The first time we took our baby to the pool, it didn’t quite turn out as I had imagined. I thought I would hold her and she would splash and be happy. However, all she wanted to do was wiggle out of my arms. I quickly learned holding a squirming child in the water is exhausting and anything but fun.
Swimming with an infant can be an enjoyable experience, though, if you have the right equipment. A good baby pool float is an easy solution. It allows your child to enjoy playing safely in the water (while you are always within arm’s reach). In my mind, a quality swim float for babies is necessary at the pool, beach, lake, or anywhere else you like to swim.
After 3 additional kids, I have learned better what pool floaties work and how to know what will work versus what just looks cute. Here is what I have found.
What to Look for in An Infant Pool Float
- Stability/safety. Your first priority is your child’s safety, especially when she is in the water. While you should always remain within arms reach of a baby in any water, a stable infant pool ring that doesn’t tip over helps keep your baby safe. You also want to look for a float where your baby can’t fall through the bottom.
- Quality material. You want a float that will last at least one swimming season. Thin plastic tends to tear easily. You also want to make sure whatever the material it is safe and non-toxic. There are two basic options when it comes to material for a floatie: plastic or foam. Plastic inflatable options likely won’t last as long as a float made entirely of foam covered by fabric.
- Easy to inflate and deflate. No one wants to spend a lot of time or energy trying to blow up or deflate a plastic raft for kids. Look for one that can be pumped up quickly by mouth or by pump.
- Sun protection. Some options offer a canopy or sun shade to help protect your baby from the sun. If you prefer that to using a lot of sunscreen, look for a baby swim float that has a shade.
- Age limit/weight limit. Check the age limit and/or weight limit before choosing a floatie for your child. Choosing the right size is important in keeping your child safe in the water.
|Top Swim Floaties||Product Details|
|SwimWays Activity Center|
|V Convey Infant Float|
|SwimSchool Baby Boat|
|SwimWays Spring Float|
|Peradix Whale Pool Float|
|Baby Car Pool Float|
|Intex Baby Float|
|iefoah Flamingo Float|
|Swimming Shark Canopy|
|Free Swimming Float|
|Poolmaster Mommy and Me|
|Infant Pool Ring|
|Punada Swim Float|
14 Safe and Reliable Baby Floats
Here are our favorite options for baby pool rings. Please note: These pool floaties are not life-saving devices. They are not approved by the US Coast Guard and should not be used in boating. Always stay within arms reach when your child is using any of the following products.
SwimWays Activity Center Float
This SwimWays Activity Center float helps infants become comfortable and stay entertained in water. This cute pool float for babies is both functional and fun. It is easy to inflate and comes with some great toys. An inflatable octopus holds toy rings, toy fish, and a toy star. The octopus is removable.
Also included is a removable canopy. It provides UV protection of 50+, so you don’t have to worry so much about sunburns. The mesh sides are see-through, making it easy to keep an eye on your little one. The canopy can also be adjusted as the height of the sun changes.
The mesh around the seat allows a little water in, which allows your baby to splash a bit. An inner spring and dual inflation chamber give this baby floatie some good stability. If your child has a hard time sitting up, trying putting some towels behind his back to prop him up.
This option comes with fabric material that is nicer than the plastic used in most floaties. The SwimWays Activity Center Float is perfect for use at the pool, lake, or beach.
Recommended Ages: 6 months to 2-years-old
V Convey Infant Float
This pool float for infants is unique to this list; it is the only one that is not inflatable. Instead, it is made of non-toxic foam and covered in soft, waterproof cloth. That means you don’t have to worry about it popping, deflating, or molding. The cover is easy to clean; simply wipe it down. The cloth does not get hot even in the sun.
There are a lot of things to like about the V Convey Infant Float. It allows you to put baby either on his front or on his back. The pillow keeps baby’s head and face out of the water, regardless of whether he is on his front or back, Adjustable straps from the top and the crotch buckle together to keep baby securely fastened. Baby stays comfortable without any chaffing.
Choose from 5 different colors. Each has a different animal face on the front, though since baby is on top of the float, he can’t see the face. It also comes with 3 cute squirt toys.
Unlike some other options, this float is difficult for a baby to overturn. The only real drawback is that it is a bit bulky to travel with and store. However, the pros of this product make it worth dealing with this small inconvenience. It is definitely one of the safest infant pool float options.
Recommended Ages: 4 months to 2 years old
SwimSchool Self-Inflating Baby Boat
If you don’t like blowing up inflatables, this self-inflating infant pool floatie could be just what you are looking for. The core of this ring is made of foam, which makes it more buoyant. To fill the air chamber, simply turn the valve. When finished using, turn the valve the other direction to deflate.
The fabric on the outside of this product is soft and will not irritate sensitive skin. The seat is made of mesh, and an adjustable strap allows you to fit this perfectly to your baby. The retractable fabric canopy provides UV protection of 50+. If you want to remove the canopy, simply unzip it and pull off.
You will like that this floatie with sun shade is 25 inches in diameter. That means your baby is less likely to tip it over. The fun, colorful sea creature design makes the SwimSchool Baby Boat even more enticing. Because of the foam core, this floatie cannot be easily folded for storage or travel.
Recommended Ages: 6 months to 24 months
SwimWays Baby Spring Float Sun Canopy
For a relaxing day at the pool or lake, try the SwimWays Baby Spring Float Sun Canopy. This mesh baby pool float is designed to help babies relax in the water. A mesh seat keeps baby securely sitting while letting some water through. Baby’s legs are free to kick, without the risk of him fall through the bottom. A mesh ring around the seat also allows some water through so baby can enjoy water play with his hands.
Parents love that this kids pool ring has a sun canopy. It is rated at a UV protection of 50+. I don’t know about you, but that is music to my ears! The canopy is also easily removable for if you are swimming indoors or if you prefer not to have it on.
This product is made of fabric instead of plastic. It has two air chambers as well as an inner spring which makes it more stable in the water. Even with the spring, it is easy to fold up for storage and transporting. With 4 different colors and patterns, there is sure to be one for your little one.
Recommended Ages: 9 months to 24 months
Peradix Whale Baby Pool Float with Canopy
You can’t beat the value of this product: not only does it come with an adorable whale themed baby float and canopy, but also a repair patch, sunhat, and 2 sand molds. You’ll have everything you need for a fun day at the lake with your little one.
There are so many features to love about this great pool float from Peradix. It consists of a large ring with two handles and a comfortable back rest. A canopy can be conveniently rotated or removed. Also, it is made with durable and environmentally-friendly material. But best of all, there is a honking steering wheel that is sure to get your baby excited!
While this is a wonderful option for pool floats, there are just a few things to keep in mind. First, let it hang dry after use to prevent it from developing a strong smell. Second, the manufacturer recommends putting your child’s hair up so that it won’t create static electricity with the float. As long as you remember these tips, you will be happy with this Peradix baby pool float!
Recommended Ages: 6 months to 3 years old
Max Weight: 35-45 pounds
Baby Car Pool Float
This pool flotation device for babies is cute and fun for babies and toddlers. Made from eco-friendly PVC material, it has a canopy to protect from the sun. Unlike some of the other floats on the list, this one has a canopy that covers the entire unit, meaning it provides good sun protection.
The bright colors and fun design make this option unique. Kids love playing with the steering wheel. The iGeeKid comes in two colors–pink or blue.
You can easily inflate this product manually. It has different air chambers, which makes inflating a lot easier. Like some of the others, this product will start deflating slowly after a couple hours. It is an inexpensive option that works well overall.
Recommended ages: 6-36 months
Max weight: 44 pounds
Intex My Baby Float
If you want a good bang for your buck, My Baby Float by Intex might be the right choice for you. This option is very inexpensive and easy to use. A classic, no-frills infant pool ring, My Baby Float inflates quickly and easily with 2 separate air chambers, which help keep it well inflated.
A backrest pillow provides support for your baby’s back, ,neck, and head. The design keeps babies from falling through the bottom of the float, and the colors are bright.
This option is easy to travel with, as it folds up small when deflated. The only drawback is the float can flip if the baby leans too far forward.
Recommended Ages: 5 months to 2-years-old
Max Weight: 33 pounds
Flamingo Pool Float with Canopy
Can you imagine your baby girl in this flamingo?This baby pool float with shade is so darling and fun for the pool. You can inflate this quickly and easily without having to use a pump. Made of eco-friendly PVC material, the iefoah Baby Pool Float with Canopy is safe for your bundle of joy.
Like most of the others on this list, this inflatable infant ring has your baby sitting upright so she can see everything around her. It allows her legs to be free to kick and enjoy the water. Your baby won’t be able to fall through the bottom of this float, which is a huge plus!
You will like that this option is inexpensive. With the easily removable canopy, you can decide whether or not you want to use it. The only potential drawback is that the canopy is a bit on the small side. Depending on the position of the sun, it might not completely cover your baby.
Recommended Ages: 6 months to 3 years old
Max Weight: 60 pounds
Shark Swimming Float with Canopy
Is this adorable or what? This shark themed kiddie pool float is not only cute, but very functional as well. Recommended for kids ages 9-36 months, this pool ring for babies provides an enjoyable water experience as well as shade to protect your baby from the sun. The canopy is removable.
The large handles on each side are nice for parents to be able to pull the baby gently through the water. You could also attach toys to the handles. A supportive backrest helps keep kids securely inside. Again, if your baby has trouble sitting up, simply roll up a towel and put it around him.
This shark float is made from quality PVC that is non-toxic. It also includes one repair patch. There is a 12 month warranty on this product. There are several chambers to inflate on this floatie, so unless you have an exceptional set of lungs, you might want to try a hand pump or electric pump to inflate it.
Recommended Ages: 9 months to 3 years old
Max Weight: 40 pounds
Poolmaster Mommy and Me Pool Float
For a unique baby swim tube, check out the Poolmaster Mommy and Me. Unlike the others on this list, this one allows you to float along with your child. It has a section for the baby and one for you as well. The baby’s section has leg holes and a detachable and retractable canopy. You can get a tube for one baby or for two (plus the parent section).
This product is made of 10-gauge vinyl. On top of the tube are two inflatable characters for baby to play with.
Although the Mommy and Me makes it easy to keep an eye on your baby, there are a couple drawbacks. The canopy doesn’t stay up very well so it doesn’t offer great sun protection. Also, the tube can deflate rather quickly. It is also considerably larger than most other tubes.
Recommended ages: 8-24 months
Free Swimming Baby Ring
The Free Swimming Baby float props baby up at her chest rather than having her sit in the water. This inflatable baby swim ring has straps with buckles on the back and the crotch to keep your child secure. This plastic baby floatie is easy to inflate with dual air chambers, and it comes with a hand pump. It is also easy to deflate and folds flat for easy storage or travel.
There are three size options with this inflatable infant swimming aid. Size small is for ages 3-7 months, size large for ages 5-18 months, and size extra large for 18 months-6 years.
Make sure you get new version with crotch strap. The older version doesn’t have a crotch strap and babies can fall out of it.
The material on this is non-toxic PVC. Free Swimming Baby offers a money back guarantee with this product. The idea of this float is good and it is inexpensive, but the V Convey is a similar design with better features (though it does cost more).
Recommended Ages: 3 months to 3 years old
Max Weight: 24 pounds (size small), 38 pounds (size large), 48 pounds (size extra large)
Baby Swimming Ring
This baby floatie is significantly smaller than the others on this list. It is a plastic ring with a plastic seat with leg holes. Inside the ring are four colorful balls that roll around. Some babies might be frustrated that they can’t get to the balls to play with them.
The material in this option is non-toxic, and there is a satisfaction guarantee offered by the manufacturer. There are 3 colors to choose from, and this is one of the least expensive selections on this list.
While this pool ring is cute, it has some negatives too. The leg holes are fairly large, which can be problematic for smaller children. Though the manufacturer recommends this as an infant pool float for 3 month olds, we find the leg holes are too big. We recommend it starting at around 6 months.
The other potential concern is that this baby ring can flip over fairly easily. You will need to watch your child very closely if you decide on this option.
Recommended Ages: 3 months to 30 months
Max Weight: 32 pounds
Flyboo Baby Float Unicorn Inflatable
Want to be the hit of the neighborhood? Show up at the pool with a unicorn baby float. This inflatable pool float has a handle on each side and a rope on the front to help parents keep hold of this unicorn. It is made of safe PVC material.
To inflate, you can either use a pump or blow it up manually. With four separate air chambers, it is simple and easy to inflate. When finished using, it is easy to deflate and folds flat for easy storage and transportation.
This unicorn floatie is better for kids a bit older. It is recommended for kids 12 months and up. The leg holes are likely too large for younger babies. Even toddlers and preschoolers can use this. Warning: If your child leans over the side of this unicorn float it can tip over.
For a fun and cute swim flotation device, this is a good choice for babies and kids 12 months and older.
Recommended Ages: 12 months to 3 years old
Punada Baby Pool Float with Canopy
This is another mommy and me style float. It’s got a steering wheel and horn that honks. It also has a removable large inflatable canopy to keep the sun off your child. Handles on each side help parents keep hold of the raft while baby is inside or parents can float in the float with their baby.
The Punada Baby Pool Float with Canopy is made of safe PVC. You will probably want a pump to inflate because this product needs a lot of air! Also, it tends to lose air slowly.
This option is cute, but it does have some cons. The canopy is a bit difficult to attach properly. Also, since this is considerably bigger than most others on this list, you will probably want to use a pump to inflate it.
Recommended Ages: 4 months to 3 years old
Max Weight: 44 pounds
Anytime your child is near water, you should be very cautious. According to the National Safety Council, one of the leading causes of death among children is drowning. Drowning can happen very quickly and in even a small amount of water.
But you don’t have to be scared of taking your child swimming. Instead learn water safety tips and be prepared. Always stay within arm’s reach of your baby and give your full attention. Being prepared and safe will give you peace of mind and allow you to enjoy your water experience.
All of the baby pool floats on this list have some great features, and they are all affordable. We most highly recommend the SwimWays Baby Spring Float Activity Center with Canopy and the V Convey 2nd Generation Infant Float. If you are looking to be especially frugal, the Intex My Baby Float is a good choice.
What safety precautions should be used when using a swim float for infants?
First and foremost, adults should always stay within arm’s reach of a baby in a swim float. It is also wise to protect your infant from the sun with sunscreen and plenty of shade. Check the age and weight limits of your floatie to ensure it is the correct size for your child. These three precautions will ensure the safety of your infant in a swim floatie.
How old should a child be to go swimming?
Children of all ages will enjoy the water. With that said, the way they play in the water will vary depending on their age. For instance, infants require appropriate equipment to go swimming. Pool floats keep them safe while allowing them freedom to play. They won’t be able to go swimming independently until they are older, taller, and stronger. Adults should always be within arm’s reach of any child who cannot swim independently.
What are important features of a baby swim float?
Make sure to look for products made of high-quality materials when shopping for a baby swim float. Foam floats are a durable option and thick plastic will ensure that the float will last for at least one swimming season. Also, select a baby swim float that is easy to inflate or deflate to save time and energy.