Updated October 22, 2018 by Misty Alder

The 8 Best Baby Floats

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This wiki has been updated 19 times since it was first published in March of 2015. Giving your children confidence in the water at an early age will benefit them for the rest of their lives. The best baby floats should be reliably buoyant and well balanced, to keep your little ones safe, comfortable, and secure while they splash around. When using floats like these, never leave your child unattended, even for a few seconds, as drowning is constant risk. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best baby float on Amazon.

8. Speedo Cruiser

7. Swimschool Aquarium

6. Intex Kiddie Float

5. Mommy and Me

4. Intex Stingray

3. SwimWays Activity Center

2. Whale Lounge

1. SwimWays Infant Spring

Swimming As Part Of 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.

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 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) want the child to begin to experience and enjoy time in the water without delay.

A sunshade that keeps your child in their own little shadow is a great way to keep them safe.

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 sunshades 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 sunshade 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 they will spend 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 enters 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 percent 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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Misty Alder
Last updated on October 22, 2018 by Misty Alder

Born and raised in the American Deep South, Misty's career in elder care took a sharp left turn when she was swept away to the land of Robin Hood by her very own Merry Man. She's a coffee-swilling master of stitch-witchery with a magical touch in the kitchen and a neverending stream of Disney gag reels playing in her head. A certified nursing assistant by trade and a toy aficionado by choice, some intense parenting ensured she was well versed in gardening, carpentry and electrical engineering by the time she entered grade school. Her culinary artistry, tool-wielding wizardry, and skill with needle and thread were honed over nearly four decades in the kitchens, workrooms, and outdoor spaces of family, friends, and clients. Voracious reading took care of the rest.


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