My 13 month old received one for his birthday–we will be swimming tomorrow and I was wondering if any parents out there had any thoughts on them. Do you think they help, or hinder? Of course I don't plan on letting him go while we're in the water, so what's the point??

I was told, by a swimming instructor, that they give kids a false sense of security. When they outgrow them, they have no true understanding that they don't float. Kids who wear them, go in deeper water before they can swim and have a false sense of safety around water when adults aren't present.

At one, you will be holding him the entire time. If his head slips under for a millisecond, it could actually be good in the long run. It teaches kids to enjoy water on their faces and to hold their breath, yes even at one.

My 8 year old niece wore one as a child and is terrified of the water now that it doesn't fit her. I know that is just one case but still…she will only stay in water that comes to her waist.

My 3 year old can swim. He never wore one. I held him until he could stand and walk in the shallow end alone and I still stay right by him.
My 5 year old didn't wear one either but he can't swim on his own, so every kid is very different. But he is very safety conscious around water and loves the pool.

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