Armfloats, floats, vests, belts

Armfloats, floats, vests or belts: how to choose?

Choosing the right equipment when discovering the water or learning to swim is essential for safety.


Looking to introduce your kid to swimming? It's important that they start off with the right safety equipment so that both you and junior can enjoy the water with a peace of mind.

Make sure you choose floats that are best suited to your child based on their age, height and swimming skills.

To help your child feel comfortable and confident in the water, our watersports brand, Nabaiji, provides expert advice on how to choose appropriate floats!


Stages of aquatic discovery

Swipe left to discover the various stages of swimming proficiency so that you can determine the best safety devices for them!

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    1. Discovering the water

    This is the most important step because this is when your child encounters a new environment. They become familiar with water and discover new sensations.

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    2. Learning to swim

    Your child will start to move in the water alone. They will discover what makes them move forward and feel that the water is carrying them.

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    3. Swimming underwater

    This is the most worrisome stage, especially for parents! At this stage, your child will go underwater. The goal is to teach them to plunge and move underwater without fear.


In this article we’ll focus on the first two stages: (1) Discovering the water and (2) Learning to swim.

Armfloats, Floats, Vest or Belt: How to Choose?

Stage 1: your child is discovering the water

When it comes to discovering water, your child can start very early (from 6 months old). Depending on his/her age and motor skills, the exercises and the equipment used will be different.

Whatever your child’s age, the objective of this stage is to introduce them to this new environment by allowing them to maintain a vertical position, head above water, as on land.

To strengthen their confidence, the presence of an adult, who can swim with them in the water, is essential.

The aim of this stage is to reassure not only the child but also the parents!

There are several options available to you:

Baby seat

Baby seats

It allows the baby to be comfortably seated and to discover the water in complete safety.

At this age, the child has difficulty maintaining himself. In order for him/her to fully enjoy the pleasures of water, he/she must be well supported. At this stage, even partial contact with water will be enough to get accustomed to it.

Baby seats are perfect for discovering the water safely and limiting the baby's movements.

floats and rings

Floats and rings

Once your child gets more confident in the water they will have enough energy to maintain their shoulders and balance.

Even if they are taking his first water steps, forget about baby seats. They will still need buoyancy to feel confident, but more contact with the water can be initiated.

The ring will allow them to discover the water while still having the upper body out of the water, which is good for initiation but has a limited interest for learning to swim.

nabaiji armfloat


To discover the water and the first aquatic sensations, swimming armbands allow your child to enter the water completely. It will easily maintain their vertical position and head above the water and will offer great stability.

They also ensure very good buoyancy for the child while providing the necessary stability. 


Stage 2: your child is learning to swim

Learning to swim is an important step for a child. The path to autonomy will allow him to discover the natural reflexes of swimming.

However, this step should not be started too early. Before the age of 6, coordination is not yet sufficiently developed and some combinations of movements are impossible to perform for a child.

You could frustrate your kid if you equip them with a product that will put them in a position they can't handle.

At this stage, the child is discovering to float horizontally and move forward in the water. They will also be able to keep their face underwater.

Therefore, they should learn to control aquatic breathing. Finally, the child will gradually learn to use their arms to move and legs to balance. That’s why, at this stage, they'll need equipment that will allow them great freedom of movement.

To help them, there are several solutions:

swimming vest

Swim vests

Swim vests look like life jackets, but they're really comfortable and easy to put on and offer great freedom of movement. They will allow your child to alternate a vertical and horizontal position while being well supported.

If your child is starting to control their movements but you would still like them to improve and swim more efficiently, they should first perfectly master a horizontal position in the water. 

To perfect this essential position, the swimming vest is the child's best equipment as body floats are better on the water and will have less resistance in moving forward. 

For better learning, sessions with a vest should not exceed 30 consecutive minutes. 

swimming belt
swimming armbands and waistbands

Progressive armbands or waistbands

In order to avoid you having to carry armbands, buoys, belts or swimming vests, Nabaiji has developed the TISWIM evolutionary belt cuff.

With three modular parts (left armband, right armband, waistbelt), it helps children in the different steps of the learning process – from the vertical position to the horizontal position.

You can start your child off with the whole set, including the left armband, right armband and waistbelt.

However, when your child gets progressively more comfortable, you can remove the waistbelt and let them move around with just the armbands.

And finally, when he moves to a horizontal position in the water, he can use just the waistbelt.
Adapt the buoyancy according to your child's current proficiency level!

Remember to always choose a float that is adapted to your child's weight (these indications can be found in the product information) and never leave your child unsupervised in the water!


Written By: Charles

Decathlon Singaporee, Digital Sports Leader for Swimming

Passionate about swimming, I like challenging myself and trying new water sports.

Swimming is the perfect sport as it helps me to cool down after a warm day ;)


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