A parent can only predict so much of what their child is going to need. Summer presents a unique set of challenges because it's the most wonderful time of the year (to me) to take little ones outside and show them the world, but the hot sun can make it harder to keep kids safe, comfortable, and clean. Since no parent should have to think of everything on their own, this list is a compilation of warm-weather baby items I've either wished I had in a pinch, or items that helped me out a ton.
I wish I had known about a UPF 50+ sun and wind protection blanket earlier when I took my 9-month-old to a park that had almost no shade. This blanket is 95 percent breathable cotton, which is great for helping shield babies from the sun's harmful rays. Just make sure you're never fully covering your baby up, and always allowing for air flow.
Complete your little one's beach outfit with this adorable, protective floppy hat with UPF 50+. If an under-the-sea theme isn't their style, you can choose from one of 26 designs and colors to find the perfect match for their bathing suit.
Even if you don't think you'll be out in the sun for long, it's important to protect children's delicate skin with a sun screen that delivers on SPF. I like Aveeno because it is gentle on my son's sensitive skin.
If it breaks your heart (like it does mine) to see your kids squinting their eyes in bright sunlight, these sunglasses might do the trick. They aren't RayBans, but they do come with an elastic band to keep the shades from falling off plus a carrying case. Also, babies in sunglasses are the cutest, so win-win.
A day at the pool or the beach is great once you're in the water, but rough on tender toes if the ground is rocky or scorching hot. These are a better choice than flip-flops for babies and tots who can't stand thong sandals between their toes. They're soft at the mouth of the shoe and about as comfy as a slipper.
I'm going to keep it real with you and say that I love board books, but absolutely cringe when my teething little dude sinks his teeth into them. Enter the perfect books for lounging at the beach, pool, or bathtub: Indestructibles. These waterproof books are also rip-proof and made with nontoxic ink, so you won't stress if your baby uses it as their chew toy, and if they get dirty, you can wash them under the sink with soap and water. Yes, really.
Two words: game. changer. For times when a stroller is too bulky or a restaurant doesn't have any high chairs, this portable seat will allow you to have your hands free practically anywhere. You can also use it on the ground like a cute little lawn chair. It even comes with a tray to play or eat on.
Count yourself lucky if you've never seen what happens to a soaked regular diaper at the beach when you've forgotten to buy swim diapers. Reusable swim diapers are an eco-friendly solution, especially if you and your little adventurer plan on going to the pool or beach often enough to offset the cost difference between cloth and disposable swim diapers.
It can be hard sometimes to tell when your child is going to be too hot or too cold in an environment until you see them sweating or shivering. I like these organic sleeveless onesies because they're great for layering clothing indoors without double layering my kiddo's arms.
Zip your bundle of joy into this adorable "sunsuit" for their big day at the beach or the pool. The manufacturer claims that it blocks 98 percent of the sun's UV rays with its UPF 50+ sun protection. Bodysuits work great when you don't want as much of your little one's skin exposed to the sun.
Insulated sippy cups are great for keeping cold drinks exactly what you want them to be — cold — for long periods of time. This one will hold its chill for 15 hours and the 360-degree drinking edge won't spill until your babe is actually trying to use it.
You never know when it will be helpful to bring an extra bowl and spoon set on a playdate or when you’re out and about. Baby food situations are typically messy, and this set comes with a lid to keep food somewhat contained, while the masher allows you to make baby food on the spot.
I used to think that year-round baby-wearing with cloth wraps made perfect sense for me until summer hit and I had to deal with boob sweat, leaking milk, and infant sweat at the same time. Something had to give, and I ended up abandoning the thick fabric wraps. A lightweight infant carrier is a must-have for sweltering days when your chickadee wants to be close to you.
My son sweats a river at night, but I’m hesitant to strip him all the way to his diaper because his skin still feels cool. One great solution to keep a younger infant at just the right temperature (besides constantly fiddling with the thermostat) is to put them in a muslin sleep sack. The material is light and breathable, but keeps baby warmer than if they were naked.
For babies who aren’t too keen on playing in the water just yet, this darling little beach tent provides plenty of shade and room to do important activities like throw toys for you to fetch. If you’re worried about your babe eating their weight’s worth in sand if they crawl off a blanket, give this a try.
When the sun starts to warm the inside of your vehicle like an Easy Bake Oven, there might be little you can do to beat the heat besides running the A/C or parking under a tree. Still, sticking a sun shade on the window makes me feel better about protecting my little one’s eyes and skin from direct sunlight. After all, if I have a visor to block the sun in the front seat, why shouldn’t he have one, too?
Don’t you just hate it when you’re on a grocery run and all the shopping carts are out in the parking lot? Not only does it mean you have to hunt one down, but it also means a metal cart will be too hot for a child to sit in. A shopping cart cover comes in handy both for their comfort and to prevent them from slurping down all the germs on the handle.
If you live somewhere extremely humid where it feels like someone is breathing on the back of your neck 24/7, a cool breeze feels like heaven. And especially if you’re outdoors sitting still at places like lawn concerts or amusement parks, a portable fan is an absolute lifesaver. Attach this rechargeable option to the stroller (where your little one can’t reach, if they’re old enough to be handsy) so they can keep cool and carry on. The foam blades also make this a safer option than some other portable fans out there.
Bubbles make everything better, honestly. Set this joy of a toy somewhere flat, add the bubble solution, and get your camera ready to capture all your buttercup's adorable giggles. I love bubble makers because create an easy, light-hearted opportunity to play and laugh with my little ones.
I wish I had known waterproof bags existed the time I took my kids to the pool and ended up having to throw our damp swimming clothes into the same large tote bag with our snacks. That... did not end up smelling well. Instead of using a cloth bag or even a plastic bag, these lined bags are also great for containing diapers in explosive situations when you can’t find a trash bin right away
A mommy and me float is a great way for you both to enjoy the pool with your little one without worrying about them getting away from you. You definitely want to get one with a canopy if you plan on using it during the daytime to keep your little one extra safe.
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