Given all of the summer baby gear sold in stores—from infant swim shoes to toys for the swimming pool—how do you know what you really need when you take your baby to the beach or pool?
Here are three must-haves for a summer splash party with your baby:
Reusable swim diapers
These "green" alternatives to disposable swim diapers, which come in sizes for ages from six to 24 months, have hook-and-loop tape that enables you to adjust them for a just-right fit on baby. They're made of soft microfiber that doesn't get soggy when wet. Some even have built-in sun protection.
Activity center float
You need to keep two hands on baby to keep her or him safe in the water, so instead of taking toys into the pool, many parents put baby on a floating activity center. These lightweight activity centers—with built-in, attached toys for play, leg holes that enable baby to kick in the water, and a canopy offering additional sun protection—are great toys for the swimming pool. They're also easy to pack.
Sun protection for baby
Remember to keep your baby out of direct sunlight for the first six months of life. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping baby in the shade or using hats and umbrellas for sun protection. Avoid sunlight from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when ultraviolet rays are stronger. When sunlight can't be avoided, cover with as much of your baby's body as possible with lightweight clothing, and apply a sunscreen with SPF15 or higher a half hour before going outside, then reapply every hour or two.
American Academy of Pediatrics
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