Summer is right around the corner and I can’t wait to get outside and soak up some sunshine with my family. It gets pretty hot here in the summer so it can be tough to be outside for too long, especially with a young baby.
I had a 9-13 month old last summer and I’ll have a 7-10 month old this summer so I’ll be pretty well experienced in summer baby fun. We got a lot of sunshine and playtime last summer and I can’t wait for the outdoor activities to start once again.
Here is a list of some of my favorite items to use with your baby in the summer. Some are for fun and play and some are essential for safety. Enjoy the outdoor activities with your baby and check out my other post on 11 Tips and Activity Ideas for Being Outside with a Baby.
Also, I didn’t include beach essentials when traveling or vacationing with your baby in this post. However, you can check out my post on Must-Haves for a Beach Trip with Your Baby for all of those seaside essentials.
A baby pool is an essential item to beat the summer heat outdoors. Even if you have a regular sized in-ground pool, you won’t want to hold them in there all day.
If your baby can sit up on their own, they can sit in a baby pool to cool off. This Intex Inflatable Pool was so compact and light weight that we could bring it to the beach, a park, or friend’s house all summer long!
The Intex Inflatable Pool is perfect for sitters and even a little older babies because it has a shallow base and a sun cover. This provides the utmost safety for your baby so the water can’t get too deep and it will keep the sun’s harmful rays away from your baby.
Related Post: 12 Simple Activities to Help Your Baby Sit Up On Their Own
Even on those warm summer nights or indoors with the air conditioning, it can get a bit chilly. However, you don’t want to use the same heavy winter blankets for your baby when they need a covering.
Muslin is a super soft, breathable cotton fabric and the perfect material for a light blanket to keep your baby warm, but not overheated.
Aden & Anais Muslin Blankets are by far the best quality muslin. These ones are extra large so they’re the perfect size to use as a blanket (versus the smaller ones that are more for burp clothes) and even some place to lay your baby if you’re outside on the grass or pavement.
What baby doesn’t love bubbles? They just float around their head making babies faces light up with joy.
Some of my favorite ways to create bubbles are using long bubble wands instead of the tiny little bottles of bubbles or a bubble making machine which produces thousands of bubbles with just the click of a button.
This piece of baby gear is probably one of my most used gadgets, especially in the summer. The born free nisa playard can be used indoors and outdoors, but I love it particularly for outside play. It’s even big enough to hold a few babies!
A playard is great to have outdoors so you can easily set your baby down on a clean, safe surface. You don’t know what’s crawling in the grass or the cement is probably too hot to put your baby down.
We use ours all the time while we are sitting outside, at a BBQ, or at the pool. I can even bring it to the park so I can keep an eye on my toddler running around, while my infant is in a safe, secluded spot close by.
The born free nisa playard folds up so conveniently and is portable enough to bring in and out of the house with you. It’s also super easy to bring it along on your travels or a day at the beach or park.
It pops open in seconds with just a quick pull. I just throw a few of my baby’s toys in there with him and he’s happy for awhile (even while practicing tummy time). A playard is great for infants up to when your baby/toddler is literally running around.
The included canopy makes it useful anywhere, even when you can’t find a shady spot for baby. It will keep your baby covered and safe from the sun’s rays while still providing adequate ventilation. However, still always make sure you apply and reapply sunscreen often.
I received a born free nisa playard in exchange for a review blog post. All opinions are my own.
Related Post: The Benefits of Tummy Time and How to Get Your Baby to Enjoy It
Stroller Fan or Fan Sprayer
It can get hot for a baby sitting in a black stroller with the canopy over top and they can’t exactly tell you when they’re too hot. A stroller fan, like this one can help get some ventilation in the stroller so your baby stays cool and comfortable.
I also love these fan sprayers that have a mist feature when it’s really hot. If you’re out in the heat often, I’d highly suggest these water fan sprayers for both you and your baby to cool off with.
Related Post: Must-Haves for Your Beach Vacation with a Baby
Stroller hook, cup holder, and organizer
You will probably be getting out for walks a lot now at the park, zoos, boardwalks, or just strolls around your neighborhood. Make sure your stroller is equipped with the essentials.
The stroller hook is perfect when you’re shopping. Hang your groceries, shopping basket, or bags. A cup holder for your coffee on your morning stroll and an organizer for your keys, phone, and any other belongings.
Wide Brimmed Hat
A wide brimmed hat will help to keep the sun’s harmful rays out of baby’s face. Even if you apply sunscreen to their face, you want to protect that fresh skin on their scalp, so a hat is always advised.
Pediatricians recommend against using sunscreen for babies under 6 months old. It’s best to just keep your baby completely in the shade or out of the sun as much as you can. However, if your baby must be in the sun, using sunscreen is the best way to keep your infant safe.
ThinkBaby Sunscreen is one of the best natural, mineral-based sunscreens that offers superior protection without any dangerous chemicals or ingredients. Check out the EWG score here.
Related Post: 21 Developmental Activities and Play Activities for Baby
2 piece bathing suits with SPF/UPF
When buying bathing suits for your baby, remember that 2 pieces are the best way to go. When removing a wet swim suit for a quick diaper change, a 2 piece will make it a lot easier on you. Some of the one piece swim suits for boys have a snap closure on the bottom which also makes for quick changes.
Also, be sure that the bathing suits have a UPF index. This is similar to SPF that you are familiar with for sunscreens, but is a measure for the UV rays that can penetrate through a fabric.
Although you may be thinking that you don’t have to put sunscreen on your baby’s body because they’re wearing a swimsuit, it may not be giving them all the safe coverage that you think unless it has SPF. Here is an example of a bathing suit that 2 pieces and offers UV protection.
Related Post: 11 Tips and Activity Ideas for Being Outside With a Baby
In the pool, there’s nothing better for a baby than this inflatable float. We were able to put my 4 month old baby in it (while still holding her up). I’ve tried a few other floats and they just end up causing the baby to slightly sink and they aren’t good for young ones. This float keeps them high above water for babies that aren’t fully supporting themselves yet.
Once your baby is pulling up to stand (probably around 9-10 months), they will be fascinated with a water table. It’s great for splashing in the water and playing with floating toys on a table level. If your baby is working on standing, they’ll get great practice by standing at this water table by Step 2.
The best remedy for getting sand off a baby’s wet bottom! Just shake some baby powder on the sticky, wet sand and it should make it a lot easier to clean.
Large blanket or sheet
As I mentioned above, a large enough muslin cloth can be used as a throw blanket for a trip outdoors with your young baby. However, if you want something big enough for the whole family or a crawling infant, a large bed sheet or full size blanket is best.
Keep it in your car for anytime you end up making a quick stop at a park or beach. This way, if you’re sitting outside, you can put the baby down anywhere and not have to worry about dirt or heat.
If your child is a new stander or walker, you want to make sure they have good supportive shoes through the summer. In the heat, you may not want to put socks and sneakers on them. Sandals with good ankle support can help as your child bears weight in their feet.
Make sure the shoes have closed toes and supportive straps around the ankles so they don’t fall. Flip flops or thong sandals don’t provide enough protection for their little feet and legs that haven’t fully built up the muscles to support all their body weight.
Stride Rite is a great brand that offers supportive shoes with flexible soles. These Stride Rite sandals are perfect for a little girl’s first walking shoes and these sandals for boys, as well.
A Bucket and a Watering Can
Sometimes there’s no need for fancy, expensive toys and a child will just be happy with simple everyday tools and objects. Providing them with a watering can and a bucket will give them lots of opportunity for imaginative play.
They’ll have so much fun pretending to water the trees and flowers and filling and dumping buckets.
These are necessary even if your baby is just playing close to the water, with a bucket of water, or at a water table. As soon as you splash those regular diapers with water, they expand.
So if your baby dumps a bucket of water on himself, he’ll be drenched and uncomfortable. Buy a pack of disposable swim diapers to use during water play or try these washable and reusable swim diapers.
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If this is your first summer with an infant, try to relax and have fun! I know it’s scary having your little one exposed to harmful sun and heat, but make sure you let them experience the newness of being outside. With these must-haves for baby and my Activity Ideas for Being Outside, you should have a perfect summer!