Summertime is a great time for kids to learn and explore, and what better place to do that than in the water. But babies need special consideration.
Being in the pool with a baby can make many parents pretty nervous, even if they’re the ones holding onto them. But a baby float can add a little extra security and keep the water off their little faces and heads.
Keep in mind, however, that not all floats are the same.
The ones made for older kids or adults are usually not safe for babies at all. In fact, some of them can be downright dangerous if not used right.
So make sure you choose products designed specifically for babies and look for safety features you can feel good about.
Any float we’ve listed here is a great choice. We’ve done the research and found out which ones parents really like.
The 10 Best Baby Floats
#1. Camlinbo Baby Float
- 【Unique Eye-catching Design& UPF 50+ Removable Canopy】Cute Shark & American Flag patterns baby pool float, Comes with a removable canopy which can attach and detach easily. Retractable to achieve a range of 120° UPF 50+ sun protection, better care for the baby's growth. Interactive pool toy for kids to swim training and having fun in the pool.
The Camlinbo Baby Float is everything you’ll need in order to help your little one float safely in the water. It also keeps them positioned perfectly for kicking and splashing so they can start training to swim at an early age.
Even though you’d never leave your baby to float alone in the water, this float provides you with a secure surrounding so you never have to worry about them going under.
The bottom crotch guard and abdomen support keep them from slipping out of the tube. And there are back airbags and shoulder straps to keep them from flipping back into the water.
#2. LAYCOL Baby Float with Canopy
- 【Removable Canopy】The baby float for pool come with a breathable and removable UPF50+ sun canopy to protects baby’s skin away from sun,enjoying summer time anytime,anywhere
This baby float from LAYCOL comes in three different sizes for ages 3-36 months. It also surrounds them snugly with adjustable belts and supports so they won’t flip or slide out of the toy.
The cool thing about this one is the detachable canopy it comes with to shield your baby’s delicate skin from the harsh rays of the sun. You can also strap them in either forward or backward so they can learn both the backstroke and breaststroke.
This float will help your baby feel comfortable in the water so they can begin to learn the basics of swimming.
#3. Swimways Pink Fish Baby Float with Canopy
- SWIM STEPS: Baby water float designed to help babies and parents relax and enjoy the water introduction experience
This disc-like float is thin enough to fold up and tote to the pool. But it gives them a wide surrounding to keep them floating safely without flipping over.
The bottom is a soft mesh seat with snug leg holes for easy kicking and movement. And the detachable canopy provides 50+ UPF protection.
This product is completely portable, folding easily and fitting into its carrying case. And it’s covered in durable fabric for comfort.
#4. Delicacy Baby Float with Safety Belt
The Delicacy Baby Swimming Float is designed with security and comfort in mind. It’s made with soft cushion support on the bottom, center support for their belly, and double airbags and a front cushion to keep their little faces out of the water.
This product comes with its own pump for easy inflation and its own carrying case for portability. It also comes with two floating fish toys to keep your toddler company.
Use this float for babies aged 6-30 months.
#5. SwimSchool Blue Fun Fish Baby Float
- BABY POOL FLOAT: Fabric Baby Boat Float introduces baby to water; Adorable Fish Design brings the joys of water to baby; Lifts and Secures Baby into seated position in the water!
This fun fish mouth baby float will envelop your child in sun and water protection while they enjoy the pool.
When the retractable canopy is in place, it looks like your baby is inside a giant fish mouth. It also provides powerful UPF 50 sun protection.
Surrounding the seating area is a mesh play area where he can play with toys while he floats without ever dropping the toys in the pool.
#6. LAYCOL 50+ SPF Canopy Baby Float
- 【Sun Protection Canopy】The baby float for pool add a breathable Removable UPF50+ sun canopy to protects baby’s skin away from sun,let the baby fall in love with swimming in summer
Another float with a canopy, this one is made for 3-36-month-olds and is cushioned all around for ultimate safety and comfort.
The adjustable belt with a buckle ensures your baby will stay safely afloat without flipping or slipping through. And the taller cushions in front keep his face out of the water.
This float can also be used on the baby’s back for learning to backstroke. Or it can be used facing forward for the breaststroke.
#7. Swimways Baby Float with Adjustable Canopy
- SWIM STEPS: Baby water float designed to help infants and parents relax and enjoy the water introduction experience
The SwimWays Baby Spring float is made for children aged 9-24 months.
The inflatable plastic is completely covered with fabric for comfort. And the middle is a little like a cushioned baby carrier that will keep your infant safe and secure.
With multiple straps for safety and side handles for parents to hold on to, your little one will stay safe beside you the whole time they’re in the pool.
8. Punada Baby Float
- 【♔Durable Eco-friendly PVC made, ensure safety & years’ use】This baby swim float is made of extremely durable PVC to to hold max weight of about 44lb. If baby exceeding the weight, please take special care. The material is toxic-free and highly sturdy and no water leakage problem exists. Definitely designed for years’ use.
The Punada Baby Float feels more like a real boat than a floatie. It’s complete with a steering wheel with a horn and a tail fin so your baby will feel like he’s driving his own little motorboat.
Its oversized canopy is completely detachable and will protect your baby’s skin from the sun. It’s also equipped with two sturdy handles to keep him close by.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the quality of this float, but if you’re unsatisfied for any reason, they offer a 100% money-back guarantee.
#9. Intex “My Baby Float”
The My Baby Float from Intex is simple but it’s designed for maximum safety with smooth seat straps and double tubes.
It’s also made with a comfortable headrest for added support to keep your baby upright. It’s recommended for ages 12 months to 2 years. The product is only 12 ounces so it’s easy to tote to the beach or the pool, whether inflated or deflated.
#10. SwimSchool Baby Float with Dual Air Pillow Chambers
- INFANT BABY POOL FLOAT: Features a multi-point adjustable safety seat, dual inflation chambers, child safety valves for security, and 20% wider for superior buoyancy/stability in the water.
This is a great little float for sun protection and hours of play. The entire thing is covered with a soft fabric so it’s easy on the skin, and the dual air pillow rings ensure stable buoyancy in the water.
Surrounding the seat is an open mesh play area large enough to fit all their favorite toys.
It comes with its own detachable sunshade for UV protection that retracts or detaches easily.
The seat is also completely adjustable for a secure fit.
Why Should I Use a Baby Float?
Believe it or not, infant swimming offers a whole slew of benefits that you probably never thought of. For example, the “cross-patterning movements build neurons throughout the brain.”
Experts believe this to be responsible for improved reading skills, language development, academic learning, and spatial awareness. This is why getting them used to being in the water is so important.
But, of course, gradually introducing them to the pool is the safest way to do it and a floatie is the perfect way to do that.
It also helps give you peace of mind that if there are other swimmers, they won’t be able to knock your child out of your arms. And if you accidentally go underwater, your baby is still safely on top.
Additionally, many of the baby floats on the market include canopies to protect your baby’s soft skin from the sun. And we don’t need to tell you why that’s beneficial!
However, make sure you still use sunscreen for added protection.
Types of Baby Floats
Arm floaties are best for toddlers who have some ability to hold themselves up in the water. These are great for learning to swim but never recommended for infants.
Ring or innertube-type floats are the most basic types of floaties. They usually have inflatable tubes and some type of seat in the middle.
Neck floats are exactly what they sound like. They’re inflatable rings that go around your baby’s neck to keep their head out of water.
There’s a lot of debate as to whether or not these are safe, so make sure and do the research before using one.
Swimsuit floats have insertable floats that fit into fabric pockets surrounding the body. These can be great for toddlers who are already used to the water.
Life jackets are another good form of floatation for babies. However, they don’t provide the same protection from flipping that most other floats do.
For older children learning how to swim, though, they provide just enough support and freedom to make them a good choice.
5 Considerations For Buying the Best Baby Floats
The material your float is made out of is important for durability, but the actual design is what you really want to pay attention to.
Good baby floats are made in a way that prevents flipping or slipping out of the seat.
This usually includes either very large inflatable rings or double rings. And it also includes plenty of belts and buckles to secure them in place.
Many baby floats come with detachable canopies for extra UV protection, which is an important feature to look for.
If budget is your main concern, you probably shouldn’t worry too much. Most baby floats are extremely affordable.
Baby floats come in all different shapes and sizes, so the main thing you need to look for is one that is designed for your baby’s age and weight.
But aside from that, you’ll also need to consider the size of the area you’ll be using it in. If you’ll be using it in a crowded public pool, something smaller will be best.
Some of the cheap floaties are poorly put together with rough seams and protruding inflation pieces. Look for one, instead, that is smooth against your baby’s skin and preferably covered with fabric.
Baby Float Safety Tips
Never take your eyes off your baby. A float should be used for added security, but you’re the best protection in the water.
Learn CPR. This is a good idea for everyone in the family, especially if you spend a lot of time in the water.
Check for air leaks every time you use the float. If it seems to be deflating, add more air and watch to see if it holds it.
Only use baby floats in pools. These are not intended for safety devices in oceans, lakes, or boats.
Best Baby Floats FAQs
Are baby floats safe?
Baby floats are safe as long as there is always an adult present and it’s not relied upon for a lifesaving device. They’re intended for added safety only.
Are pool floats dangerous?
Again, these are only dangerous if you rely too much on them for your baby’s protection. Never take your eyes off them.
What age can babies have floaties?
This really depends on the type of float. There are actually some on the market for infants that look a little like infant carriers surrounded by inflatable tubes.
They usually also have sunshades and security belts so they can safely float on the water as long as you stay right there with them.
Are neck floats safe for babies?
There’s a lot of controversy out there over neck floats.
On one hand, they keep your baby’s head out of the water and allow them the freedom to move their body in the water. But other experts call them potential death traps.
Do your research and decide for yourself. Personally, I would go with a different option!
Baby floats are usually a lot different than other floaties on the market. They provide more safety features, such as safety straps and double rings.
They’re also usually made to be gentler on your baby’s skin.
It’s always important to research any product you plan on using for your baby. But you can’t go wrong with any of our faves in this article.