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Sun Smarts

How to keep your baby’s skin soft and sunless for the first six months

Sun Smarts

The season of short sleeves and open-toes is fast approaching, but the lazy days of summer are also high time for sun damage — a concern that takes on new importance with a baby in tow.

“Babies have much thinner skin than adults do, and since they’re not able to regulate their body temperature they can dehydrate quickly in the heat,” says Brooklyn pediatrician Dr. Lisa Nowell. “My basic advice to new parents is to keep babies out of direct sun whenever possible — especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. — and to dress them in lightweight clothing that covers the arms and legs.”

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And while the American Academy of Pediatrics doesn’t recommend routine use of sunscreen until your baby is six-months old, there are plenty of smart options to keep the tiniest tots cool and protected through every picnic, beach day and park walk. From hats and stroller shades to high-tech tees, here’s a roundup of our favorite summer sun gear:

HEADS UP: It may seem like a shame to cover up that sweet-smelling head, but a hat provides some of the best, least expensive sun protection. We love the adorable, quick-drying Reversible Bucket Sun Hat from One Step Ahead, (2: $14.95, available in boys’ and girls’ styles) and iplay’s wide-brimmed Sun Protection Hat (7: $13, multiple colors).

STROLLER STYLE: Fit your stroller with the generously sized Protect-a-Bub Classic Sunshade (5: $39). Snap-on styling and breathable, ultra protective fabric make this everyday accessory a summer must-have. And for the hard-to-fit carseat, Imagine Baby's flexible and breathable sunshade (3: $35) uses minimal bulk for maximum coverage.

IN THE SWIM: Dangerous ultraviolet rays easily pass through most clothing, but iplay’s One Piece Sunsuit (1&4: $29, multiple colors) and Breatheasy Sun Protection T-Shirt (9: $19, multiple colors) offer built-in protection equivalent to SPF 50. And when you’re ready to take a dip with your darling, Gymboree’s long-sleeved rashguard sets for girls and boys (6&8: from $15), offer extra protection in the water.

UNDER COVER: Beachgoers can stake out a spot on the sand with the Sun Smarties Family Beach Cabana Tent, (10: $64). This UV-proof sunshade sets up in minutes and offers a full day of sun and wind protection, doubling as a private spot for diaper changes and naptime.

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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