Why you won't regret using a float suit when teaching your baby to swim
Teaching your little one to swim from babyhood is a great idea, and one you won’t regret. Not only is it incredibly beneficial for their brain development, it is also a valuable life skill and a great bonding exercise for the whole family.
Your baby can start swimming from birth, so it’s never too early to introduce them to the swimming pool. With the proper accessories and baby swimwear they’ll be splashing around in no time, and a baby float suit is the perfect way to ease them in gently and help boost their confidence in the water.
What is a baby float suit?
A float suit is a buoyancy aid swimsuit with built-in floats to keep your baby safely at the surface whilst in the water. Many suits are designed so that you can gradually remove the floats as your baby develops their own buoyancy and eventually learns to swim without it. They are not suitable for very young babies and most start for ages 12 months and upwards.
How can they help?
A float suit makes for an elegant alternative to the traditional, more cumbersome arm bands we all had as children. They hold your child in the optimal, horizontal swimming position which helps them develop a good swimming technique as they learn the basics.
This, coupled with the fact that your child’s arms are left free to move naturally, means they can get the full, enjoyable swimming experience without the risk of losing buoyancy or confidence.
What type of suit should I get?
There are two main types of float suit on the market; the more traditional full swimsuit with built-in float panels and the individual buoyancy jacket. Both are brilliant swimming aids and provide support and comfort; it’s just a case of choosing the suit that feels right for you and your baby. Here is a run-down of both options to help you choose:
The traditional swimsuit
This looks and feels like an ordinary swimsuit but comes with handy removable floats or float panels built in to the body. One of the leading manufacturers of baby swimwear on the market is UK brand, Konfidence, and their version of this style of swimsuit - the Konfidence Float Suit - is highly popular with parents and comes in a variety of colours and fun designs your little one will love.
This type of suit is great for a first-time swimmer and means you won’t need to purchase a swimsuit and a floatation aid separately. What’s more, you can remove the individual floats one at a time as your baby starts to gain more independence in the water.
The benefits don’t stop there. Konfidence design these suits using Nylon Lycra which makes them super comfortable against your baby’s delicate bare skin. You can also rely on these suits remaining securely in place, ensuring your child always stays in the correct position while swimming.
A great alternative to the Konfidence designs is the Jakabel Swimsafe Float Suit which has permanent, flexible floatation panels built in to the body and a flexible ring around the neck of the suit to help keep your child’s head above the water. These suits, like the Konfidence designs, also provide 50+ UV protection which makes them ideal for play time in the sun.
The Buoyancy Jacket
This is a great option for when your baby already has a collection of regular swimsuits as it can be worn comfortably over the top of any existing swimwear. Like the float suit, the Original Konfidence Jacket comes in a variety of colourful designs and also features a bright yellow back for high visibility - a great safety feature and a trademark of the Konfidence design. These are typically for slightly older children who are learning to swim and come for age groups from 18 months to 7 years.
Made from the classic wetsuit material, Neoprene, the jacket is extremely soft and comfortable, meaning it won’t rub or chafe your baby’s skin, even around the arms. The jacket also provides 100% UV protection for covered areas of skin which makes it an essential item for family holidays in the sun.
Finally, as an extra safety feature, these jackets also come with self-locking YKK brand zips and velcro retainer to stop your little ones from accidentally un-zipping themselves, so you can relax and let them enjoy the water worry-free.
So there you have it, two great products and some top tips to help your babies get the most out of their early swimming experiences.
Please do note that these suits are not a substitute for life jackets or life saving devices.