Summer can be a pretty busy time – especially when you have babies! It isn’t too bad when you have older children, but add a baby to the mix… things can get complicated real quick!
Whether you are out at the zoo or park, or hanging out in your back yard at home, this is the list you NEED to be prepared…
Here are 10 baby ESSENTIALS for a stress-free summer:
1. Mineral-based Sunscreen + Bug Repellent
Baby skin is SO sensitive and it is super important to protect it! This may seem like a no brainer but for me as a first-time parent… I just didn’t think about this stuff.
I recommend this sunscreen from Babyganics – it comes in a spray which is great for quick applications and touch-ups throughout the day. It doesn’t feel super thick and goopy on your skin like some others do and has baby-safe ingredients. It worked perfectly for my red-headed, VERY fair-skinned baby!
Also, instead of bug spray, this aloe lotion helps repel bugs safely as well as moisturize your baby’s skin –> isn’t that all what we want for our little ones anyway?!
2. Stroller Fan
THIS! I cannot thank the random mom at the zoo who had one of these attached to her stroller. It was like an aha moment! I literally stopped on the way home to grab one. It was very inexpensive and it kept my little girl cool.
Side note: You can also attach this to the headrest in front of their car seat to keep them cool on the way home OR while the AC is getting colder.
3. Thermal Pouch
This is great for bottles, pureed food or snacks and water if your baby is a little older. You can bring your thermal pouch with you and use as needed, or leave it in the car to keep things cool while you are doing whatever it is that you need to do.
4. Wagon with Canopy
The wagon was (and still is!) a HUGE lifesaver. It gives little ones a little more freedom than being confined in a stroller, plus it doubles as a place to store all your bags if need be!
You can find these on Amazon, at Walmart or any sporting goods store usually.
5. Portable Play Yard
This portable play yard might be the most important thing you could ever buy when you have babies! Between its multi-purpose uses and travel-friendly design, you don’t want to be without this.
This is great for outdoor and indoor use to have your baby safely with you while you do yard work, housework, etc.
Throw in some toys and encourage independent play without worrying about your child hurting yourself when your back is turned (because we ALL know it takes literally .001 seconds for a child to accidentally hurt themselves).
When your child outgrows this as a play area, use it as a bed when traveling! We bought egg crate mattress toppers (you can get these cheap at Walmart or use a pack-n-play mattress) and cut them into squares to make a cushion for the bottom. Then we just wrap a sheet around it, throw her pillow, stuffed animals and blankets in there and ta-da! Travel-friendly bed!! This is especially great for when they are between the crib and “big bed” stage.
*As of 4/30/20, this playard is on sale for less than $50 on Amazon! Perfect time to scoop this up!!!
6. Reusable Swim Diaper
These are GREAT for toddlers – they hold water much better than disposable swimmer diapers. They are also easy to throw in the washer in case of any accidents (think babies or pre-potty trained toddlers) and won’t add 10 lbs to your baby as a wet disposable diaper would.
We’ve been using these reusable diapers and they are so comfy and add just enough lining to hold in any accidents but aren’t super heavy and bulky!
7. Portable Booster Seat
This Pop N Play Booster seat not only is so useful during the summer but great for all year round! I love multi-use/all-season things and this ranks high on my list. This chair is fold-able making it light and travel-friendly, and has the option to hook the tray on –> perfect for snacks or small toys to sit on.
Think ball games, snack time at the pool, picnics, park outings, you name it and this comes in handy! It holds up to 37 pounds and has a safety strap so your little one can’t slide out.
For the rest of the year keep it in your car and take to restaurants to use instead of using their booster seats.
8. UPF Bucket Hats
Okay, please someone tell me I’m not the only one who uses these hats even when my daughter ISN’T swimming? They are just so amazing! The material is a thin almost dri-fit type so it’s super lightweight and dries very quickly – whether it’s wet from swimming or just absorbing sweat! The chin strap helps hold it on little noggins to so it doesn’t keep sliding off.
This is the EXACT one we have and have used it the past two summers in a row. We just bought a bigger size this year for my 3 year old. 🙂
9. Swimming Floats
We don’t have a pool near us where we can go swim so I was a little late to the “puddle jumper” game. However, after one out of town trip to Mimi and Pa’s house, I realized these things were a necessity! Even though we don’t get to swim too often it is still nice having one of these ready to go, and with the sizing covering such a wide weight span, it should fit your little one for a while!
These can also be used during non-summer months at indoor pools –> hotels, YMCA, etc.
10. Water Activity Table
Do I even need to say more? This provides hours of entertainment all the way from those little ones learning to pull themselves up to big kids! It also allows all of you to get out in the sunshine but still stay cool in the water.
There are so many versions of these tables, but we love this one! Perfect for play-dates because it has some extra room to move around for more than one toddler.
Who says summer with a baby has to be stressful? I hope this list of baby essentials helps you feel more prepared when heading into this season! Go enjoy that summer sun with your little ones 🙂
For tips on surviving the first 3 months post-baby, check out this post here.