Baby life jacket
July 12, 2019 8:05 PM   Subscribe

Suggest a good life jacket for a baby... and can I size up slightly?

I need a baby life jacket for an upcoming lake cabin trip. Lake is down a rocky path about 15 metres from the cabin. We don't plan to ever let our 1 year old out of our sight, nor will he go into the lake without being held by a parent. No boating planned either. But to be extra safe, we'll keep him in a PFD rated life jacket whenever he's outside.

Baby is 28 lbs and fairly tall. The infant-to-child weight cutoff for life jackets is usually 30 lbs. Can we get the 30-lb pound one since it's only to be used for an extra backup? Or is that dumb, and we should buy the infant size and just sell it after this trip as he'll outgrow it immediately.
posted by nouvelle-personne to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total)
Try it on, if it fits well and can't be climbed or squirmed out of, well, bigger is better in life jackets.
posted by sammyo at 9:28 PM on July 12, 2019 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Unless he will be 30 lbs by the start of your trip, you really need to stick with the infant size. Infant/child PFDs are classified by weight. Also, it is much more difficult to find a Type II PFD in a child size; a Type II is more likely to keep his face/head out of the water should he fall in. REI has a good primer on life jacket selection for kids and the "almost 30 lbs" question is directly addressed at the bottom.
posted by charmcityblues at 10:08 PM on July 12, 2019 [9 favorites]

A safety note: fit is all important specifically including how that straps should be quite snug. This is true for adults too. Adults are being encouraged to move to vests with crotch straps too keep the vest from trying to float up over the head.
posted by SemiSalt at 5:09 AM on July 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

Fit is so important, you're supposed to test it in a controlled situation (like a pool) before relying on it in a possible emergency.
posted by slidell at 3:14 PM on July 13, 2019

Puddle Jumpers are Coast Guard rated and have been great tools for our kids until we got them into formal swimming and water safety lessons. They started with it around 12mos and used them until around age 4. Whenever we have been near water kiddo just never took it off unless a parent needed it off for some reason. We've used it in pools, lakes, and the ocean (harbor, not beach). Cost is around $20. Highly recommend.
posted by vignettist at 10:33 PM on July 13, 2019

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