What’s the best…


Ok, all you veteran mamas, I’m looking for lots of feedback in the comments section today. I’m asking- you answer. I’ve just bought Halle some summer-fun necessities and realized, while I was standing in Buy Buy Baby, that I didn’t know what I was doing.

For instance, sunscreen. I bought a spray with SPF 50 that was for Babies. Then I hear that some sunscreens have chemicals that may cause harm to babies! So I probably should have researched that a bit more. Then, right next to the sunscreen, I see tons of adorable sunglasses for babies! The packaging said things like, “Doctor Recommended” and “Blocks Harmful Rays.” So I bought two pair: one regular pair that is pink with rhinestones and one that has elastic foam that goes around her head to keep them on (can you guess which one I put on her for a photo?) The few times we’ve been to the water, I haven’t even used these, so I probably wasted my money.

All of this got me thinking, “Why don’t I ask the DMB readers what they buy during the summer?” So, I am.

Fellow moms, share with us newbies what your favorite summer necessities are! Here’s a list to get you jump started:

  1. sunscreen – what brand?
  2. sunglasses- yay or nay?
  3. swim diapers- anyone bought the swimsuit with them built in?
  4. best floatation device?- I hear water wings are good.
  5. swim shoes- saw some adorable ones at the GAP but didn’t think they were practical, anyone use these?
  6. What am I missing?

Look forward to hearing from you!


  1. Hey Casey! So our “must-haves” in AZ are a bit different but one item that I LOVE is a car seat cooler. If we leave our cars sit for anything over an hour the carseat is BURNING up when we get back to the car. Poor kiddo’s. So… we use a carseat coolerhttp://www.scottsdalemomsblog.com/2010/07/02/giveaway-cheeky-bebe-carseat-cooler-from-moonbeams/.
    Oh – and a note about the swim shoes. I think they are helpful at a splash pad once your kiddo’s are walking just to help them keep from slipping but other than that they aren’t necessary. πŸ™‚

    • Oh I love that idea of a carseat cooler! This should be mandatory in Texas! We were in the car for 15 minutes yesterday at 11:30 and Halle’s back was soaked by the time we got home. I’m gonna check it out today! Thanks!!

  2. It can be overwhelming can’t it? Weston likes sunglasses for about 32 seconds then they’re in his mouth. We have an adorable hat that he just pulls right off his noggin and tosses on the ground. I use the Coppertone Waterbabies 50spf on him and me but we use lotion because we read that sprays are not as effective. We purchased his water shoes at Buy Buy Baby and use them at the splash pad but mainly for our back deck because it gets soooo hot it will burn his feet when he runs from pool to sand box, etc. We buy the splashers diapers and they work great for us. And we loaded up on Dollar Tree toys like buckets and shovels ….even empty water bottles because he loves to fill them up with water and they come in handy at the splash pad. πŸ™‚

    • Funny- first two comments are from Steph! I wondered that about the sprays- good to know. I may see if the Gap still has those adorable lady bug water shoes and maybe I can get them for her to wear next summer when she’ll be walking. I knew she “needed” them πŸ™‚ and I LOVE the Dollar Tree for toy ideas like that! Thanks girl!

  3. You can find a list of safe sunscreens on the Environmental Working Group’s website for sunscreen: http://breakingnews.ewg.org/2011sunscreen/ . We have used California Baby and Badger. I would recommend California Baby just because it is easier to find (you can get it at Target).

    We don’t do sunglasses because ours won’t wear them. Swimshoes are really only worth it if you have a walker, to keep them from slipping in the water.

    The swim shirts called “rash guards” are great for additional sun protection as well.

    We cloth diaper so instead of a swim diaper we just use the cover of a diaper without the insert. Even if you do not cloth diaper, you can still use the cover of a cloth diaper for a swim diaper so that it is washable and reusable.

    • I hadn’t thought about using the cover of a cloth diaper! Have you ever had any problems getting into public pools or anywhere else that may “check” for swim diapers? Also, I see those “rash guard” shirts everywhere but it’s so hard to pass on the cutesy swimsuits for girls πŸ™‚

    • I also just use the cover of a cloth diaper for a swim diaper! It’s essentially the same thing… and way cheaper. Swim Diapers can be super expensive.

  4. Check with The Safe Mama.com. She has a great list of sunscreens and does her homework with each manufacturer to ensure each is void of chemicals like phthalates, parabens and other toxins. The EWG.org has a good list too but a few of them still contain some not so good chemicals. Steer clear of anything over 35 SPF for babes. Anything over that is basically all the same. Email me if you want more info. Just wrote an article on how to pick a non tox sunscreen for kids…and I would not use coppertone on my kids.

  5. 1. Sunscreen- pediatrician told us PABA free (this is tricky, but it will say on the tube if it is – Banana Boat spf 50 for babies is the best deal I’ve found)
    2. Sunglasses – glad we own a pair, but not a top 5 item
    3. swim diapers – we have a bag around, but the swimsuit with the diaper inside is easiest, especially during potty training.
    4. floatation device – at 2 years old, the Puddle Jumper from Target. About $20 and it goes around his torso + arm bands and it really helps him stay upright while he gains independnce in the water.
    5. swim shoes – at this age, they’re just another thing to carry around. Bare or sandals.
    6. Missing – a big hat and a small kiddie pool. Seriously the kiddie pool in the shade, measuring cups as toys, mom with a magazine and glass of iced tea…best thing yet!

  6. As a lifeguard and former swimming instructor, I do not recommend water wings. They give a false sense of security to both mom and child. They can slip off when the kids jump in the water or get small leaks in them. I’ve seen children panic because they thought their wings would hold them up and then all of a sudden they’ve deflated or slipped off. They can also create a dependence and it can take longer for kids who use them to learn how to swim without some sort of floatation device. Look up Infant Swimming Research. They start swimming lessons at 6 months. Obviously a 6 mos. old won’t learn strokes, form, etc. but they can learn how to float. This is particularly valuable if you have a pool. Infants can learn what to do if they fall in the water. On the topic of floats-I recommend using a lifejacket or a full body float (like a ring with a net seat). I’ve seen those puddle jumpers and while my kids didn’t use them, those are probably better than the wings. Mentally it’s an easier transition for the kids from float to swimming if the float is bulky and actually hard to swim in.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here