When it comes to flotation devices for toddlers, the options are almost endless.
The next time you are at your local pool, check out how many different types of flotation devices toddlers are using.
You’ve got life jackets, pool noodles, kick-boards, water wings, and more. (And that’s not even including the baby swimsuit and waterproof diapers.)
Of course, what type of flotation device and swimming aid for toddlers you settle on for your child depends on how comfortable they are in the water.
Life jackets can be used anywhere (and should always be used when boating), but they can be bulky and constricting. Swim vests for toddlers are a great option, providing enhanced mobility for the child who is gaining experience in the pool.
And then you have your floaties and flotation devices for toddlers, which include water cruisers, arm floaties, and more.
Here’s a breakdown of our favorite swim floaties for toddlers.
SwimSchool Grow-With-Me Water Floatie
Your child is going to progress as he or she gets more comfortable in the water. This swim floatie progresses along with your child’s water literacy. For toddlers, the “cruiser” set-up allows the child to sit in the floatie.
The SwimSchool Grow-With-Me Water Floatie can change into a flat floatie, which a child can lay on, or even use as a kickboard as they learn the swimming strokes.
This versatile swimming pool toy and flotation aid is made of heavy-duty vinyl, has two handles on the side for handy guidance, and is inflated through a no-leak air valve.
Available in a wide range of themes and colors, the SwimSchool 4-in-1 is also excellently priced, with Amazon selling them for around $16 (check here for today’s pricing on Amazon).
Bodyglove Paddle Pal Swim Floatie
Unlike many of your usual water floaties, this one is a type 3 certified personal flotation device. Bodyglove’s Paddle Pal water floaties feature a vest as well as water wings, helping ensure that the child floats upright.
The floatie is fastened at the shoulder, preventing children from wrestling out of or unbuckling the floatie. Recommended for children between 30-50 pounds. You will find that children have an easier time getting around in the water compared to using a bulky and restricting life jacket.
The Paddle Pal comes in three different playful themes and is designed for children between 30-50lb. Depending on the theme, they vary in price from $25 to $39 (check SwimOutlet for model prices and current availability).
Speedo Begin-to-Swim Baby Cruiser Water Floatie
Speedo is one of the leading manufacturers of swimming gear for beginners and professionals alike.
They make a ton of different gear for kids playing and training in the water, from kid-sized swimming goggles to water shoes for kids. Therefore it’s no surprise that they should produce learn to swim gear for the youngest of swimmers.
The Speedo Baby cruiser is great for younger babies—some reviewers mentioned having their two-month-old able to be propped up properly. The canopy makes the cruiser ideal for backyard kiddie pools and outdoor swimming and you want to protect your child from the sun. (The canopy is removable, as well.)
- Related: Looking for swimsuits for your baby? Here’s a detailed look at the best baby swimsuits on the market right now.
The Speedo Water Cruiser Floatie is recommended for children weighing no heavier than 33 pounds and is available in four different color combinations. The Speedo Water Cruiser is popular and is commonly out-of-stock on Amazon (click here to check current pricing and availability at Amazon).
Speedo Kids Arm Floaties for Toddlers
For the toddler who has gotten somewhat comfortable in the water, and is ready to move towards learning how to properly swim, the Speedo Kids Arm Floaties provide a simple manner of flotation that builds confidence while promoting safety.
The arm floaties are constructed with dual chambers and are recommended for children up to 110-pounds. Pro tip: To help slide them on more efficiently, get the child’s arms a little bit wet to ease on the arm floaties.
The Speedo Kids Arm Floaties are low-cost, with a pair costing around $5 with several different color themes to choose from (check here for current pricing on Amazon).
Otter Wings Kids Water Floaties
The Otter Wings arm floaties are next-level arm floaties. The arm bands are covered with fabric, making them comfortable against the skin of your toddler.
The t-shirt provides protection from the sun, making the Otter Wings ideal for hitting the neighborhood outdoor pool or the beach. (Keep in mind they aren’t Coast Guard approved, so if you plan on boating, check out our post on the best life jackets for kids.)
If you are looking for sun protection while your toddler gets his or her float on, the Otter Wings Floaties are an excellent choice. Otter Wings come in a handful of color options (as well as a long-sleeve version, too) and retail for just over $20 (check Amazon today for current pricing and color options).
SwimWays Baby Pool Float
Part floatie, part boat, and part sunshade, the SwimWays baby pool float is an awesome way to get your baby or toddler into the water safely. The seat is comfortable, snug, and reinforced to suit children between the ages of 6 months to 4 years (or 60-pounds).
The SwimWays pool floatie has an octopus set-up in front of the child. The toy can be swiveled and removed. Other toys, including a squeaker fish, stacking rings and a fish teether, are also included.
The canopy provides protection from the sun in outdoor pools and is removable so that it can be used indoors as well.
SwimWays also offers a music option to this baby pool float, which costs in the neighborhood of $26 depending on the model you choose.
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