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Floaties for toddlers? Needing suggestions!

Posted by on May. 22, 2012 at 10:12 AM
  • 17 Replies

My 18month old is 31 pounds, VERY active, and VERY strong. He wants to literally dive head first into a pool. I bought him a little floaty thing, it's like a shirt that goes over his arms/head and has a little innertube that goes around his didn't work at all. He basically throws himself forward and under water. Can you guys give me some suggestions for good floaties/lifejackets/swim devices?

Thanks! :)


by on May. 22, 2012 at 10:12 AM
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by Member on May. 22, 2012 at 10:21 AM

I bought a baithsuit for my 3 year old last year at walmart. It was in the swimming section. It was a baithing suit with a lifejacket that matched it. It worked wonders and keeps her above water and lets her swim. She is still using the vest this year (it was detached from the swimsuit).

by on May. 22, 2012 at 10:23 AM
I would suggest a life jacket.
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by on May. 22, 2012 at 10:24 AM

I bought some cloth covered floaties at target for my dd. She wears them every summer and has since she's been about 2.

by on May. 22, 2012 at 10:27 AM

This is what I use. It's floaties and vest thing combined and is coast guard approved.
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by on May. 22, 2012 at 10:28 AM
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by on May. 22, 2012 at 10:34 AM

An infant life vest with the float collar behind the head prevents a child from going face-first into the water.

The life vest says it's for up to 30-lbs, but I bet it would work for your son.  I tried it with my youngest, even when she was slightly over the weight limit.  She wasn't strong enough to prevent it from rolling her onto her back, so she hated it.  A friend borrowed it with their child, and their daughter was strong enough to stay upright instead of having it push her onto her back.  If the child is strong enough to stay upright, it's great.  If they're not strong enough, then the safety feature kicks in and rolls them onto their back, so they can't drown.

Another surprisingly effective floaty are the cheapy arm floaties, even the ones at the $1 store.   These won't automatically prevent your child from going face-first, but if your child jumps into the pool, they will make him pop back up to the top of the water.  As long as you're watching your child, these will give you the extra few seconds you need to grab him if he jumps in when you're not looking.  They also enable your child to paddle around a bit.

At 18-months, though, I'd probably stick with the life vest with the safety float collar.

by on May. 22, 2012 at 10:37 AM
Both of my kids had life jackets. They need new ones this year. My aunt and friends of the family have a deep pool so they mus stay on at all times unless I'm in the pool.
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by Member on May. 22, 2012 at 11:22 AM

My son started swimming lessons at 21 months and we bought him two swim suits with floats imbedded: 

Kids Camo Blue Floating Swimsuit Sun Protection Swim Suit SPF+50 Flotation Suit Size Small for Kids Age 1.5-3.5 Years Old

Swimsafe Floatsuit - Green/Yellow Size 2-3

These worked well for us in the beginning.  It gave him confidence (now 2 1/2) and it gave me a slight peace of mind.  You still have to swim with them, but I felt less panicked as he always wanted to swim 'By Self'!  As he learned to swim, the instructor told us we had to remove those suits for his lessons as those suits do not allow the child to learn to swim, horizontally (normally).  These suits basically teach him how to tread water. 

by on May. 22, 2012 at 11:34 AM
I say a lifejacket as well.
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by on May. 22, 2012 at 12:03 PM
1 mom liked this
If you ate in the pool with him use nothing, you are there.
Life jackets really are bad for teaching to swim. The essentially hold the child out of the water, in a life and death situation it does it's job.
But for swimming in a pool, with adults supervision it's not great. Kids who wear life jackets all the time to swim, swim much later because they have to be re taught how to put their faces and bodies into the water.
If you are going to be with him, let him wear nothing. Or just get one of this blow up small tubes, that will be enough if you are watching him.
And I understand having a little one with no fear, we had one who could swim well before she was two, she was nuts! Not afraid of anything, and just jumped in and swam like a crazy woman!
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