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Lazy mornings, days spent making sandcastles at the beach, warm nights running around outside...for kids, summer is bliss. For parents though, it’s a little more work. With the typical daily routine out the window, summer is met with activity planning and endless packing lists. It’s exhausting, but totally worth it when you find your popsicle-stained-sandy-toed toddler soaking up the sunshine without a care in the world.
We recently took our first vacation as a family of four, our SUV piled high with baby gear, toddler toys and enough snacks to feed a small army. And while our California road trip was no small feat, having a tote bag stocked with warm weather essentials made getting out the door each morning just a little bit easier. Read on for a few of my favorite summer picks for littles, so you can enjoy those summer days just as much as they do.
I’ll be honest, I’m a total sucker for baby bathing suits. Despite living in San Francisco, where it’s pretty much 65 degrees year-round, I can’t stop buying swimwear for my two girls. Minnow has been my go to swimwear brand for a few years now (especially its long sleeve rashguards - I mean, come on!), so naturally I was thrilled when the brand released this french terry hooded coverup, which is ideal for drying off after a long day in the pool. The details just can’t be beat - a full zip that makes it easy to get on and off, an oversized hood to keep little heads warm, and insanely soft, absorbent fabric that’s better than your average beach towel.
I was first drawn to Primary for its simple approach to kids fashion - “no labels, no slogans, super soft and sustainable fabrics, for clothes that all play together.” Primary’s clothing is easy to mix and match, which has really helped streamline my toddler’s closet. This summer, we’ve loved the brand’s swim line, particularly this adorable rainbow dot rash guard and this sun hat (both with UPF 50!). Both are made with high quality OEKO-Tex Standard 100 certified fabric, so you can feel good about what’s touching your kids’ skin.
If you’ve ever tried applying sunscreen to a toddler… well, you know. This stick from one of my favorite skincare companies glides on super easily, doesn’t leave a super thick residue, and provides over an hour of sun protection. Plus, it’s easy (and fun!) for kids to put on themselves, making it that much easier to incorporate sunscreen into their daily routine.
I’m all about eating al fresco, especially on warm summer evenings when the grill is hot and the rosé is cold. But there’s nothing worse than being eaten alive by mosquitos when trying to enjoy dinner with friends. Actually, there is something worse - a little kid with mosquito bites. This year, I was determined to find the best natural bug repellent to keep the whole family bite-free. Enter Kinfield’s Golden Hour, a DEET-free spray that repels mosquitoes with a unique strain of Indonesian citronella. It’s super effective, and free of parabens, phthalates, and sulfates...aka magic in a bottle.
I’m a huge fan of Hill House, and the brand’s new summer arrivals do not disappoint. This tote is the perfect combination of stylish and functional, printed with a sweet Mermaid pattern that was created as “an homage to all of the beautiful and powerful women.” I love that it’s clear (so you can take a quick inventory of what’s inside), easy to clean, and has a long strap so you can carry it with a baby on your hip.
Every parent knows there’s no such thing as a “vacation” when summering with kids, but we hope these products will take the guesswork out of packing, so you can relax a little bit too… maybe even pour a glass of wine. We won’t tell!
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Minnow Swim Coverup, $72