Make sure your toddler is safe while having fun in the water!

Last spring, I started to look ahead to what our summer would look like spent at the pool. Our son was 18 months and loved the water, but was starting to outgrow the float we had for him. We knew he wanted to be more independent in the water, but obviously still needed support. Thankfully, we stumbled upon Stearns Original Puddle Jumper Kids Life Jacket

This affordable nylon puddle jumper ranges in price from $12 to $21, depending on style, and is marketed for toddlers 30–50 lbs. To be honest, our son was less than 30 lbs. last summer but still fit into it when the strap in the back was pulled tight. I'm not sure it will still fit him at 50 lbs., but I'm hoping he'll know how to swim by then. 

puddle jumper

Courtesy of Amazon

These adorable life vests "have been tested and approved by the U.S. Coast Guard for use as Type V/III personal flotation devices in, on, or near the water," according to Amazon's product description. They can also be used on boats and at water parks, in addition to pools or the beach.

To put it on your child, you easily slide their arms through the armholes and then adjust the strap in the back to fit securely around their middle. 

back of puddle jumper

Courtesy of Amazon

My son loves putting on his puddle jumper and knows that it means we're going swimming. He's never acted like it's uncomfortable, despite us getting the "cheapest" version. Stearns also makes a Deluxe version made out of woven polyester, as well as a Deluxe 3D version that usually ranges in price from $20 to $30 on Amazon. 

While I would always advise keeping your eye on your child in the water no matter what, it does give me peace of mind that if my son jumps in when my head is turned, I know he'll safely pop back up. We loved ours so much last summer, I ended up buying a second one to keep at my parents' house in Florida so we wouldn't have to pack it each time we visited. 

puddle jumpers

Courtesy of Amazon

They also dry fast and are easy to clean if need be. If your kid has a favorite character or animal, they have tons of options online, ensuring even the pickiest of toddlers will find one they love.

Have you tried out Stearns Original Puddle Jumper? If so, what did you think? Sound off in the comments!