We’re officially in the thick of summer and that means blazing hot temperatures and lots of sunshine. We love going to the pool and splash pad as a family, so I thought I would share what I pack in our pool/beach bag as well as some of things we do at the pool to protect our skin from the insane UV rays.
I hate over-packing so I try to keep things pretty simple while still bringing all we need. Some things I like to pack include (and not all of these things are shown in the photo below): sun hats, sunglasses, sunscreen (we love honest, badger and babyganics), Larabars for a snack, Harper’s water baby, extra swim and regular diapers plus wipes, water bottles, SPF chapstick and of course, towels.
If you’ve read my blog for awhile, then you know I’m kind of a freak about sun protection. I’m considered high-risk for skin cancer due to my tanning bed use in high school and college (still regretting those days) and the fact that Harper has red hair and super fair skin makes me extra cautious as well. That’s why I always bring multiple forms of sunscreen with us to the pool or beach— I find that an initial generous covering in lotion is best, followed by re-application via the spray (spraying onto hands first as the instructions read). Then, after we eat lunch, I will re-apply with lotion again so it has the time to seep into the skin before we go out into the water again. The Environmental Working Group has a great list of highly-rated sunscreens that you can check out here.
I also have Harper wear a rash guard, hat and sunglasses. I would love to put her in a darling little swim suit, but I know would be too paranoid about exposing her skin and missing a spot of sunscreen, so the high-SPF rash guards are my go-to. I typically have her in long sleeves, but sometimes on cloudier days she will wear a short-sleeved one. My favorite rash guards are from baby gap, j.crew and carter’s. The one she is wearing in these photos is from old navy.
Harper has always been sensitive to the sun and actually asks for her hat and sunglasses now. Her eyes, just like mine, are extremely sensitive to the sun so she wears her sunglasses happily. People ask me all the time how I get her to keep them on… and the answer is truthfully that if the sun is bright, she prefers to wear them (just like I do!) I realize not all babies and toddlers will wear hats and sunglasses, but we started her off with them at a very young age so perhaps she just got used to them.
She has also always seen Kevin and I wear sunglasses (and in many cases hats) when we are out in the sun and kids always want to be like their parents, right? (haha). Head and eye protection are definitely an essential part of any trip we take to the pool or beach. I find a lot of cute sunglasses at baby gap and we also love our tried and true babiators.
Harper absolutely loves to play at the splash pad so we spend a lot of our time there burning energy (which almost always means at 3 hour + nap will follow!)
I hope you enjoyed my pool essentials post and I would love to know if you have any pool-time essentials/sun protection tips for yourself or your kids I may not have thought of. Leave a comment below!