3. Go Swimming

Article Baby Inflatables Alt

Baby inflatables and swim aids

While your baby learns to swim there are a number of items to help him stay afloat in the water:

Armbands

Baby and child armbands come in a few different shapes and sizes. Some are made of foam with a hole cut through for your child’s arm to fit through, but most are inflatable plastic, available in all kinds of designs and colours.

Make sure you choose a size suitable for your baby's age range and weight. Remember that armbands won't stop babies from dunking their faces in the water, so take care.

Floats

Floatation vests and jackets are a bit like lifejackets. Made from neoprene or nylon, they zip or buckle up at the front and contain foam inserts that keep your baby buoyant, freeing up their arms to move through the water.

Inflatable swim seat

These inflatable rings have a built in 'seat' with leg holes so that your baby can sit securely within the ring and not slip through into the water. Swim seats are best for babies up to 1 year of age.

Swim ring

A simple inflatable ring with no seat, swim rings are suitable for slightly older babies, giving them freedom to kick and splash about freely under the watchful eye of an adult.

Water sling

Like a regular sling baby carrier, water slings can be worn in the water to help carry your baby close, leaving your arms free to get in and out of the water and move around the pool. Water slings are particularly useful if you’re worried about holding onto your slippery baby while in the water!

Noodle or woggle

A noodle, also known as a woggle, is a long, rounded, bendy piece of foam that can be used in a number of ways in the water and is helpful for teaching kids to swim, for floating in the water and for general water play.

It's not necessary or essential to use a baby inflatable or swim aid for baby swimming or while teaching your child to swim, but, used correctly, they can be useful and fun, and will give your child some independence in the water.