at a younger age tend to hit many development milestones earlier than their non-swimming peers. These include many physical milestones, such as gross motor competence with walking and balance and fine motor competence with dexterity, as well as even various cognitive benchmarks, such as mathematical and spatial reasoning skills. And indeed the studies seem to make clear that these advances were thanks to swimming, as other factors, such as socioeconomics and even gender, were carefully accounted for in the course of the research.

A parent who encourages their child to swim from an early age can count on a more well-rounded, independent, and fit youngster. And of course the more the child swims, the more time the parent spends in the water, potentially enjoying a bit more exercise him or herself.

Shared time in the pool comes with another added benefit, as well: it can strengthen the bond between the nurturer and child, with the child feeling safe and secure thanks to the presence of their parent (or other care giver), and allowing both the youngster and the adult to simply have some fun.

Few activities can foster both a sense of independence and a closer bond, but swim time offers both. To make the most of time in the water when your child is still quite young, choose the best baby float for your son or daughter, and then make a splash.

Choosing The Right Float For Your Child

The purpose of a baby pool float is, first and foremost, to keep your child safe. A baby float is for use when a child is not yet able to swim independently, yet when parents (or the caregiver) wants the child to begin to experience and enjoy time in the water without delay.

Any safe, well-designed baby float centers a child's weight, and most allow the child to sit low in the water, which keeps their center of gravity down, minimizing the chance for capsizing. Make sure to check the stats cited on any float you are considering, as the float will make clear the weight range (and likely the height) of the child it is designed to safely support.

Many baby floats have sun shades that can help to cover your child, which is of critical importance even on cloudier days; ultraviolet sunlight can penetrate cloud cover even when visible sunshine is blocked, and it's UV sunlight that does the most damage to the skin. A sun shade that keeps your child in their own little shadow is a great way to keep them safe.

Some baby floats allow a child plenty of interaction with their aquatic environment, while others are more about simply being in and experiencing the water. For older or more adventurous babies, a smaller float might actually be a better choice, as it will allow the child to get his or her hands down into the water to splash and even to practice the paddling motions of actual swimming. Smaller infants will do better perched in the soft seat of a wide, stable float.

As far as color scheme and design theme, if your child loves animals, get them an animal-themed float; if he or she is partial to a given color, try to get a float in that hue. The more your child likes his or her float, the more time will be spent in the water.

Pool Safety Tips

It's a harrowing statistic, but a child (and indeed any person, under certain circumstances) can drown in as little as two inches of water. Thus when a small child is entering a much larger body of water, such as a pool or even a lake or the sea, it is imperative that they are never left alone even for a matter of seconds.

Even with a float, a baby is only safe in the water when accompanied by a responsible, mature individual. Pool safety means no one is ever alone. Even the most stable float can flip, and no float is 100% impervious to dangerous deflation, even if it features multiple air bladders. A child should always be helped into and out of their float, never using the device on their own. If a leg or arm were to become trapped, a baby float could potentially present more danger than safety to the child.

Also keep in mind that a baby float's sunshade will only provide shade when placed at the right angle, so don't overlook the use of sunblock and hats to help keep a young child's sensitive skin safe.

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Last updated on April 26 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.