Pool time is loads of fun for everyone, including the very young. That said, picking what to wear is much more than a simple fashion choice. For today’s article, it is time talk about picking a swimsuit and life jacket for babies.

Start with a Swim Diaper

Before we talk about picking a swimsuit and lifejacket for babies, let’s start one layer down. You guessed it, it’s swim diaper time. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) even recommends that all public swimming locations require their use. These specialized diapers help to prevent accidents from leaking into the water and spreading bacteria to other swimmers.


Well, they can stop the spread for a while, at least. Swim diapers are not a permanent solution, but they can help buy a parent some precious time before a change.

No one likes a messy diaper, and that extends toward every other person in the pool as well. Pack more than you think you’ll need and change them often. Your baby and the other swimmers will thank you for taking extra precautions.

Moving Up: Picking a Swimsuit

For babies between the ages of zero to three months, the major concern should be warmth and skin protection. At this age, kids have surprisingly sensitive skin. Harsh pool chemicals, like chlorine, can cause irritation or rashes. Beyond this, the water may not seem very cold to adults… but it can be a different story for babies.

Little ones are extremely sensitive to the cold. To help prevent both of these problems, consider a thermal one-piece swimsuit or a wetsuit designed for babies. The goal is to keep as much of their bodies protected as possible.

Life Jackets and Little Ones

Besides swimsuits, kids should start wearing a life jacket as early as possible. Drowning is a leading cause of accidental death for children aged one-to-four. To prevent this, a properly worn U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket can be a significant help to parents. In case of a sudden fall or an accident, a life preserver can help to keep the individual afloat while waiting for help to arrive.

To this end, choosing a life jacket for a baby or toddler is actually quite similar to choosing one for adults and teens. For adults, a life jacket is chosen based on chest size. For kids, this is not the case.

Stay Within Arm's Reach

When it comes to picking a life jacket for children, you’ll need to know the child’s weight:
  • Infant Life Jackets: 8 to 30 pounds
  • Child Life Jackets: 30 to 50 pounds
  • Youth Life Jackets: 50 to 90 pounds

Again, be sure to check that the U.S. Coast Guard has approved the life jacket you are considering. Their rigid safety precautions and regulations help to offer the best protection for every member of the family. That’s true for everyone, regardless of age.

Take a Break: Beyond Picking a Swimsuit and Life Jacket for Babies

If you are worried about your child being too exposed to the elements, the best solution will always be to take a break. Spending less time in the water can certainly limit risks. In an ideal situation, very young children won’t be spending more than 10–15 minutes in the pool.