Water play is a great way to keep your baby entertained and cool during the hot summer months. But when choosing a kiddie pool, it can be hard to know where to start. Should you get a hard plastic kiddie pool or an inflatable one? Should you get a small swimming pool for babies or one that your child could use for years to come? What about shade protection?
To help you narrow down your choices, Truly Mama reviewed some of the most popular kiddie pools on the market. Here are our top picks for baby swimming pools to beat the heat this summer.
Best Overall Kiddie Pool
This lightweight inflatable kiddie pool is Truly Mama’s #1 overall pick. Unlike harder plastic options, this one comes with a soft, inflatable bottom, making it comfortable to sit, stand and crawl on. It weighs a little more than a pound, so you can easily move it around your yard, and at about three feet in diameter, it’s a great choice for those with limited space looking to keep their little ones entertained at home.
Inflatable pools can get holes and tear, so that’s one thing to keep in mind with this choice, but this one comes with a repair patch if you do happen to poke a hole in it.
Best Budget Kiddie Pool
When it comes to simplicity, you can’t really beat a traditional, plastic kiddie pool. This one stands about 7 inches tall, so a good height to easily step in and out of. Its sturdiness also makes it versatile for other purposes. Not only is it great for summer fun, but you could use it as a sandbox or transform it into an indoor ball pit in the winter.
With its hard structure, this pick might not be the most comfortable to sit in for long periods of time, and while this pool is lightweight and relatively easy to carry, it’s also bulky and doesn’t collapse, so it will take up more storage space than collapsible or inflatable options.
But for less than $10, this is Truly Mama’s budget pick, making it a great option to try out and see how your little one likes it. Plus, while most manufacturers suggest inflatable pools for older toddlers and preschoolers, hard plastic pools are suitable for children of all ages, so you can use it for both babies and older children.
Best Inflatable Kiddie Pool
It just takes five minutes to inflate this whimsical watermelon pool with any type of electric air pump, and when the fun is over, you can easily deflate it and fold it up for storage. Lightweight and easy to transport, this pool is Truly Mama’s top choice for traveling. At about five feet wide, this pool is plenty big for two children to enjoy at once, or for you to sit in with your baby.
One drawback of this style is that it can potentially kill your grass, especially if it stays in the same spot for several days. If you go with an inflatable or collapsible pool you might consider keeping it on the patio, deck or driveway. If you do decide to use it on grass, dumping it out after using it and moving it to a different spot in the yard next time can help keep your grass green.
Best Shaded Kiddie Pool
If you have limited shade in your yard, the removable canopy on this pool offers some protection from the sun’s harmful rays, keeping your baby cool and comfy. This inflatable pool also conveniently folds to fit in a carry bag, so it’s also easy to transport and store.
This pool spans about three feet in diameter, making it the perfect small swimming pool for babies and young toddlers. If your baby has older siblings or you want a pool that will grow with them, this might not be the best option. But its easy set-up and storage make it convenient for an afternoon of fun in the sun with your little one.
Best Kiddie Pool Splurge
If you’re located somewhere with a warmer climate or just want some extra fun-in-the-sun add-ons, you may want to splurge on a more expensive pool that will hold up with lots of frequent use. This inflatable play center is Truly Mama’s luxury pick, complete with a small water slide, inflatable toys, and a sprayer that plugs into a traditional garden hose.
This one is more suitable for older children, but you can enjoy it with your baby and it’s sure to provide hours of summer fun as your child grows.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does my baby wear in the pool?
A standard baby swimsuit is just fine for your little one to wear in the pool. If you’re worried about sun exposure, you could get a suit with long sleeves and add a sun hat to keep the rays off your baby’s face. In addition to swimwear, your baby should always wear a specially-designed swim diaper to keep accidents contained.
Can I use my garden hose to fill up the kiddie pool?
Yes, but because kiddie pools are not equipped with water filtration systems, it is recommended to dump out the water after playing and refill before each subsequent use.
How do you keep a kiddie pool clean?
Drain or empty the pool after each use and don’t leave standing water in the pool overnight as this can increase the risk for waterborne illness. After emptying the pool, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends cleaning the pool with a disinfectant and once dry, leaving it in the sun for at least four hours to kill off any other pathogens