Ahh, summer. There’s nothing better than long days spent on the beach, by the pool, or with friends and family for a barbie. But if you have a baby, you’ll need to be extra cautious to make sure they can stay cool and beat the heat. Whether you’re wondering what to buy for a summer newborn baby, or you already have a growing baby of your own, this comprehensive list of summer gear and products will keep your baby safe at home or under the sun.
When purchasing sunscreen for your baby, you’ll want to make sure you’re looking for a label that says “broad-spectrum”. This means that the sunscreen will protect your baby against both UVB and UVA rays. Likewise, make sure you take a peek at the ingredient list. The only active ingredients listed should be titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. These mineral ingredients are preferable to a chemical-based sunscreen. Ingredients to avoid in baby sunscreen include oxybenzone, fragrances, dyes, parabens, phthalates, and PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid). All of these ingredients can be irritating to a baby’s sensitive skin.
Recommended baby sunscreen: Wotnot Baby Sunscreen
Looking for the best baby lotion for summer? Opt for an all-natural product that is fragrance and dye free. Because a baby is more sensitive to the sun, it’s important to moisturize your baby when it’s hot and dry outside.
Recommended baby sunscreen: Cetaphil Baby Daily Lotion
Although strollers can give your little one some much needed rest from running around, they can also trap in a lot of heat. To help with air circulation, strap a stroller fan onto your stoller. Many fan options come with clip-on, rotation, and easy-charging capabilities.
Recommended stroller fan: Snawowo Mini Personal Portable Fan
Stroller and sun shade
In addition to a stroller fan, you’ll need a sun shade to help protect your baby from the sun. No matter what type of stroller you have, many sun shades come with adjustable straps that will securely wrap around your stroller. This will allow you to pull the canopy down as far as needed to protect your baby from the sun’s rays.
Recommended sun shade: Snooze Shade Stroller Sun Cover
Car sun shade
Just because your baby is in the car doesn’t mean they’re completely protected from the sun. UV rays that penetrate through car windows can be incredibly strong, warranting additional protection for the duration of your drive. These sun shades will generally either attach to the front and back headrests of your car, or will be placed directly on the windows.
Recommended car seat sun shade: kinder fluff Car Window Shade
Sun protection hat
One of the more important items to beat the heat is a summer baby hat. Because babies have delicate skin, wearing a hat will help protect them from harsh UV rays while they’re on-the-go. Opt for a hat like the HSYZZY baby sun hat, which features UPF 50+. This indicator means it blocks 98% of the sun’s UV rays.
Recommended sun hat: HSYZZY Baby Sun Hat
Baby bug spray
Although some locations certainly warrant more bug spray than others, purchasing baby bug spray is a good idea no matter where you live. Spraying your baby with bug spray will help keep mosquitoes and other pesky critters at bay.
Recommended baby bug spray: YAYA Organics Baby Bug Spray
Wet & Dry Bag
Whether you have dirty diapers or a bunch of wet clothes after a pool day, a good wet bag is a helpful item during the summer. They can be especially helpful if you need to tuck away wet items into your stroller or car while keeping everything else dry.
Recommended wet / dry bag: SEEBEL Wet Dry Bags
Sleeveless swimsuits may be cute, but they don’t cover much of your baby’s skin. Because of this, the best baby swimwear covers your baby's arms. Opt for long sleeve swim shirts that offer UPF 50+ protection.
Recommended baby swimwear: SANSI One-piece Swimsuit
Not only does your baby need a proper baby swimsuit, but they’ll certainly need a swim nappy. The difference between a normal nappy and a swim nappy (or swim nappy cover) is that these nappies ensure that your baby’s waste doesn’t enter public bodies of water. Essentially, these nappies are designed specifically for the water.
Recommended swim nappy: Bambino Mio Reusable Swim Nappy
As an adult, you might choose to wear sunglasses that are more stylish than functional, but when it comes to baby sunglasses, you certainly want to make sure they protect your baby’s eyes from harmful UV rays. Look for glasses with polarized, shatterproof lenses, and options that offer 100% UVA/UVB protection.
Recommended baby sunglasses: WISTON Baby Infant Sunglasses
The best baby carrier for the summer is one that is made with breathable material. This will ensure that both mum and baby stay cool. The sweetbee lightweight baby wrap, for example, features lightweight, breathable material instead of heavy straps. This sort of wrap offers year-round comfort, meaning it’s perfect for the summertime.
Recommended baby carrier: sweetbee Lightweight Baby Wrap
Baby clothing can be pretty cute, but sometimes clothing is made with material that doesn’t breathe very well. When choosing summertime clothing for your baby, opt for clothing made of moisture-wicking and antimicrobial performance. This sort of material will ensure that your baby is kept cool in warmer months.
Recommended onesie: Lark Kimono Bodysuit
The best baby blankets for summer are lightweight and breathable. Look for blankets that are made with high thread count muslin cotton, and make sure the material contains no chemicals or harmful residues.
Recommended baby blanket: Jay & Ava Baby Muslin Blanket
Unfortunately, overheating is one of the main risk factors when it comes to SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Because babies aren’t able to regulate their own temperature like adults can, it’s important that they stay cool while they sleep. If your home isn’t equipped with air conditioning, opt for a room fan that will keep your baby cool.
Recommended room fan: Lanko Oscillating Pedestal Fan
Baby beach tent
Does your baby love the beach? If so, a portable baby beach tent is the way to go. Not only will this help protect your baby from the sun’s UV rays, but many baby beach tents also come with a built-in mini pool so your baby can splash in the safety of their own pool without having to go into the ocean.
Recommended baby beach tent: Monobeach Baby Beach Tent
There’s nothing quite like summertime bliss. However, as a parent, you also want to be mindful of your baby. As long as you’re well-equipped with products that help baby stay protected and hydrated, the both of you are sure to have some well-deserved fun in the sun.