H loves the water - both the beach and the pool. We have a pool in our neighborhood and every Saturday that we are home you can be we are there by 10 am.
Last year we had a baby float that she sat in with a cover and it worked great. But this year she thinks she is a big girl and can swim on her own. She didn't want us touching her in the water and it was kind of scary! I tried a friends float that was like the one above at about 18 months, but it was a fail. She would fall forward and wasn't able to stay straight up in the water.
While we were on vacation in Hilton Head, I used one at the house there and it worked great. She was able to stay up in the water, keep her chin from dipping under, and get around the pool on her own. Which meant I could stop freaking out and stay within an arm's reach while drinking a cocktail.
The above float is from Puddle Jumper and I would highly recommend it. It says for use at 30 lbs, but I started using it at 24 lbs and 20 months. Its a little big but it is working great for us!
H laughing and "swimming" around all by herself. Excuse the lack of bathing suit, I think this was the 3rd time that day we had been in the pool and they were both wet!