Seeing your baby learn to swim is exciting, challenging and can make for some seriously proud moments, but to give you some peace of mind, you'll want to consider some of the best baby swimming aids. If you've got your swimming nappies and baby swim vest ready, you're probably thinking about giving them a bit more independence in the pool.
Black Friday deals on baby swimming aids
Black Friday is currently everywhere right now which means there's a whole host of Black Friday baby deals on baby swimming aids to take advantage of! So if you want to grab a bargain, here are the retailers that have the best deals right now or keep scrolling to continue reading our buyer's guide.
Most babies love to be in the water, but to help them feel safe and confident, it's worth investing in some baby swimming aids. If you want to test the waters before taking them to a public swimming pool, there's always the option of a paddling pool at home, or if you're heading on a staycation, to a house with a pool.
Visiting the swimming pool is a great indoor activity that the whole family can enjoy. A swimming float will help your child improve their swimming technique. When it comes to toddler swimming aids, there are lots of products available to help you out.
• Best overall baby swimming aid: Free Swimming Baby Inflatable Baby Swimming Float - buy here on Amazon.
• Best for keeping toddlers safe in the water: Splash About Kids' Go Swim Vest - buy here on Amazon.
• Best baby swim seat: Zoggs Baby Zoggy Inflatable Trainer - buy here on Amazon.
We've rounded up some of the top-rated baby and toddler swimming aids on the market that have all been reviewed by real parents, so whether you're looking for a pool noodle, armbands, or a swim seat, you're sure to find the perfect float for your tot.
Best baby swim floats and swimming aids
Best overall baby swimming aid
This Free Swimming Baby Inflatable Baby Swimming Float is ideal for encouraging babies to get used
- Comfortable for little swimmers
- Easy to inflate
- Cute design
- Only available in two sizes
Best swimming aid for building confidence
A fab alternative to traditional inflatable armbands, Zoggs Float Discs Armbands are a fantastic
- Bold design
- Puncture-free floats
- Adjustable to your child's confidence in water
- Can easily out grow them
Best float suit for girls
Available in sizes 1-2 years, 2-3 years, and 4-5 years, this Splash About Kids UV Sun Protection
- Available in a variety of colours and sizes
- Good sun protection with UPF 50+
- Floats for buoyancy
- Some reviews mentioned it makes your child slippery to grab hold of
Best swim jacket for boys
To help with their kicking technique and develop their strength, this Konfidence The Original
- Fun design for mini swimmers
- Good alternative to armbands
- Gives little ones confidence in water
- Hand-wash only
Best swimming jacket aid for toddlers
- Good option for toddlers
- Puncture proof floats
- Includes a manufacturer one year guarantee
- Some reported it comes up small
Best armband swimming aid
If armbands are your child's preferred flotation device, you can't go wrong with these Zoggs
- Excellent value for money
- Comfortable to wear
- Made from durable Vylux, which is less likely to be torn or punctured
- It can get a puncture
Best for keeping toddlers safe in the water
This Splash About Kids' Go Swim Vest is great for keeping your little ones warm, as well as being
- Available in eight designs
- Shortlisted for a Mother and Baby Award
- Perfect for taking on holiday
- Quite heavy
Best designed swimming aid
A swim vest that acts as a buoyancy aid for tots, Speedo Tiger Cub Float Vest helps with
- Easy to use
- lovely colour
- Some report it comes up large
Best baby swim seat
Suitable for babies aged 0-12 months (up to 11 kg) and 12-24 months (up to 15 kg), this Zoggs Baby
- Stable, secure seat
- Inflates and deflates effortlessly
- Dual air chambers with separate safety valves
- Different parts need inflating separately
Sturdiest baby swim seat
- Good value for money
- Seat keeps baby stable
- Durable and pre-tested vinyl material
- Little ones can outgrow it quickly
Best baby swim seat with sunshade
If you're looking for the perfect swimming float to take away with you on holiday, this versatile
- Cute design
- Features a sun protection canopy
- Only available in two sizes
Most fun swimming aid for toddlers
If it's confidence your child needs, Swimfin Swimming Aid will absolutely do the trick. It keeps
- Fun design
- Promotes a natural swimming position
- May only suit older children
What is the average age a child learns to swim?
The globally recognised Swim England Learn to Swim Programme starts lessons from as young as a few months old. Although, you will need to be in the water with your little one. At the age of three, your little one can begin to learn to swim with instructors on their own. There is no set age when your child will learn to swim, but the earlier they learn the foundations of swimming, the quicker they will progress. At the age of five, they can begin the learning to swim framework. Learning to swim is an essential life skill - so it is good to get them swimming early. By this age, children can usually learn basic water skills such as treading water, floating, and getting out of the pool. By the time they reach five or six, most children in swim lessons will be able to do front and back crawl.
When to start baby swimming lessons
According to the NHS, 'You can take your baby swimming at any age, both before and after they have been vaccinated. It does not matter if they have not yet completed their course of vaccinations.' So really, the choice is yours to make.
Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington shares her tips with us on taking your baby swimming with the help of her experience from when her daughter Summer was a baby.
"I first took Summer swimming when she was three and a half weeks old. It sounds really early, but it's fine for your baby to go in the pool at that age. Lots of people were shocked when I said I'd taken her swimming before she'd had all her injections, but the NHS guidelines say that you don't have to wait until your baby's had them," explains Rebecca.
"Most baby swimming classes won't take you if your baby hasn't had their jabs, but to be honest, you don't need to go to a class the first few times, as you're only in the pool for about 10 minutes."
What to take to baby swimming lessons?
• Swim nappies as normal nappies are not suitable
• One towel for you and a soft towel or towelling dressing gown
• Snacks if your baby is weaning; swimming is hungry work!
• A bottle of milk if you're bottle-feeding
• A changing bag
• Your changing mat
• A bag for wet clothes and used towels
Baby swimming lessons
There are also plenty of swimming programmes in leisure centres or indoor pools available, especially for babies all around the country. Here are a few programmes to look into:
If you would like some in-person support when taking your baby swimming, why not see if your pool offers swimming lessons or classes? It's a great way to meet other parents and for your youngster to see other babies in the same situation as them.
How much are swimming lessons for babies
The price will really depend on the kind of swimming lessons you're looking for. While some pools and leisure centres offer pay-as-you-go schemes for swimming lessons, many will require you to pay upfront for lessons.
You can expect to pay on average, around £8 to £15 per class. For one-to-one lessons, they're likely to start from around £17 - £20 per class.
Does a baby need arm bands or aids for swimming?
Babies under one cannot wear armbands; however, many toddlers prefer them because they give the fiercely independent tots some freedom. If your toddler is learning to swim, armbands can restrict movement. It is a good idea to bring a baby swimming ring or float for smaller babies.
Lily Anderson is a Deputy Commercial Content Editor at Bauer Media, where she writes about and reviews products for titles like Mother&Baby, Heat, Closer, What’s the Best and Yours.