Ahh, summer. We finally get to leave the house without a 30-minute production of boots, jacket, snow pants, gloves, hat, and the rest of it. But as excited as we are for the ease of summer living, we are equally as terrified about how on earth to keep our littlest ones out of the sun’s powerful rays.
Because infants have thinner skin, they are more vulnerable to sunburn, so special care needs to be followed to ensure they are fully protected. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that infants under 6 months should be kept out of the sun whenever possible, and older babies and kids should limit sun exposure during the peak intensity hours, between 10am-4pm.
I don’t know about you, but unless you’re planning on becoming a hermit, this is just not realistic for a fun-filled summer of outdoor play.
The solution? A little SPF 30+ sunscreen, and a lot of UV protective swim wear. Our team has uncovered the best, incredibly cute, protective rash guards, suits and swim diapers for your baby. So cover up as much of that tender skin as you can, slather on sunscreen to the rest, and you’ll be smooth sailing all summer long.
Rash guards are sized to fit snug. Think spandex, skin-tight kind of snug. So we suggest always buying a size (or two) up for a more comfortable fit, and a longer-lasting investment.
Hatley Baby Girls’ Ice Cream Rash Guard
We’re pining over this incredible new baby rash guard suit from Hatley. Not only does the adorable print make us want to cheat on our diet and head straight for the ice cream truck, but it is packed full of smart features and design details. The long sleeves and full-body of this suit provide superior sun protection – no need to worry about their belly or back becoming exposed. The zipper at the back allows for easy on-and-off, the snap crotch provides quick access for diaper changes, and the UPF 50 sun protection makes it a must-buy for anyone with a baby who will be spending time by a pool or beach this summer. Add on the bow and ruffle details, and you’ve got yourself that cherry on top.
Available in sizes 3-6 months to 18-24 months
Hatley Baby Boys’ Great White Sharks Rash Guard
We have to admit, we’re not a big fan of the one-piece rash guard suit. There’s just something about them that make kids look like they’re wearing pajamas. The real kicker, however, is that they usually have a front zip which means you have to pull down the entire thing to change a diaper – no thanks! With that being said, we love this long-sleeved rash-guard one-piece from Hatley. It has snaps at the bottom for easy changing access, and super cute prints your little dude will be proud to sport. The most important feature however is the UPF 50 sun protection it provides, giving you less exposed skin to slather with that sunscreen your baby is trying to avoid at all costs.
Available in sizes 3-6 months to 18-24 months
Coolibar Baby Girl/Boy Snap-neck Rash Guard
We love the smart sun gear from Coolibar – they are the first clothing company to receive the Skin Cancer Foundation’s seal of approval, and they certainly get ours too. This swim shirt is made from their special SUNTECT UPF 50+ fabric which preserves its shape, is chlorine and salt water resistant, and is super lightweight. It is one of the softest rash guards we’ve come across which means your kids will stay comfy and happy. Best yet – the snaps at the neckline make taking this shirt off a soaking wet baby painless for everyone.
Coolibar Swim Tights
Pair these swim tights with Coolibar’s rash guard (see above) and a wide-brimmed hat, and you’ve got barely any exposed skin left for the sunscreen application battle. You get the look of a cute legging, but with UPF 50+, 4-way stretch and superior breathability, your babe will stay protected without overheating. As an added bonus, you’ll be spared from those awesome sand-filled diapers at the beach.
Available in size 6 months to 3T
Cabana Life Girls’ 2 piece Coastal Crush Rashguard Set
Your search for baby girl’s swim wear that is functional yet stylish is over. Cabana Life’s clothing combines a beachy boho vibe with 50+ UV protection. This adorable rash guard set integrates a side-zipper at the neckline and jewel details on the bottom’s side-ties. Fashion and function – we’re ready to dive in.
Available in size 6-12 months to 6 years
Mini Boden Boys’ Layered Rash Guard
We love it when a rash guard toes the line between swim wear and everyday clothing. These layered rash guards for boys from Mini Boden do just that – they are super stylish, yet offer UPF 40+ sun protection. Talk about a win-win.
Available in size 3-6 months to 4 years
iplay Baby Breatheasy Sun Protection Shirt
This iPlay rash guard may look simple, but it’s made with specially treated fabric that throws a serious sun-protecting punch. Although it has long sleeves, the breathable, quick-dry material makes it the perfect light weight option for your baby to wear on a hot summer’s day. This one runs true to size, so don’t size up.
Available in size 6 months to 4 years
iPlay Ultimate Ruffle Snap Swim Diaper
If you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the water this summer, or are simply looking to stay environmentally friendly, we highly recommend the iPlay reusable swim diaper. With a 3-layer absorbent design and snug, elasticated legs and waist, it really can be trusted to keep accidents safely contained. There are snaps at the side for easy undressing, and ours have survived multiple summers of pool and washing machine abuse. And with so many playful designs to choose from, you’ll easily be able to match them to your favorite rash guard to form the ultimate sun-protection suit.
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How do you protect your baby against the sun? Share some tips and tell us about your favorite rash guards and swim wear in the comments below.