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Life jackets for babies?

624 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Kayaking Mama
We will be spending some time on my parent's boat this summer, and I was wondering what kind of life jacket to get for my DD. The one we got for my DS says "up to 30 pounds", and it's the smallest one we could find. I don't think it would fit my DD though.
Does anyone know where to get smaller ones? We got her one of those swim suits with the built-in floatation at a consignment sale, but it's going to be for next summer. Those suits aren't approved anyway. The law says we have to have one on the boat for her, but she doesn't have to be wearing it. I'd really like her to have something on, even though I'll be holding her.
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Check boating stores, ones that specialize in kayaks, boating gear, etc. The only weight ranges I'm aware of, though, are "less than 30 pounds," "30-50," "less than 50," and "50-90" in child sizes. It's really, really important to get one that fits correctly. You shouldn't be able to pull it up off their shoulders to their ears or chin and there shouldn't be any chance of it forcing your child to float facedown or upside down if the boat flips and the child doesn't happen to go into the water in a controlled, feet-first fashion. This is why I like life jackets with head support and a crotch strap for babies and toddlers. Always look for "Coast Guard-approved" on a life jacket.

This site has a pretty good breakdown of different kinds of life jackets for kiddos:

Scroll down about halfway. Have fun this summer!

ETA: No matter what the law says (each state is different), babies and toddlers should ***always*** have a life jacket on if they're on a dock, near the water, or in a boat. No exceptions. Babies and toddlers drown quickly and often silently. (Can you tell I feel strongly about this?)
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Thanks. My DD is so tiny, and DS's jacket looks so big. I guess she'll be bigger in a couple more months when we're out on the water.
Gotcha. I feel the same way. I remember panicing one time when I was really little and I had gone down to the dock w/o my life jacket. We had to keep them up at the house and put them on before we went down to the water. My parents were really strict about this too, so I think that's why I am with my kids too.
We have one similar to this for DD, the one with out the crotch strap.

We need to pick up another for ds for this summer. Do you have a West Marine or similar store near you? That's where we get ours.
We got one by Stearns:
We haven't used it yet, though, so I can't recommend it yet.
L.L. Bean carries an infant PFD for up to 30 lbs. Mustang also makes a great one. We have a Mustang but haven't used it yet since DS was born in January. As with the pp, I agree, ALWAYS use a PFD when in/near water!
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