Are you thinking about introducing your baby to the big world of swimming? With all the splishing, splashing, and laughter that goes on in the water, why should your baby miss it?
Naturally, you’ll be concerned about their safety since most babies can’t swim, can they? Well, they did swim around in your womb but you can’t compare that to a pool or the ocean!
That’s where baby floats come in, and this article will explore some of the best baby floats currently on the market and what features they should have.
- Removable inflated canopy
- High-quality material
- Hand grips attached on 2 sides
- Child safety valves
- Dual air chambers
- Very portable
- Durable handles
- Photo realistic printing
- Repair patch included
- Soft mesh seat
- Secure leg holes
- Canopy offers UPF 50+ sun protection
- Eco-friendly PVC
- Two swim ways
- Holds up to 48 pounds
- Heavy- duty PVC material
- 4 independent air bags
- Great design
- Smooth leg holes
- 2 air chambers
- Very durable
- Detachable float for parent
- UPF 50+ canopy
- Removable sun shade
- Can carry up to 60 pounds
- Dual air chambers & separate valve
- Soft inflatable cushion
- Breathable swim cloth outside
- Non-inflatable pearl foam inside
- High buoyancy
How to Choose a Float for Baby
There are several things to keep in mind when shopping for the best baby float.
Protection From the Sun
Your baby’s skin is extremely delicate and can damage easily when exposed to the sun. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends keeping babies under 6 months away from direct sunlight.
You can apply small amounts of sunscreen on your baby’s face. Choose a sunscreen that contains 15 SPF (sun protection factor) at least. Also, keep in mind it takes half an hour for the sunscreen to take effect (1).
As far as baby floats go, look for one that has a canopy to protect your baby from the sun.
What security features does the float offer? We don’t want the baby to flip over in it. Look for one made from durable materials and that has safety valves — these will help ensure your baby stays upright.
The size of the float also counts. Some floats expand as your baby your grows. This means you don’t have to buy a new one every time your baby goes through a growth spurt.
And it also means you won’t be piling too many pounds on that float so your baby will stay safer.
You can find baby floats that come with built-in handles for you to hold on to while in use. Look for a float that offers as many safety features as possible.
What Does Your Baby Like?
If your baby is old enough, you probably have an idea or two about the colors and animals they like. The market offers baby floats in a variety of colors and designs.
You can find floats designed like unicorns, frogs, watermelons, cartoon characters, and trees, among others. Go for one your baby will love.
Floats for Twins
You can find multiple floats to hold twins or more babies. They are, however, usually designed for babies aged 6 months and older. They may come with a play center and are great at keeping babies together.
The Best Baby Floats of 2022
Here are our favorite baby floats for you to consider. Let’s dive in.
1. Baby Shark Pool Float
Cute Baby Shark on the Loose
This cute baby shark design, complete with a large mouth, teeth, and bells, is great for your baby. The bells are located in the teeth, offering a light, steady sound. You’ll love the thick edges that provide a comfortable backrest as your baby is entertained.
It is suitable for babies who are 9 months and older and can hold a maximum weight of 40 pounds. The canopy provides shade for your little one and you can easily detach it when it’s not needed.
This float is made using high-quality PVC materials that ensure it remains airtight and waterproof. Safety valves provide extra air leak protection, while the float’s large circumference, fins, and tail give it more stability.
The two handles on either side of the float offer grips your baby can hold onto as they flow with the waves.
2. SwimWays Baby Spring Float
Interactive Baby Float
Recommended for babies aged 9 to 24 months, this float is designed to keep your baby comfortable as they start out. It comes loaded with baby toys like the squeaker fish, soft touch star, fish teether, and stacking rings. The cute removable octopus will delight your little one.
Having these toys around will help put your baby at ease and they will soon be kicking and splashing all over. The float features child safety valves, dual air chambers, and inner spring for added stability.
You’ll love the detachable canopy that provides UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) 50+ sun protection. Plus, this float folds easily and comes with a carrying case for convenience. It’s perfect for travel.
3. Intex Stringray Baby Float
Best Budget Float
This delightful float will make your baby want to stay in the water all day. With a maximum weight of 88 pounds, it is suitable for older babies or young toddlers. The jingle toy attached to the inflated handlebar will keep your baby entertained as they float around.
The float features two air chambers for extra safety. There’s a repair patch included, should you have any punctures. The rigid bottom helps with stability.
4. Swimways Baby Spring Float Sun Canopy
This float comes with admirable safety features. A patented inner spring for greater stability, dual air chambers, and child safety valves see to it that your baby stays safe.
The canopy offers 50+ protection from UV rays. It’s detachable and has mesh sides to ensure you can keep an eye on your baby at all times. The float’s large circumference also allows your baby to play with their favorite water toys.
Whether your baby is just beginning or has been in the water before, this float is ideal for ages 9 to 24 months. It folds easily and comes with a carry tote which is good for travel.
5. Laycol Pool Float
Best Sun Protection
This brightly-colored baby float is perfect for older babies and toddlers who enjoy wading in water. It’s fitted with a five-fold belt to ensure safety at the pool while enjoying the splashes of water.
The broad canopy above helps protect your baby from direct sunlight and can be adjusted as needed. You can also detach the canopy completely when in an indoor pool, in the evenings, or on a cloudy day.
The float is made from durable eco-friendly PVC materials that are sturdy, ensuring no leaking problems, and it should last for years. This float holds a maximum weight of 48 pounds.
6. Baby Pool Float Unicorn
How About a Unicorn?
If your child loves unicorns, they will enjoy spending time in this float, which was made using extra thick and waterproof PVC material. The seat is comfortable to help protect your baby’s bottom.
It comes with airbags and valves — two on either side to improve balance and enhance safety. The float also has a safety string attached to it to ensure that your child does not stray too far.
The handles on this float are great for moving the unicorn along while you and your toddler swim in shallow waters. This one’s for ages 2 to 6 years.
7. Intex Kiddie Float
This blue float has cuteness written all over it. You can use it over and over, thanks to its durability. Recommended for children aged 1 to 2 years, this brilliantly-colored float can hold a maximum of 30 pounds.
The cute shade is designed for keeping the sun out. The two air chambers will provide the balance you need to keep your little one stable on the water. Your child’s sure to love the happy face and bright design.
8. SwimWays Mommy and Me Baby Spring Float
A Float for Mommy and I
What better way to hang out with your baby than getting “into” the float with them? This baby float comes with a detachable float ring for parents to chill out and play with the baby.
This baby float is made of durable PVC and is covered with cloth material. It also has a detachable canopy and a play space. Your baby should have a great time playing with their toys or just splashing away.
It is ideal for babies ages 9 to 24 months. It folds well, making it easy to store and carry.
9. Baby Flamingo Pool Float
Do you have a pool party coming up? This pretty pink flamingo is the perfect floatie to show the group who is boss. Made from high-quality and durable vinyl, it’s made to withstand any rough play.
It is designed for babies aged 8 to 24 months and comes with an inner ring that can be inflated. Plus, it offers wide and comfortable seating to allow longer cruising, along with a backrest for keeping your baby chilled.
10. V Convey Lying Float Ring
This cute baby float provides the ideal swimming posture, allowing your baby to kick and move their feet more freely. When your little one gets tired, a groove on the front portion offers a comfortable resting place for dozing off.
The float’s interior is made of latex foam while the exterior is covered swim cloth to avoid irritation. Your baby will be clipped into place using a double safety clasp, crotch strap, and zipper. There is no flipping over or slipping through with this device.
It’s made of durable BPA-free materials. You can use it in a bathtub or pool and it’s ideal for babies ages 4 to 24 months.
11. Mambobaby Never Flip Over Infant Pool Float
Safety at Poolside
This adorable and vibrantly colored float is a great way to allow your little one to enjoy the pool without compromising safety. You can use it in a public pool or your family pool to help your baby become confident in the water.
It is ideal for babies and toddlers from three months old to two years old. You can have your babies’ favorite toys in the middle to make that trip to the pool even more fun.
It is fully equipped with a removable tail and canopy and the pearl-foam outline can accommodate larger babies. Additionally, the float is made of patented pearl foam to enhance buoyancy.
12. SwimSchool Lil' Skipper
A Grow With Me Option
Recommended for babies ages 6 to 18 months, this grow-with-me baby float comes in a blue and red design. It is an excellent way to introduce your baby to water.
It comes with an adjustable backrest that can be inflated as your baby grows to create the perfect fit. Plus, the three-ply seat provides comfort and keeps your baby in an upright position. This allows them to kick around the water or play with their toys.
An extra bonus of this float is its ease of use and portability, maximizing fun times for you and your baby.
13. Free Swimming Waist Ring Inflatable Pool Floats
Free Swimmming, Anyone?
This good-looking float is a great gift for your baby. It teaches your little one to swim with the assistance of this inflatable baby float. Soft bottom support helps your baby learn to swim easily. It is made from PVC so you can expect it to last a long time.
Ideal for babies ages 5 to 18 months, it can hold a maximum of 38 pounds. It’s easy to use and has great buoyancy, which further adds to your baby’s safety.
This comes in different sizes ranging from small to extra-large to accommodate all ages.
Are Neck Floaties Any Good?
For some time now, we have seen pictures of babies in cute neck floaties all over social media, but cute is probably about all they are. Medical experts claim neck floaties offer no real benefit to your child but can have grave consequences (2).
You’re better off avoiding neck floats altogether.
Choosing a baby float requires careful consideration to ensure it does the job it’s meant to do. Remember, though; baby floats are no substitute for close supervision. Never leave your baby attended — you are your baby’s protector, not the float.