It’s never too early to introduce your baby to the joys of water activities. Getting the youngest member of the family out there on the water can put a huge smile on their face. To ensure your baby’s safety on the water, it’s important to outfit them with the best infant life jacket. A life vest for a child should fit comfortably and encourage face-up flotation.

To help you find the best infant life vest for your little one, our infant life jacket reviews will take a closer look at the top rated infant life vests while the buying guide will outline the features to consider to make sure you’re getting the best life jacket so your baby will be safe, happy, and comfortable in.

How To Choose An Infant Life Jacket – Buying Guide



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For the highest level of safety, the best life jackets for infants are Type II life jackets. These types of baby life jackets provide reliable flotation, head and neck support, and are capable of flipping the baby face-up if they happen to float with the face down.  

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Certification (US Coast Guard Logo)

To ensure your baby is safe and to stay legal, make sure that the infant’s life vest you choose is tested and approved by the United States Coast Guard (USCG). However, the USCG does not certify newborn life jackets for babies weighing less than 20 pounds.  


Children are naturally fussy and bound to put up a fight if you’re trying to force an uncomfortable floatation device on them. With that in mind, it’s important to choose a life vest infant will love and still enjoy the water with it on. Life jackets kids don’t mind wearing are easy to don and allow freedom of movement.    


Life jackets for kids should fit snug so there is no possibility of the life jacket infant has slipped off. First and foremost, choose the right size for your baby’s weight, like life vests infant sizes are based on weight. When you put the vest on, adjust the belt straps and the crotch strap that goes between the child’s legs to ensure a secure fit. 

Quick Dry

Life vests for infants should be made of water-resistant and quick-drying materials such as nylon, polyester, and mesh. The design should also encourage quick drainage of water. This ensures that the baby life vest won’t get soggy and weigh the child down. A fast-drying life jacket for babies also keeps mold and mildew at bay.  

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Life jackets infants wear come in bright and vibrant colors. This is not only because infants love bright hues. Most importantly, high visibility hues make sure the baby is easy to spot whether on the boat, in the water, or at the beach. Bright blues, yellows, reds, oranges, and greens are the best colors for life jackets babies will wear.    

Head Protection

Infants’ life jackets should provide support for the head and neck. The best life jacket for infants should have a comfortable collar for the head to rest on. In the water, the head support helps support the baby’s head and encourage face-up flotation. When the baby is lying down or napping, the collar acts as a pillow.   

Float Test

Even after choosing the best life jacket for an infant, it’s important to test the jacket in a controlled environment. To do this, put the life vest on the baby, adjust it properly, and then place the baby in a pool or bathtub. The life jacket should keep their nose and mouth above water. If the baby happens to float face-down, a reliable kid life jacket should roll them into the face-up position.   

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Grab handle

The infant life jackets have a grab handle on them. This is a loop at the top and it offers you an instant point of contact if you ever need to maneuver the life jacket into any position. In the water, it gives you a convenient place to hold while floating baby or when retrieving them out of the water.



Q: Why Does My Child Need A Life Jacket?


Your child needs a life jacket for two reasons: to stay safe in the water and to comply with the law. Anything can happen on the water and a life jacket is a vital safety measure. On a boat, the law requires anyone under the age of 13 to be wearing a life jacket while the boat is underway.

Q: How Does A Life Jacket Protect My Child?


First and foremost, a life jacket provides buoyancy to ensure your child stays afloat if they fall in the water. Above this, a Type II infant life vest can also flip a child into the face-up position ensuring their mouth and nose are clear of the water. Lastly, infant life vests are brightly colored to ensure your child will be easy to spot.

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Q: What Types Of Life Jackets Are Available?


There are five types of life jackets available: Type I, Type II, Type III, Type IV, and Type V. The best life jackets for babies are Type II. This type of life vest for babies provides great head support and buoyancy in the water and encourages face-up flotation.

Q: What Is The Crotch Strap Used For?


The crotch strap prevents the vest from riding up and slipping off a child’s head. This strap goes between the legs and fastens with a buckle to ensure the life vest baby is wearing stays in place in all situations. 

Q: Can Babies Wear Life Jackets?


Absolutely yes. Babies can and should wear well-fitted life jackets when on, in, or around water. However, wearing the best infant life jacket isn’t a substitute for your undivided attention. You should still keep a watchful eye on the baby at all times.

Q: Can A 1 Year Old Wear A Life Jacket?


Yes, even a 1 year old infant can wear a life jacket. Life jackets for infants are made for babies weighing between 0 and 30 pounds, which is well within a one-year-old’s weight range. Just be sure to cinch the vest properly to ensure it fits securely.

Globo Surf Overview

While nothing can replace your undivided attention when your child is in or near water, a well-fitted baby life jacket is essential for safety. All the toddler floaties and kids life jackets we’ve reviewed here provide reliable support and flotation in the water. With the best infant life jacket, your baby will be able to enjoy a safe and fun-filled day on the water.      

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