Infant Life Jackets: How to Choose the Right One for Your Baby




Most parents take precautions to ensure their child’s safety when near bodies of water, but many do not think about the importance of wearing a life jacket – even in shallow water. Drowning is the leading cause of death for children under four years old, and many of these deaths occur in bathtubs, toilets, swimming pools, and other small bodies of water. Wearing a life jacket can help prevent these tragedy’s from occurring.

There are many different types of infant life jackets on the market, so it is important to choose one that is right for your child. Some factors to consider include:

-The age, weight, and height of your child.
-Whether you will be using it primarily in salt water or fresh water.
-What type of activities you will be doing while wearing the life jacket (e.g., swimming, boating).

Some things to keep in mind when using an infant life jacket:

– Make sure the life jacket fits snugly and does not have any gaps that could allow your child to slip out. The US Coast Guard has a helpful guide on how to properly fit a life jacket.
– It is always best to supervise your child when they are wearing a life jacket and near bodies of water – even if they know how to swim.

Infant Life Jackets # 1) Infant Life Jacket, Toddler Swim Vest Head Protection Swim Trainer Vest with Emergency Whistle & Adjustable Safety Strap

Infant Life Jackets: Infant Life Jacket, Toddler Swim Vest Head Protection Swim Trainer Vest with Emergency Whistle & Adjustable Safety Strap by Store GOVOKSME Store

Product Summary: The Infant Life Jacket is a necessity for any parent who wants to keep their child safe while swimming. This jacket is made with high quality materials and construction, making it durable and long lasting. The jacket is also equipped with an emergency whistle and adjustable safety strap, making it easy to keep your child safe while swimming.

A 5-Star Review: I got this for my daughter when in the pool. It does the job of making the child float but it looks too bulky.

The previous floater she had (it’s now too small for her) fit very well but it was a different style. It only fit the top of the chest and arms.

For this floater, there’s a way the water tends to move it up. Which explains why they have straps going under between the legs.

When I tried to tighten them a little bit to bring it down, it was uncomfortable for my daughter. So you have to loosen it for comfort, which in turn makes it go up .

So my guess is that this is meant to be a life jacket NOT necessarily a floater for swimming.

Infant Life Jackets # 2) Oceans7 US Coast Guard Approved Infant Life Jacket 8-30 lbs – Type II PFD Flex-Form Chest Personal Flotation Device, Pink/Berry

Infant Life Jackets: Oceans7 US Coast Guard Approved Infant Life Jacket 8-30 lbs – Type II PFD Flex-Form Chest Personal Flotation Device, Pink/Berry by Brand: Oceans 7

Product Summary: If you’re looking for a life jacket for your little one, this Oceans7 US Coast Guard Approved Infant Life Jacket 8-30 lbs – Type II PFD Flex-Form Chest Personal Flotation Device is a great choice. It’s made from durable materials and is designed to provide a comfortable, secure fit. Plus, the pink/berry color is perfect for your little girl.

A 5-Star Review: My 19 month old was wearing this on a kayak with her dad. The kayak flipped (close to the dock luckily) and she went under water. She came up immediately and on her back. She wasn’t even coughing when she came above water. I am SO GLAD she was wearing this life jacket and it worked just how it was meant to!!!

A Critical Review: I bought the infant size which is listed as “under 30 pounds”, but this clearly is sized for babies closer to 30 pounds and should be listed as 25-30 pounds. It won’t remotely fit a baby less than 20 pounds.

Infant Life Jackets # 3) Airhead Infant’s General Purpose Life Jacket, Coast Guard Approved, Blue

Infant Life Jackets: Airhead Infant's General Purpose Life Jacket, Coast Guard Approved, Blue by Store AIRHEAD Store

Product Summary: Our U.S. Coast Guard approved, General Boating Life Jacket is a reliable, wearable flotation device that families and kids can count on. It offers a range of sizes, including child, youth, adult universal, and adult oversized. Crafted with a 200-denier polyester shell, this adult life jacket is nothing short of durable. It also features a lightweight Poly-E flotation device inside the jacket. Both materials work together to provide optimum flotation power. This jacket has an open sided design that adapts to a wide range of bodies, but it boasts three straps that clip on the side to make the wearer feel secure. The Airhead General Boating Life Jacket is available in two bright, primary colors: blue and red. Get the same hue for everyone in the family or mix and match between parents and kids. Either way, you won’t have any trouble finding one another when wearing these vibrant jackets.

A 5-Star Review: We went on vacation to Kalahari Resorts and life jackets are required for the little ones. We bought this for our son who is 13 months old and recently started walking consistently. He doesn’t like to float on his back yet, but this jacket was great for what we needed. It specifies that this is best for an infant/child who has been comfortable with or taught to float on their back due to the risk of their head going under forward, but we were always close enough this wouldn’t have been an issue. I have no complaints!

A Critical Review: We got this for our 6 month old son to go to a water park where he had to have a coast guard approved life vest. The size was good but the top wanted to squeeze his head the whole time.. He wasn’t comfortable.

Infant Life Jackets # 4) Airhead WICKED Kwik-Dry Neolite Flex Life Vest | Child and Infant Sizes Available

Infant Life Jackets: Airhead WICKED Kwik-Dry Neolite Flex Life Vest | Child and Infant Sizes Available by Store AIRHEAD Store

Product Summary: The Airhead WICKED Kwik-Dry Neolite Flex Life Vest is a great choice for kids who love spending time in the water. The vest is comfortable and flexes with their movements, while the neolite construction ensures it dries quickly. Plus, the bright colors are sure to stand out in the water.

A 5-Star Review: A few thanks make this product standout. One the vibrant pink and zebra strike is a unique and cute and standout design. Makes it easy to see kid in the water in busy pool areas. Easy for parents to see means easy for lifeguards to see to! The main reason I selected this one for my kid is because it’s coastguard approved, and let’s kids learn to swim with full arm mobility. As a current Nurse and ex lifeguard I highly recommend this item

A Critical Review: The zipper is irritating under the chin

Infant Life Jackets # 5) Aqua US Coast Guard-Approved Life Jacket, PFD with Comfortable Flex-Form-Fit Design, Infants/Kids/Youth

Infant Life Jackets: Aqua US Coast Guard-Approved Life Jacket, PFD with Comfortable Flex-Form-Fit Design, Infants/Kids/Youth by Brand: Aqua LEISURE

Product Summary: (30-50 lbs) The Aqua US Coast Guard-Approved Life Jacket, PFD with Comfortable Flex-Form-Fit Design, Infants/Kids/Youth (30-50 lbs) is a great choice for any little one who loves being out on the water. With a comfortable flex-form fit design, this life jacket is perfect for active kids who want to move around and play. Additionally, the US Coast Guard-approval means that you can rest assured knowing that your child is safe and protected while wearing this life jacket.

Infant Life Jackets # 6) Stohlquist Infant PFD Life Jacket – 8-30 lbs – Coast Guard Approved Life Vest for Toddlers, Support Collar, Grab Handle, Fully Adjustable with Quick Release Buckle

Infant Life Jackets: Stohlquist Infant PFD Life Jacket - 8-30 lbs - Coast Guard Approved Life Vest for Toddlers, Support Collar, Grab Handle, Fully Adjustable with Quick Release Buckle by Store Stohlquist Store

Product Summary: The The Jacket for Kids is a wrap-around flotation jacket designed to help children face up and stay safe in the water. The dual support collars cradle the head, and the front zipper entry and adjustable crotch strap secure the jacket in place.

A 5-Star Review: have used on 14 month and 18 month old grandkids and was tolerated well and seemed to fit better than ones they had brought with them.

A Critical Review: I did a bunch of research before purchasing this life jacket. I started using it last year when my daughter was 8 months old & again this summer at 20 months. She is quite small at 20 pounds. I recently got brave enough to see if it would float her and consistently 5 times now she gets flipped onto her stomach! Oh yikes so not good!!! So as far as safety goes while boating, it’s a pretty epic fail. That being said I gave it 2 stars because otherwise – although really if it doesn’t save her life in an accident what’s the point!?! 🙁 – it is a good quality, it goes on easily, stays on well, and seems quite comfortable for her – she walked around in it for 3 hours today with no issues. It works to keep a hold of her while in the water & give her some extra buoyancy, us a bit more confidence than just holding a slippery toddler. Butttt it flips her on her face if I let go (after placing her on her back). Ugh. So scary. It seems to work for a lot of people but somehow not us.

Infant Life Jackets # 7) Full Throttle Infant Nylon Life Jacket

Infant Life Jackets: Full Throttle Infant Nylon Life Jacket by Brand: Full Throttle

Product Summary: The Full Throttle Infant Nylon Life Jacket is perfect for keeping your little one safe while enjoying the water. This life jacket is made from durable nylon and features a comfortable fit with adjustable straps. The life jacket also has a bright orange color for high visibility.

A 5-Star Review: Baby loves it. He can be layed down flat without rubbing on neck. It’s great

Infant Life Jackets # 8) Airhead Gnar Kwik-Dry NeoLite Flex Life Vest | Child and Infant

Product Summary: The Airhead Gnar Kwik-Dry NeoLite Flex Life Vest is a vest that is designed for children and infants. It is made to be comfortable and durable. The vest is made with a foam material that is designed to be lightweight and comfortable. The vest also has a neoprene material that is designed to be durable and flexible. The vest also has a life jacket that is designed to be comfortable and safe.

A 5-Star Review: This is so worth the price. Our little man tried 2 other life jackets and we finally found this one and it’s been a literal lifesaver! He takes naps on the boat and is able to feed himself snacks and hold his own cups. I would buy it again and again and again!

A Critical Review: I wanted to love this life vest because the colors are great and the material is so soft, but it seems to be too small for my 15 month old 27 lb boy. It probably would have fit him last year, but the top hugs his face and the back part doesn’t fall flat on his back, but sticks up constantly making it hard for him to look around or be comfortable on a sitting or standing position. I will order bigger size for him.

Infant Life Jackets # 9) Level Six Puffer Baby Flotation Vest for Infants 9-25 lbs

Product Summary: This product is a Level Six Puffer Baby Flotation Vest for infants 9-25 lbs. It is made with a durable and comfortable neoprene material. It has a soft, comfortable foam padding and is adjustable to ensure a snug and comfortable fit. This product is ideal for helping your little one stay safe and afloat in the water.

A 5-Star Review: This is exactly what we were looking for! The other standard style jackets squished my son’s face and were obviously uncomfortably big for him. This fit him perfectly and he was happy to play in it and be carried around. I can see him falling asleep in it just fine as the neck cushion acts as a nice pillow, and breast feeding won’t be a problem. The picture attached shows my son sitting up and the life jacket still has some neck room. He can also be picked up by the handle without it choking him. His torso is 13-1/2” long from shoulder to crotch for reference. We did a float test in the tub and he does float, however the water did creep up above his ears. It’s great for a quick recovery type situation but not a good worst case scenario life jacket.

A Critical Review: I put this on my child and tested its quality in my pool before I decided to take it to the lake. My 18 point 7 month old son immediately sank. Yes I had it on correctly. I am a water safety instructor. The foam in know way remotely supported my child in floating. His head would have gone completely under if I didn’t grab him. The foam seemed to absorb all of the water. Not repel it. I am not sure who’s these other reviews are so good..

Infant Life Jackets # 10) Chriffer Kids Swim Vest Life Jacket for 22-66 Pounds Boy and Girl, Toddler Floaties with Shoulder Harness Arm Wings for 2,3,4,5,6,7 Years Old Baby

Product Summary: Swim Training Are you looking for a life jacket for your kids? Look no further than the Chriffer Kids Swim Vest Life Jacket! This life jacket is perfect for kids aged 2-7 years old, and can accommodate kids weighing 22-66 pounds. The life jacket features shoulder harness arm wings for added safety, and is made from a durable and comfortable material. The Chriffer Kids Swim Vest Life Jacket is the perfect way to keep your kids safe while they’re enjoying the water!

A 5-Star Review: I bought this for my 7-year-old son. He’s always been nervous when it came to waters. I read prior reviews which noted this device tend to flip the wearer forward…yikes! There were more positive reviews than most others and this was the preferred design; so, I went for it.

The fit was snug and secured. We tried it out in an 8 feet deep residential pool. At first, I held him with the thought of the reviews stating wearers flip forward. After my son was confident enough to roam around on his own, I let him go but stayed nearby. First thing, he was definitely afloat. As he moved around, he continued to float without issue. I see him playing around by himself and confirmed the device certainly works as a floatation tool. One thing I did not see, however, was him flipping forward. I’m not quite sure how it happens or how it happened with other buyers. All I can say for sure is, definitely works and no flipping forward experienced.

A Critical Review: I read some reviews prior to the purchase that said it tips their kid forward in the water if they let go but purchased it anyway because I saw more good reviews than bad… But I can now vouch for those bad reviews… If I let go of my toddler, this floatie tips her forward. Yikes! Not very happy about it. Pretty sure it’s made for kids who already know how to actively keep themselves afloat.

Infant Life Jackets # 11) Toddler Swim Vest, Baby Girl Swim Jacket 20-50 lbs with Adjustable Safety Strap, Kids Infant Swim Vest Age 1-9 Years

Product Summary: Toddler Swim Vest with Adjustable Safety Straps and Quick-Release Buckles. Your little girl will love this Toddler Swim Vest! It is perfect for the pool, beach, or lake. It is made of durable and soft material that is comfortable to wear. The vest has an adjustable safety strap that will keep her secure. It is also easy to put on and take off. This vest is perfect for kids aged 19 years.

A 5-Star Review: Excelente calidad, para bebes de 2 años es bastante grande, los cordones de ajustar quedan demasiado largos, fuera de eso excelente producto. identico a las imagenes mostradas.

A Critical Review: Doesn’t have the best support, my daughter could hardly move in it!

Infant Life Jackets # 13) Boglia Kids Swim Vest Toddler Life Jacket Infant Life Vest Pool Float with Adjustable Safety Strap,Floaties for Age 1-9 Years/22-50Lbs

Product Summary: If you are looking for a swim vest for your toddler or infant, look no further than the Boglia Kids Swim Vest. This vest is designed for children aged 1-9 years old, and features an adjustable safety strap and floaties for added safety. The vest is made from durable materials and is sure to provide your child with hours of fun in the pool.

A 5-Star Review: Like many other parents I was looking for an affordable but quality vest for my son. Reading reviews on other vests like this I was worried but as soon as I got it I fitted to my son and lifted him by the back handle. Nothing tore he is now happily floating in the pool with no assistance.. the best doesn’t make his face lean into the pool i would recommend this to anyone

A Critical Review: My grandson weighs about 24 lbs and this vest is still to big for him.

Infant Life Jackets # 14) Stearns Original Puddle Jumper Kids Life Jacket | Swim Shifters Color Changing Life Vest for Infants Under 30 Pounds

Product Summary: This Stearns Original Puddle Jumper Swim Shifters Infant Life Jacket is Coast Guard approved and has bright Swim Shifters graphics that change colors when wet for more fun. The Heads-Up oversize head support encourages face-up flotation, and the grab handle allows you to easily remove the child from the water if necessary. The durable nylon fabric offers strength and reliability.

A 5-Star Review: I got my first Stearns life vest when I was 12 and I still have it–and it still works–at 63. I don’t use it any more. The foam core is a bit tatty. But in a pinch it would still save a life.

Stearns was state-of-the-art for life vests fifty years ago and it remains so today. They last. But more importantly, they’re reliably designed to keep the wearer’s head above water in an emergency.

There’ve been a few design changes in life vests over the years. In particular, the addition of the back flotation flap to keep a child’s head above water is now a feature on all children’s life vests. Our old Stearns vests didn’t have that.

We are using this life vest with grandbabies within the fenced in are around our backyard pool. We don’t let any crawler/toddler in that area without a vest, and this is a particularly good vest for the youngest children. I strongly recommend requiring vests of all young children around your pool and I commend this as a good vest for young children.

A Critical Review: Im not sure why manufacturers think there needs to be 2 to 3 inch pads of foam surrounding a child, but there is. So it completely ruins any fun in the water for the kid and its so tight that you might as well not even put it on them because they will cry and fuss anyhow. We just used it for a boat ride and it was completely ruined by drama created by this tight oversized mess.


While infant life jackets are not required by law, the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Safe Boating Council recommend that all children under the age of 13 wear a life jacket when boating. Infant life jackets are specifically designed for infants and provide more flotation and head support than adult life jackets.

If you need help finding the best life jackets to enjoy your favorite water activities, we have a few suggestions of our own. You can read all about them here>>

About the author, Liya James

Hi, I am Liya!! I first traveled the globe when I was four months old when we immigrated to the United States from Indonesia, and I have been roaming the world every chance I get ever since. I've been to 15 countries and counting. I am passionate about experiencing new cultures and sharing my adventures with others. I believe that travel is the best education, and I am excited to continue learning and sharing these adventures with you.

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