I remember having to take swimming lessons when I was younger and being very timid around water. One of my goals it to ensure right from the start Ella would be as comfortable in water as she was on land. Luckily we are fortunate to have a pool in our backyard so this made it even easier. I waited and waited until she was at least 6 months so we could apply sunscreen on her and for the weather to be warm enough to have her out without having to worry she’d get sick.
Although some of the time, we held her and dunked her under the water so she would be used to getting water in her face, I wanted something that she could use to keep afloat. I looked at life jacket type flotation aids but it seemed strange since it didn’t keep them upright. Water wings and swim rings were not safe for her at this age so I ruled those out. I came across a Baby Spring Float by Swimways with a detachable canopy which seemed to be exactly what I was looking for. It had two tubes that blew up with a mesh centre and mesh insert where they sit in. It was very sturdy and has never flipped over which was comforting for us. Although adult supervision is always needed in the water, we felt comfortable with Ella in this and did not have to hold onto the float at all times. She loved being independent in her float and I appreciated not having to have her hang off me the entire time in the pool. The recommended age is 9-24 months but we’ve had children who’ve been as old as 6yrs old in it and it’s still in one piece after 3 summers of use now. In addition if you go to the beach or travel, you can deflate it and it folds up a little smaller and fits into a carry bag which is included.