Hello, sunshine! As summer draws near, our thoughts are turning to the best ways to keep the babies cool … that means the beach, the pool, the splash park, or anything else that involves copious amounts of water!
Swimsuits are probably at the top of your shopping list right now. Take a look at our smart tips to choose the right bathing suit for your baby or toddler. Hint: Little ones look adorable in any type of bathing suit, so it’s a function you’ll want to consider.
Baby Sun Protection
Sun protection is crucial if you’re outdoors, whether you’re spending the day at the local pool or splashing around in the back yard kiddie pool. Full-coverage suits like rash guards and rompers area ideal for protecting babies’ sensitive skin. Lots of baby swimwear also boasts sun-blocking properties—you might see it measured in either SPF or UPF. (The first stands for Sun Protection Factor and measures the amount of time it takes for sun-exposed skin to turn red; the second stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor and measures the amount of UV radiation that penetrates a fabric and reaches the skin.)
Think about your priorities. If you’re buying swimwear for a potty-training toddler, a two-piece suit that’s easy to pull down is helpful. For a squirmy, slippery baby, you might find a one-piece zippered swimsuit convenient. And some parents forgo disposable swim diapers altogether in favor of swimsuits with built-in diapers.
Focus on Comfort
If you’re like many moms, you know how uncomfortable the wrong bathing suit can be! When you shop for a suit, pay attention to the little details: Will the straps leave red marks? Will the waistband be too tight? Will the suit ride up uncomfortably? Look for a soft material that will be gentle on skin and stretchy for maximum comfort.
Remember Durability Matters
You may be tempted to buy the cheapest suit out there, but it won’t be a bargain if you have to replace it after one wear. Saltwater, chlorine, and the sun’s rays can all take a major toll on fabric. Choose a suit that will stand up to the elements … lycra, nylon, and polyester tend to be durable.
A Few of Our Favorite Swimsuits for Babies
Ready to hit the pool (or beach)? It’s time to start shopping! Here are some swimsuits that caught our eye recently.
Sun Protection Superstars
Baby shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo … Delight your toddler with a suit that reminds him of his favorite song! This one-piece sunsuit is made from an 80/20 nylon-spandex blend, so it’s soft and comfy. The quick-drying fabric also offers UPF 50+ protection. The front zipper makes quick changes a snap!
This breathable, comfortable swimsuit offers plenty of sun protection, with the SPF 50+ rating. The back zipper design is convenient for changes and helps keep little hands from unzipping at the pool. Did we mention it comes with a cute hat?
Swimsuits With Built-In Diapers
These cute yet practical swimsuits will save you money on disposable swim diapers. They’re comfy even for babies, and the trim diaper design encourages babies to move freely. Best of all, those diapers work … so no awkward accidents will ruin your trip to the pool!
The Cutest Suits Around
This sweet suit just screams summer, with that adorable watermelon print. The material is soft and stretchy, and the straps are adjustable for added comfort. And who can resist that ruffle?
These snazzy striped trunks will let your little man hit the pool in style. The suit is light and durable, featuring quick-drying fabric that’s UPF 50+. It’s also available up to men’s XXL, so all the guys in the family can sport matching suits!
What About Floatation Suits?
Some parents are choosing buoyant swimwear that helps babies, toddlers, and children stay afloat. Many families find these a good solution, saying they increase confidence for a child who’s not yet swimming. However, relying on them too much can actually hamper a child’s swimming progress. Plus, it goes without saying that floatation swimwear is no substitute for constant adult supervision, nor is it an appropriate substitute for U.S. Coast Guard Approved life jackets during activities such as boating. If you’re interested in trying a floatation suit, here are a couple of options:
This cute suit serves as a swim aid by positioning kids properly in the water and allowing full use of their arms. The adjustable system lets you decrease the buoyancy as your little one gets better at swimming. It features a UPF 50+ rating too.
This float suit is a practical, durable option that allows plenty of movement while holding your child in a natural swim position. As your child’s swimming improves, you remove the floats.