by Carles Cavazos Brito
Enjoying summertime with a toddler in tow or a baby in arms is an opportunity for loads of discover and fun in the sun, sand, and surf!
Before heading out, you will want to select your child's swimwear carefully to maximize comfort, safety and of course tap into their personal "style" with the latest trends.
Your little one can make a splash at the wading pool while sporting colorful designs. Top with a wide brim hat or bonnet to keep those dimpled cheeks protected. Also, for this age bracket, look for those with rash guard to avoid painful spoilers later on!
Do you just love to dress your baby up in a ruffled, girly bikini or a cool pair of board shorts? Are you worried about sun protection? Is getting rid of rashes and chafing your highest priority?
The latest trends for babies and toddler have it all and then some. You'll find cute swimwear that protects and even suits that float.
Cover it up: Some parents believe that less skin exposure to the sun is best. On the racks right beside that tankini or bikini, you'll find rompers, polo suits, sleeved shirt/pant combinations and other full-coverage swim wear. Some even feature a collar to protect the back of the neck.
Swimwear with sunscreen built right in: The sunscreen stays on your child since it's part of the swimsuit. It doesn't wear off or have to be reapplied. Since many pediatricians recommend not applying sunscreen on babies under 6-months-old, clothing that limits the sun's rays let your youngest member join in the fun, safely.
While these types of swimsuits might not be the "adorable" kind you're used to, they're becoming the new "Isn't that cute" baby and kid beachwear. In addition to full-coverage swimwear, you're likely to see wide-brimmed, kid-sized hats on most little heads. You might catch a glimpse of a napping baby under a protective sun blanket.
What's the difference between SPF and UPF? SPF measures the effectiveness of sunscreens on skin. A product rated SPF 10 should allow you to remain outside 10 times longer before your skin burns. UPF measures how many UVB and UVA rays a fabric blocks. A UPF rating of 50+ means the fabric blocks 97.5% of both UVA and UVB rays.
Rash guard: If your babe's sensitive skin breaks out in a rash at the word "swimsuit," you'll appreciate finding a suit with rash guard. It eliminates chafing and rashes caused by wet swim suit rubbing against your child's skin.
Easy-off swimwear: Do you remember last years struggle to pull a tight, wet swimsuit over your baby's head? This year's trendy, kid-friendly suits feature snaps and zippers that make in and out a breeze.
Baby swimwear has flotation devices built-in. Some suits have an inflatable ring with a seat or foam inserts around the middle to help keep your baby afloat while swimming.
For cold-water protection at the beach or outdoors and for swimming lessons during wintertime, wetsuits are ideal. You'll be able to find them for kids and even babies under 6-months-old. The layers of neoprene provide excellent sun protection.
What's the most important part of your baby's or toddler's swimsuit? What kind do you buy?