Unless you live in the Arctic you will eventually think about buying your baby a small plastic pool for the yard. When the weather is hot and sticky most toddlers love to play in a baby pool. Parents usually think it’s a great idea, too.
You can buy an inexpensive plastic pool just about anywhere. They won’t have the bells and whistles you’ll find in the selection of inflatable kid’s pools, however.
You’ll find a wide selection of the fancier inflatable baby and toddler pools to choose from. As with any other childrens’ products, there are pros and cons to inflatable pools, too.
Inflatable pools have soft sides. Soft sides are more comfortable for a parent sitting on the ground to lean across, and they are also less likely to be painful if your baby falls against them. On the other hand, they can be too wide for a young child to easily step across, so you might have to do more lifting and helping with a younger child.
The soft sides of inflatable pools are also more easily damaged than the sides of hard plastic pools. You will have to keep a watchful eye out for metal or hard plastic toys that could puncture your pool. Stick to foam and other soft materials for your baby water toys.
Many inflatable baby pools come with sunshades. While it’s important to keep babies out of the direct sun, you may find that the sun shade gets in your way as you play with your child from outside the pool. You may feel like your baby is sitting inside a water-filled cave. If you plan on sitting in the pool with your child, be sure to look for a sun shade that sits high enough that you don’t have to crouch.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for in an inflatable baby pool with a sunshade, get one without the sun cover. Find a sun umbrella that you can stick in the ground beside the pool. A sun umbrella will generally be larger and sturdier than an inflatable sun shade. You can move it around as the sun moves for maximum sun protection, and you won’t bump your head on it.
When shopping for an inflatable baby pool, look for at least heavy duty 10 gauge vinyl. Anything thinner will not stand up to even gentle use. Be sure to have a patch kit handy, as most inflatable products can eventually develop leaks, especially if you store them in the sun.