I recently enrolled my 18 month old daughter in swimming lessons. She was the smallest one in the class and the bubbles they put on her back were substandard in my opinion. I wanted something a little safer that she could wear should we take her boating or to Grandma and Grandpa's pool.
I decided on purchasing the Speedo infant heads up life jacket. It is certified as safe by the United States Coast Guard which was a benefit. the jacket is designed for children up to thirty pounds. My daughter is 22 pounds so it is the perfect size for her.
The jacket is easy to put on. Their is a strap that goes between the legs as well as two adjustable straps at the chest. The difference between a heads up life jacket and a regular life jacket is that instead of having padding on the back of the jacket the back is flat. The heads-up portion is a flap that is attached to the back of the neck and kind of sticks out a bit. It looks a little awkward, but it works. This helps to keep baby upright and ensures that if something should happen her head will always be above water.
My daughter was a little uncomfortable putting this on, but she got over it once I put her in the water (she is a swimming machine!). I was happy that it actually did keep her head above the water and that she could float and work on her kicking without holding onto mommy the whole time.
This is a definite must buy if your child is going to be in the water this summer.