Well, I see this is a bit of an old thread. Sorry Jakmedic, I did not see it at the time.
I would not go with ANY other PFD other than a Mustang
. I am a huge fan of their products. Our fist son was on board at 5 days old and we lived aboard and cruised. Life jackets are a must and should be worn a bunch to get them used to it. As was mentioned earlier, they WILL get accustomed to it and it will not be an issue.
You can take them swimming in their jacket to try and start getting them used to it. Taking it off when they cry about it is a great way to start a bad habit. They will just cry everytime you put it on. Once they figure out it is not debateable, they will deal with it.
I will tell you our rules: If at the marina in the cockpit without someone in the cockpit with them, they typically need to wear their lifejacket. Reason being is that if the fall overboard at the marina, chances are that they will bang their head. Not so at anchor
. However, without adult supervision, they are always required to have their jacket on anywhere outside. When underway, my kids do not wear a jacket down below. THey do when we are under way and they are in the cockpit.
You are going to HAVE to get her used to wearing that jacket because you will be doing a lot of rides in the tender, and it is neccessary in the tender.
Also, when our kids were infants, we rarely put the jacket on them. You can strap them into a car seat or a play pin and they are fine with that. Even when in the cocpit, we typically did not put them in a jacket except if the weather began to get questionable. At those times the kids go down below anyways. When the kids get a bit older and they can move around, the rules change. But I guarantee you that they will get used to it. All kids do. Just stay firm and don't give in.
For your information, we are going to be putting togther an article on cruising with kids. It appears we will get a lot of participation from many cruisers with children - including Melanie Neale, whom I have been in contact with.
Hopefully it will be informative, helpful, and fun.
All the best. Hope the post made sense. I am running today and not writing my best.