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Summertime is for swimming! But what about the little ones who are just starting out? How can you keep them safe in the pool while they’re still learning to swim? Check out our recommendations for the best baby pool floats. From infant floats to toddler-sized options, we’ve got you covered. Keep your child safe and happy this summer with one of our recommended floats!

A Quick Review of the Best Baby Pool Float Options:

Top Choice: Mambo Baby Float

The Mambo Baby Float is our top pick for the best baby pool float. It features a wide base and low center of gravity, making it stable and safe for even the youngest swimmers (3 to 24 months). The non-inflatable seat is comfortable and secure and can hold the baby in a front-facing or back-facing position.

This one-of-a-kind float keeps baby happy and safe from flipping (of course, supervision is still needed at all times).

Top 3 favorite specs for the Mambo Baby Noninflatable Float:

  1. The low center of gravity and wide base makes it very stable
  2. The built-in sun canopy is a nice touch
  3. The intuitive position that baby goes in makes them comfortable (and safe) for any length of pool time!

What We Don’t Love:

  1. Some parents found the positioning awkward
  2. There are a lot of knock-off versions of this float that have cheap buckles, straps, and material-make sure you’re getting the real thing!

Bottom Line

The Mambo Baby Float is our top pick for the best baby pool float. It’s safe and stable for even the youngest swimmers and features a built-in sun canopy to keep them protected from the sun.

Related read: Sun Protection for Kids (Including Best Sunscreen)

Best Budget Baby Pool Float: LAYCOL Baby Swimming Float

The LAYCOL Baby Swimming Float is our pick for the best budget baby pool float. It’s made of durable PVC and features a wide base and low center of gravity, making it stable and safe for even the youngest swimmers (0 to 24 months). The inflatable seat is comfortable and secure and can be positioned in a front-facing or back-facing position.

This float also comes with a built-in sun canopy to keep your little one protected from the sun’s harmful rays. Plus, the well-designed straps keep the baby safely in place with no slippage.

Top three favorite specs for the LAYCOL Baby Swimming Float:

  • The low center of gravity and wide base makes it very stable
  • Easy to inflate for set up, then deflate and store
  • Cute design and fun colors for your little one

What We Don’t Love:

  • Some parents found the positioning awkward (it’s similar to the Mambo Baby)

Bottom Line:

The LAYCOL Baby Pool Float is our pick for the best budget baby pool float. It’s very budget-friendly, a mom/baby favorite, and even comes in fun colors!

Best Float for Babies Under 6 Months: SWIMWAYS Infant Baby Spring Float

The SWIMWAYS Infant Baby Spring Float is our pick for the best float for babies under six months. It is designed with an extra-wide base, safety valves, and dual air chambers for the best possible safety. Plus, the fabric-covered inflation provides excellent durability.

Our top three fav specs for the Baby Spring Float:

  • Features a patented inner spring around the outside edge of the float for the best possible stability- even for a newborn
  • The soft mesh-covered lounger allows young babies to enjoy themselves at the pool (I’ve also seen it used for pets and for napping babies on the pool deck- under supervision of course)
  • The sun canopy keeps the baby protected from the sun

What We Don’t Love:

  • This design doesn’t allow the baby to actually engage and play in the water as some models do

Bottom Line:

The SWIMWAYS Baby Spring Float is our pick for the best float for babies under six months for its functionality!

Best Float for Older Babies: SWIMWAYS Pool Float Activity Center

This popular option is a just lot of fun for older babies! The SWIMWAYS Pool Float Activity Center is our pick for the best float for older babies (12 to 24 months). It has a built-in activity center with toys, including a teether, stacking rings, and rattle. Cute meets safe and functional!

Top three fav specs:

  • The built-in activity center can keep your baby occupied for a long time
  • The wide fabric-covered tubes provide maximal for your baby while they play around
  • UPF 50 Sun protection with a removable cover

What We Don’t Love:

  • If you want the baby to focus on feeling the water and getting comfortable, the activity center can actually be distracting!

Bottom Line:

The SWIMWAYS Pool Float Activity Center is our pick for the best float for older babies. It’s a great option if you’re looking for a safe float with some built-in entertainment value.

Best Pool Float for Toddlers: Chriffer Kids Swim Vest Life Jacket

The Chriffer Kids Swim Vest Life Jacket is our pick for the best pool float for toddlers. It’s made of durable neoprene and features a comfortable, adjustable fit. The adjustable straps allow for 20-65 lbs (2-7 years old). Plus, the built-in flotation devices provide extra safety and peace of mind.

Top three fav specs:

  • This is my absolute favorite- when my daughter used this she safely gained a ton of confidence in the water
  • Designed to prevent unsafe forward or backward tipping (your child’s head should always stay above water- with supervision though!)
  • Intuitive design made with high-quality materials to keep your toddler having fun and exploring the water

What We Don’t Love:

  • Some parents found that the neoprene material got too hot in the sun

Bottom Line:

The Chriffer Kids Swim Vest Life Jacket is our pick for the best pool float for toddlers. It’s made of durable neoprene and has a comfortable and adjustable fit. So much fun for learning swimmers!

Most Fun Inflatable Infant Pool Float: Poolmaster Mommy and Me Swimming Pool Baby Rider

The Poolmaster Mommy and Me Swimming Pool Baby Rider is our pick for the most fun inflatable infant pool float. It’s designed for ages 8 to 24 months and features a built-in sunshade, leg holes, and fun built-in blow-up animals.

Our tops 3 favorite specs for the Mommy and Me Baby RIder

  • Rather than choose a baby swim float that has a cute but impractical design or tons of engaging toys on it, we chose what a baby would TRULY love- being close and playing with a parent in the water!
  • This is a pool float with canopy to protect the baby from harmful UV rays
  • Comes with a repair kit (we all know how important that can be with kids!)

What We Don’t Love:

  • This baby float doesn’t have a lot of “extras” like some of the other options on this list.
  • This pool float is not adjustable and may not fit all babies and adults

Bottom line:

The Poolmaster Mommy and Me Swimming Pool Baby Rider is our pick for the most fun inflatable baby pool float. This baby swim float is great for bonding and playtime while keeping baby safe in the water.

What to Look for in a Baby Pool Float

When deciding which baby pool float is right for your little one, there are a few factors to consider. If you can’t decide, you can always try a few different types of baby floats as well- thankfully they’re relatively low cost and can always be shared with friends and family too.

Keep these factors in mind when choosing a pool float:

  • Sun protection- babies under 6 months of age should avoid direct sunlight
  • Removable canopy- that way it can be utilized inside when you want it, without the extra bulk
  • Safety features- adjustable straps, high-quality material to prevent water leaks, child safety valves, dual inflation chambers, internal springs for stability, etc.
  • Type of baby pool float- for babies look for support around the chest and waist- baby neck floats are not recommended. For Toddlers- a sturdy swim float or a life vest are ideal.
  • What materials the swim float is made with- avoid materials with toxic smells or that can easily start to leak (go for high-quality PVC material)
  • Inflatable vs non-inflatable foam or plastic- inflatable can be easier to store while non-inflatable will not leak
  • Convenience- easy to store and assemble
  • Fun features (like a steering wheel or full baby float activity center)
  • Cuteness vs. functionality (and safety)- some may have it all! But never choose a baby float just for its cute factor, even though it’s tempting!

Related read: Best Baby Towels for the Pool and Beyond

cute toddler swimming in a life vest
Kids Naturally Love Water!

Safety Considerations with a Baby Pool Float

Keep your baby safe and having fun this summer.

  • Always keep your little one within arm’s reach or closer (depending on their comfort)
  • Remember- a baby float is NOT a life jacket
  • Life jackets are not appropriate for young babies
  • Drowning can happen quickly and is silent, never leave your child unattended- even with a pool float
  • Ensure the baby float is properly inflated and adjusted to prevent the baby from tipping unexpectedly
  • Even when not in the pool, keep a very close eye on the baby to make sure they don’t wander to the pool edge and fall in
baby swim float
Swimming Babies Are The Cutest!

General Safety Considerations for Swimming with Your Little One

While we’re talking about safety, let’s quickly review other general considerations to keep in mind.

  • Start with short swimming sessions and work up to longer periods of time to make sure baby is enjoy their water time
  • If possible, avoid the pool during peak hours when it is very crowded
  • Make sure the pool you are using is clean and well-maintained
  • Check the water temperature before getting in it should be warm, but not too hot (or too cold!)
  • Be aware of other swimmers around you and keep an eye on your little one at all times
  • If you are using a pool float, make sure it is properly inflated and secure
  • Never leave your child unattended near or in water- even for a moment!
  • It’s worth getting your baby or toddler comfortable in the water without a baby pool float as well- give them a chance to feel like a “free-swimming baby” 🙂
  • If your baby is getting tired- throw them in a baby beach tent for quiet time or a nap!

By following these simple tips, you can help ensure that your baby has a safe and fun time swimming this summer! So grab a pool float and get ready for some fun in the sun!

Happy swimming!

What are your favorite tips for swimming with young children? Share them in the comments below! And be sure to check out our other blog post on summer safety tips for kids of all ages. Stay safe and have fun this summer!