The Best Infant Life Jackets

Swimming is a nice pleasure of summer, and as a parent, safety is your number one concern. Whether you are using a kiddie pool, your full-size backyard pool, a lake, or some other body of water, an infant life jacket will help keep your little one safe and sound. While nothing replaces constant adult supervision around water, a life jacket can add one more layer of safety.

We have evaluated dozens of life jackets for babies so we could offer you a good selection to choose from. We looked at weight limits, recommendations, the materials the life jackets are meant for, whether they’re Coast Guard approved, and more! We included the details you need to choose the right one for your little swimmer with each listing.

Best Infant Life Jacket Overall
O'Neill Wake Waterski Infant USCG Vest
This U.S. Coast Guard-approved life vest can keep your little one safe in and around the water.

Our favorite infant life jacket overall is the O’Neill Wake Waterski Infant USCG Vest. This is a type II personal flotation device that is approved by the United States Coast Guard. It fits babies under 30 lbs and works by keeping the child floating face-up should they fall into the water.

The 5 Top-Rated Infant Life Jackets

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best Infant Life Jacket OverallO’Neill Wake Waterski Infant USCG Vest4.7
Best With Fabric Leg HolesConnelly Babysafe Nylon Vest4.4
Best Budget Infant Life JacketAirhead Infant’s General Purpose Life Vest4.6
Best Neoprene Infant Life JacketStearns Infant Puddle Jumper4.2
Best Life Jacket With Arm WingsBody Glove Ladybug Swim Life Jacket
4.8

*Ratings are from Amazon and might change over time.

Best Infant Life Jacket Overall: O’Neill Wake Waterski Infant USCG Vest

The life jacket that made the very top of our list is the O’Neill Wake Waterski Infant USCG Vest. This is a life vest that is appropriate for babies under 30 lbs. It is designed to keep your child’s front-facing up; the PVC foam is in the front, and there’s a flap in the back that keeps the baby’s head above water. Should your little one fall into the water, this life jacket can keep them floating with their face out of the water so you can grab the handle and pull them out.

The shell is made of nylon, and the adjustable straps are quick-release. There is also a strap that goes between the legs to prevent the baby from sliding out of the life jacket. The materials are long-lasting and comfortable for your baby to wear. There are various colors available to choose from.

O’Neill Wake Waterski Infant USCG Vest Key Features:

  • US Coast Guard approved
  • For babies under 30 lbs
  • Designed to float baby face-up
  • Flap in back keeps head above water
  • Has a handle for easy grabbing
  • Nylon shell, PVC foam flotation materials
  • Adjustable straps

Best Infant Life Jacket With Fabric Leg Holes: Connelly Babysafe Nylon Vest

Best With Fabric Leg Holes
Connelly Babysafe Nylon Vest
Keep your little one safe and secure in this U.S. Coast Guard approved life vest.

If you prefer a life jacket with fabric leg holes (as opposed to an adjustable strap), consider our top pick in this category, which is the Connelly Babysafe Nylon Vest. This is the blue version; there is also a pink version available. The nylon life jacket is approved by the U.S. Coast Guard and has a fabric crotch, which makes it very unlikely that your wiggly baby will be able to get out of it. There are adjustable straps to make the rest of the vest fit securely.

The life jacket will keep your baby’s face above water. It is approved for babies under 30 lbs, and users report that it fit their very young babies, too. The buckles are quick-release, so it will be simple to get the vest off of your little one when your time at the lake or on the boat is over or when it’s time for a diaper change.

Connelly Babysafe Nylon Vest Key Features:

  • U.S. Coast Guard-approved
  • For babies up to 30 lbs
  • Fabric leg openings
  • Blue and pink versions available
  • Keeps babies face above water
  • Quick-release buckles

Best Budget Infant Life Jacket: Airhead Infant’s General Purpose Life Vest

Best Budget Infant Life Jacket
Airhead Infant's General Purpose Life Vest
This brightly colored, easy-to-adjust life vest can give you extra peace of mind near the water.

The Airhead Infant’s General Purpose Life Vest made our top pick for budget-friendly infant life jackets. It is made of durable polyester and features easily adjusted straps that make it snug and secure. This includes a strap that goes between the legs. The foam collar will support your baby’s head and neck if he or she should fall into the water. There’s also a grab strap that will allow you to pull your little one back out of the water.

This life jacket comes in a bright yellow with either red or blue accents. It is for babies weighing under 30 lbs. It’s U.S. Coast Guard approved, so you can feel confident in its safety. Amazon users report that their babies seemed to be comfortable wearing it. It was a bit big on smaller babies but fit well once the customers’ children were several months old.

Airhead Infant’s General Purpose Life Vest Key Features:

  • U.S. Coast Guard-approved
  • For babies under 30 lbs
  • Adjustable straps
  • Foam collar
  • Polyester/nylon construction
  • Comfortable

Best Neoprene Infant Life Jacket: Stearns Infant Puddle Jumper

Best Neoprene Infant Life Jacket
Stearns Infant Puddle Jumper
This lightweight, comfortable infant life jacket is made of neoprene, which is great for all-day wear.

If you are looking for a neoprene life jacket for your baby, our favorite is the Stearns Infant Puddle Jumper. Neoprene is a lightweight material that is often more comfortable than nylon. It can keep your little one cooler than a traditional life jacket, and it’s just as safe. This one is for babies under 30 lbs and is U.S. Coast Guard approved.

This life jacket has an oversized top and head support, which keeps your baby head-up in the water. It also features Crosstech foam, which will keep your little one afloat. The back zips and the side buckles; once you put this on your baby, he or she won’t be able to easily wiggle out of it. A few Amazon customers said that the vest fit their very small babies (newborn to three months) well.

Stearns Infant Puddle Jumper Key Features:

  • U.S. Coast Guard-approved
  • For babies up to 30 lbs
  • Made of neoprene and Crosstech foam
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Zippered back
  • Side and crotch straps

Best Life Vest With Arm Wings: Body Glove Ladybug Swim Life Jacket

Best Life Vest With Arm Wings
Body Glove Ladybug Swim Life Jacket
Help your little one learn to swim with this adorable ladybug life jacket with arm wings.

If your baby is older and is ready to start learning how to swim, the Body Glove Ladybug Swim Life Jacket might be the right product for you. This is not for small babies; it is recommended for toddlers who are at least 30 lbs. It does not have head support for smaller babies, because the goal is to help your child learn to propel him-or herself around in the water. So, while it will keep your child’s head above water, it will not turn a baby onto their back. It is U.S. Coast Guard approved.

It has a shoulder harness to prevent your little one from taking off the life jacket and the arm wings will help support your child’s shoulders in the water. It’s made of comfortable, lightweight polyester material. This featured product is the ladybug style, but there are many others to choose from, including a dinosaur, mermaid, and octopus themes.

Body Glove Ladybug Swim Life Jacket Key Features:

  • U.S. Coast Guard-approved
  • For toddlers 30-50 lbs
  • Helps toddlers learn to swim
  • Has a shoulder harness
  • Includes arm wings
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Many themes to choose from

Who Should Buy an Infant Life Jacket

If you have a baby and you enjoy time in the water, a life jacket will give you one more layer of protection from drowning. Of course, it will not replace you being right there with your little one in the pool or lake, but it will help keep your baby’s head above water. If you spend time on a boat with your baby, he or she should be wearing a life jacket or life vest the whole time. It’s also prudent to put one on your mobile infant or toddler if you are at the beach, on the fishing dock, or even on a pool deck.

An infant life jacket makes a great gift for a baby shower or a new baby. It’s also a great first birthday present, particularly if the family has a pool or likes outdoor adventures like going to the beach or going fishing. If you are looking for a baby gift for a special parent-to-be in your life, check out our list of the best baby gift baskets.

Best Infant Life Jacket Overall
O'Neill Wake Waterski Infant USCG Vest
This U.S. Coast Guard-approved life vest can keep your little one safe in and around the water.

Important Features to Consider

When shopping for a baby life jacket, you’ll want to check on a few important features. Here’s what to look at as you make your decision.

  • Weight limit. Every life jacket comes with a weight range, so be sure that your baby is within the weight range listed. It is not safe to buy a life jacket with room to grow (unless, of course, you will wait until your baby is the right weight before using it). A life jacket that is too big can allow your little one to float out of it, so be sure it’s the correct size.
  • Leg opening material. For babies, life jackets can come with a nylon strap between the legs or fabric. Fabric will be more secure, as little legs won’t easily be able to maneuver out of the jacket. It is harder to manage diaper changes with the fabric bottom on the life jacket, however, so keep that in mind.
  • Fabric choice. Most life jackets are made of either nylon or neoprene. Nylon is often less expensive, but neoprene can be more comfortable. Both are safe, effective materials, however, so this is really just a matter of personal choice.
  • Your child’s preferences. While this is less of an issue with a young baby, once your baby reaches a year old, he or she might have definite opinions about what they wear. Choosing a life jacket in his or her favorite color or featuring a favorite character might make it more likely that your child will wear it without complaint.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there life jackets for newborns?

The smallest life jackets usually fit babies as small as 8 lbs, so this might make it difficult to find one for your newborn if he or she is under 8 lbs. Tiny babies have a hard time regulating their body temperature and are susceptible to sunburn, however, so it’s a good idea to talk to your pediatrician before taking a small baby in a cold swimming pool or lake. If you don’t have a doctor for your baby yet, you’ll want to read our article on how to pick a pediatrician.

Can I put my 3-month-old baby in the pool?

A 3-month-old baby can go into a pool as long as the water is correctly maintained and not too cold. It’s best if the pool water is at least 87 degrees, as this will be most comfortable for your little one. Also, watch carefully for signs that he or she is getting too chilled; if your baby is shivering or crying, take him or her out of the pool and into a warm room or wrap them in a warm towel. In addition, talk to your pediatrician about whether it is safe to put sunscreen on a young baby. If not, avoid sunburn by keeping baby covered during the hours when the sun is the strongest.

What should babies wear in the pool?

In addition to a life jacket, babies should wear swim diapers in the pool. Of course, you can also put your little one in a cute bathing suit, but that’s not required. Babies old enough to wear sunscreen safely should do so during the day, and a hat will help keep the sun’s rays out of baby’s face. Older babies and toddlers might wear a life jacket with water wings. Note that many of these are not U.S. Coast Guard approved, and they are not considered lifesaving devices, but buoyancy devices. Regardless, you should never leave your baby or toddler out of reach when in the water.

Do babies need to wear swim diapers in the pool?

Yes, please put a swim diaper on any baby or toddler who is not potty trained, as it will help prevent contaminating the pool water with solid waste. Liquid waste generally flows out of swim diapers, so don’t make the mistake of trying to use one as a regular diaper outside of the water; you might end up with a puddle on your lap or in your baby’s car seat!

Other Infant Life Jackets We Reviewed

Best Infant Life Jacket Overall
O'Neill Wake Waterski Infant USCG Vest
This U.S. Coast Guard-approved life vest can keep your little one safe in and around the water.

We reviewed another 20 infant life jacket in addition to the ones listed above. While these did not make our top 5 list, they’re the best of the rest and great options to put on your little one before going in the water. The “key features” section of each listing will contain the information you need to compare the life jackets in each category.

Nylon Infant Life Jackets

Flowt All Sport Life Vest

Flowt All Sport Life Vest

Since this life jacket will fit babies and children up to 50 lbs, purchasing this while your child is an infant or toddler will give you plenty of years of use.

Key Features:

  • U.S. Coast Guard-approved
  • Lightweight
  • Closed sides to prevent chafing

Cost: $40

Full Throttle Infant Baby-Safe Vest

Full Throttle Infant Baby-Safe Vest

This nylon infant life vest has a fabric crotch, which makes it comfortable for baby and less likely that he or she will wiggle out of the jacket.

Key Features:

  • For babies under 30 lbs
  • Good head support
  • Convenient buckle opening

Cost: $25

O’Brien Baby-Safe Infant Life Vest

O'Brien Baby-Safe Infant Life Vest

This is a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life vest that’s easy to put on and take off your baby thanks to its stretchy fabric. It also drains water easily.

Key Features:

  • U.S. Coast Guard-approved
  • For babies up to 30 lbs
  • Stretchy leg openings

Cost: $35

O’Neill Infant Superlite USCG Life Vest

O'Neill Infant Superlite USCG Life Vest

A heavy-duty front zipper and easy-to-use buckles keep this life jacket securely on your little one. It’s U.S. Coast Guard approved for up to 30 lbs.

Key Features:

  • U.S. Coast Guard-approved
  • For babies up to 30 lbs
  • Zipper and buckles for security

Cost: $26

Stearns Infant Classic Series Vest

Stearns Infant Classic Series Vest

This nylon life jacket is for babies who weigh under 30 lbs. It has a grab handle to help pull the baby out of the water quickly should an accidental slip occur.

Key Features:

  • U.S. Coast Guard-approved
  • For babies under 30 lbs
  • Has a grab handle

Cost: $22

Stohlquist Coast Guard Approved Life Vest for Infants

Stohlquist Coast Guard Approved Life Vest for Infants

This life jacket will fit even newborns, as long as they are at least 8 lbs. It has a soft fabric cover and is PVC free. Available in several colors.

Key Features:

  • U.S. Coast Guard-approved
  • For babies 8 to 30 lbs
  • Soft fabric cover

Cost: $60

Neoprene Infant Life Jackets

Airhead Infant’s Gnar Kwik-Dry NeoLite Flex Life Vest

Airhead Infant's Gnar Kwik-Dry NeoLite Flex Life Vest

This is a neoprene life jacket that fits older babies who are between 15 and 30 lbs. A front zipper makes it easy for caregivers to put on and take off.

Key Features:

  • U.S. Coast Guard-approved
  • Has a front zipper
  • Neoprene construction

Cost: $50

Full Throttle Unisex-Baby Life Vest

Full Throttle Unisex-Baby Life Vest

The rapid-dry construction of this life vest will help keep baby comfortable after a dip in the pool or lake. It comes in two colors, pink or blue.

Key Features:

  • U.S. Coast Guard-approved
  • For babies up to 30 lbs
  • Dries quickly

Cost: $50

Level Six Puffer Baby Flotation Vest

Level Six Puffer Baby Flotation Vest

This is a personal flotation vest that is appropriate even for young babies as small as 9 lbs. It has a firm collar for good head and neck support.

Key Features:

  • For babies 9 to 25 lbs
  • Adjustable straps
  • Three-piece collar design

Cost: $60

O’Brien Baby Life Jacket

O'Brien Baby Life Jacket

This lightweight, breathable life jacket is made of comfortable neoprene fabric. It is stretchy and has a front zipper for the best fit possible.

Key Features:

  • U.S. Coast Guard-approved
  • For babies under 30 lbs
  • Lightweight and stretchy

Cost: $45

Toddler Life Jackets

Genwiss Toddler Swim Vest

Genwiss Toddler Swim Vest

This toddler vest is for babies 18 months to 2 years old, weighing between 20 and 28 lbs. It has a neoprene coating and foam inserts to keep your little one afloat.

Key Features:

  • For babies weighing 20 to 28 lbs
  • Zipper and buckle fasteners
  • For learning to swim

Cost: $30

OldPAPA Swim Trainer Vest

OldPAPA Swim Trainer Vest

This is a life jacket that is designed to help your toddler (age 2-4) learn how to swim. It has built-in foam pads for buoyancy.

Key Features:

  • For toddlers up to 36 lbs
  • Available in blue and pink
  • Adjustable fit

Cost: $23

Splash About Collections Float Suit

Splash About Collections Float Suit

Your older baby who is between 1 and 2 years old will love splashing around in this buoyant swimsuit. Foam panels keep him or her afloat.

Key Features:

  • For babies up to 2 years old
  • Foam panels to keep baby floating
  • Available in various patterns

Cost: $40

Vine Swim Vest Learn-to-Swim Flotation Jacket

Vine Swim Vest Learn-to-Swim Flotation Jacket

This float vest is made out of lycra and neoprene for a soft, comfortable swim session at the pool or lake. It’s also UV protective on covered areas.

Key Features:

  • For toddlers 1 to 3 years old
  • Comfortable and lightweight
  • UV protective

Cost: $23

Zeraty Kids Swim Vest

Zeraty Kids Swim Vest

This is a supportive swim vest for toddlers up to three years old or 40 lbs. It comes in pink and blue patterns and is made of comfortable neoprene.

Key Features:

  • For toddlers up to 40 lbs
  • Made of neoprene
  • Zips and buckles

Cost: $30

Life Jackets With Arm Wings

Dark Lightning Kids Life Vest

Dark Lightning Kids Life Vest

This flotation device comes in a cool shark motif. There are lots of other themes, too, including flamingo, frog, and dolphin designs.

Key Features:

  • For babies and toddlers 30 to 50 lbs
  • Adjustable straps and buckles
  • EN Standard verified

Cost $12

Elejolie Swim Aids for Toddlers

Elejolie Swim Aids for Toddlers

This adorable whale life jacket has water wings attached to help your little one learn to maneuver in the water. For babies and toddlers over 22 lbs.

Key Features:

  • Adjustable buckles
  • Made of polyester and foam
  • Helps toddlers learn to swim

Cost: $45

Flowdodo Life Jacket Swim Floaties

Flowdodo Life Jacket Swim Floaties

This swim vest helps toddlers stay upright in the water. It has a cool shark on the front and brightly colored arm wings so your little one is visible.

Key Features:

  • For toddlers 30-50 lbs
  • Includes a waterproof storage bag
  • Buckles in the back

Cost: $16

Greatcase Toddler Life Jacket

Greatcase Toddler Life Jacket

This flamingo life jacket is appropriate for toddlers over 30 lbs who need flotation help to make them more confident in the water.

Key Features:

  • For toddlers over 30 lbs
  • Adjustable straps
  • Keeps baby’s face out of the water

Cost: $16

Hereinway DLone Toddler Life Jacket

Hereinway DLone Toddler Life Jacket

This sweet dinosaur life jacket will appeal to babies over one year of age who weigh at least 30 lbs. The straps and buckles are adjustable for different sizes.

Key Features:

    • For babies over age 1 and over 30 lbs
    • Adjustable straps
    • Various patterns available

Cost: $13

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