Our family LOVES the water, we’re in the pool at least once a week, and want our kids to learn to swim at an early age. While staying at the Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa last week for Food Blog University, a lot of people were impressed with the swim gear our kids had, especially this baby pool float. Since it’s pretty much the best baby pool float ever (we’ve tried several!), I thought I’d share it with you guys along with our other favorite swim gear for babies and toddlers.
BEST BABY POOL FLOAT
So why do we love this baby pool float by Swim Ways? (By the way, this is not a sponsored post, we just really love this float!)
- It’s cheap! We found ours at Walmart, but right now it’s under $11 on Amazon!
- It’s got a moveable sun shade. In the pictures it’s snapped behind our daughter Larkin because that’s where the sun was coming from. But you can also unsnap that and have it directly overhead at high noon. Perfect for our pasty white girl who takes after mama!
- It doesn’t tip. Some baby pool floats just aren’t that sturdy, especially for super active, daredevil babies like ours. We needed one that would allow one parent to keep both the baby and the toddler safe in the pool. This baby pool float by Swim Ways has a nice low center of gravity and dual air chambers. In fact I can even safely use it as a kick board while baby is in it.
- It’s comfortable. A couple of baby pool floats we tried left rub marks on our son as a baby. I felt SO bad! This one has a soft mesh seat and has not left marks on either of our kids.
- They can still splash! What’s the point of bringing baby in the pool if they can’t splash? The mesh between the two inflatable rings let’s them pound the water to their heart’s content. You can see in the photo below that she just splashed herself in the face!
OTHER GEAR FOR SAFELY SWIMMING WITH BABIES AND TODDLERS
While a baby float is nice for a relaxing day hanging out at the pool, it won’t help your child learn to swim. So here’s some of our favorite swimming gear for toddlers and babies.
Some people call these a swim shirt, in Hawaii we call it rash guard because it keeps you from betting a stomach rash on your surf board. Rash guards serve a variety of purposes for kids.
With toddlers, and especially babies, pools can be COLD. Even heated indoor pools. A rash guard can help keep some body heat in while they’re in the water.
Rash guards are also great for preventing sunburn. Some of the ones for kids even have special UV protection added!
Swim goggles are great for toddlers learning to swim because it encourages them to put their face in the water without their eyes hurting. We suggest trying without goggles first, but if your child starts fighting on doing “eyes in”, give goggles a try. It can become a great security item as well as protecting their eyes from over chlorinated pools.
We had misplaced Corban’s goggles the day we took the picture above (found them in time for Mexico, phew!), but these are our favorite swim goggles for kids. They’re only about $10, have a really strong nose piece rather than a flimsy little elastic (which a rambunctious boy will break in seconds), and have a quick release clip in the back to avoid hair pulling.
Swim Vest for Babies:
Our kids’ swim teacher introduced us to these awesome swim vests by Swim Ways (can you tell we like their products?). They come in different sizes and colors so you can use them for babies, toddlers, and even pre-schoolers.
The vests have a crotch strap so they don’t float up and smack them in the chin or choke them. They have elastic bungees on the side to easily resize them for skinny kids or chunky monkeys.
But one of the best things about them is that they have several floats in the front and back that are removable. As babies get older and more confident, you can start moving floats to the back of the vest to help them learn to swim on their stomachs. As they continue to gain skills and confidence, you can begin removing the floats completely. So smart!
A kickboard is a great way to teach toddlers to start kicking their legs behind them as they swim. They can also be a good security item.
When we changed swim lesson locations, the instructor gave my son a kickboard to hold onto and walk around the shallow end of the pool to learn where the boundaries were for being able to stand or having to swim. It really helped him feel more comfortable in the new pool.
There are so many different kickboards and we haven’t found any we didn’t like, but this one is awfully cute!
Don’t forget this VERY important piece of gear! Swim diapers are so necessary for keeping the solids out of the water, know what I mean? They don’t hold urine in, but they do keep the chunks. See Larkin’s little diaper peeking out in the photo above?
We are cloth diaperers so we like re-usable swim diapers. They’re also a lot cheaper than disposable, especially if you’re swimming regularly.
The one issue with the re-usable ones is that as your toddler grows, so does their…ummm…well let’s just say it…poop.
It is no fun cleaning up a poopy swim diaper with a big kid sized poo. So disposable swim diapers are then a little easier because you can throw them away.
IS YOUR LITTLE ONE A SWIMMER?
We hope this list was helpful to you! If you’ve got little swimmers, we’d love to hear about them! Please share a story, or link to a photo, in the comments below. We want to hear from you!
THANKS FOR SUPPORTING EATING RICHLY EVEN WHEN YOU’RE BROKE
By clicking one of these links before making a purchase on Amazon, we get a small percentage of your purchase, without it costing you anything extra! Thanks for helping to support our family business.
We'd love to keep in touch. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter and get your free download of our favorite healthy cute kid snacks.
Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your costs will be the same but Eating Richly Even When You're Broke will receive a small commission. This helps us to cover some of the costs for this site. Thank you so much for your support!
Nutritional and cost information is for estimating purposes only, and subject to variations due to region, seasonality, and product availability.