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Your survival kit for summer vacations with a toddler

Taking a trip with a toddler may not always feel like a vacation, but these 10 items can be the key to a bit more R&R for you and your little one. (Plus, we never get over the cuteness of tiny, sandy toes!)


1. To be totally sea-worthy: Henna Floral Swimsuit

Get you little one wave pool ready with a stylish and comfortable swimsuit. We love Hatley’s fun-yet-classic designs for the pool, beach, or even just running through the sprinklers. Even better? All their suits offer 50+ SPF protection.

Pro tip: Suits run a bit small, so order up to avoid a butt-cheeks-on-the-beach situation.

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2. To stop sag in its tracks: Babyganics Swim Diapers

Banish puffy swim bottoms with these innovative swim pants from Babyganics. The core is made from a sustainable material that won’t swell or sag, no matter how much time your little swimmer spends in the water. The pattern on the swim pants changes with sun exposure for extra fun.

Pro tip: The swim pants also offer 50+ SPF, meaning that tiny hiney is fully covered.

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3. To fend off too much sun: A cool rashguard

For sensitive skin or simply protecting little ones from all day exposure, a rashguard or rashguard suit is a great way to keep them covered. The fabric even boasts a UPF 50+ rating, making it virtually sun-proof. (But don’t forget to protect exposed skin with sunblock!)

Pro tip: Don’t miss the matching baby rashguard for his little brother!

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4. For hours of seaside play: Sand Bucket Scooter from Haba

Sand toys are a super simple way to let imaginative play run wild on vacation. We love a set that provides a variety of tools, like this Sand Bucket Scooter from Haba. The bucket is filled with a sieve, a sand mold, and a trowel, and the four wheels make it the perfect tool to transport sand and seawater across the sand.

Pro tip: Use the included mesh bag to store the tools for easy drying between trips to the surf.

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5. For when the surf’s up: Toothy Sharks Swim Trunks

Your little swimmer won’t be able to keep from the waves with a pair of stylish swim trunks, like Hatley’s Toothy Sharks pair. Like all of Hatley’s swimwear, the trunks come with a UPF 50+ rating for maximum sun protection.

Pro tip: Suiting up a younger sibling? Get the matching baby rashguard!

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6. To keep from getting burned: DERMA E Natural Mineral Baby Sunscreen

The fastest way to derail a vacation with your kid? A serious sunburn. Protect all that gorgeous baby skin with a healthy dollop of sunscreen. We love this version from DERMA E. The formula is lightweight and gentle on baby’s skin, while eco-friendly Non-Nano Mineral Zinc Oxide protects your little one from UVA/UVB rays. Plus, it’s reef safe, hypoallergenic and fragrance-free.

Pro tip: Apply 15 minutes prior to heading out in the sun, and be sure to reapply at least every two hours or after splashing sessions in the pool.

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7. For a pep in their step: Pretty Sailboats Flip Flops

Whether you’re heading to the pool side snack stand or simply searching for the perfect place to start sand castle construction, you want to keep those little toes protected from scorching sand and concrete. A pair of sweetly patterned flops, like these from Hatley, are so cute, you won’t even have to struggle to get your little one to wear them.

Pro tip: The fabric strap can be more comfortable than rubber versions and less likely to cause blisters.

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8. Because snack time is real: Skip*Hop Central Park Outdoor Blanket and Cooler Bag

When you’re a mom, the last thing you need is more stuff to carry. That’s why we love this ingenious bag from Skip*Hop, which unfolds into a 5-foot-by-5-foot water-resistant blanket perfect for picnics and relaxing on any surface. The insulated bag even has room for snacks and drinks — it really does it all.

Pro tip: Spills or mud stains? Simply throw the whole thing into the washing machine for easy cleaning.

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9. Because nap time doesn’t take a vacation: Shade Shack Instant Pop-Up Sun Shelter

Whether you need a place for naps or a little privacy for nursing, a pop-up beach tent is a great solution when the snack pavilion just won’t do. We love the Shade Shack Instant Pop-Up Sun Shelter design because it folds into a compact bag for easy transport and can be anchored for windy days by filling the handy side pouches with sand. Plus, it has UPF 30+ coverage, making it the perfect place to re-apply sunscreen.

Pro tip: Practice folding the tent a few times before hitting the beach so you’re a pro in time for your vacation.

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10. To help them keep their cool: Mandala Reversible Sun Hat

When it comes to beach vacations, sun protection is the name of the game. Keep those perfect little heads from burning with a cute hat like this one from Hatley. The reversible design means your child can choose her favorite look each morning, and the adjustable strap will keep her cap from blowing away in the breeze.

Pro tip: You guessed it — the hat has built-in sun protection too! To the tune of a UPF 50+ rating.

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Sponsored by Hatley. We only include products we’ve tested and loved in MotherlyLoves. Through affiliate programs, we may receive a revenue percentage if you purchase through our website.

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