It’s that time of year again. The time where we take everything out of the diaper bag and move into the pool tote. Now last year, my oldest was still too small to fully enjoy the pool, but now as a spritely two-year-old, he was ready to jump in feet first!
Like every other family on Memorial Day weekend, we trucked it to the pool with all of our neighbors to christen the pool for the start of the summer holiday. Our neighborhood has both a “big kid” pool and a kiddie pool equipped with a frog slide. To say my son was in awe as we approached the iron gates of the neighborhood watering hole is an understatement.
My youngest is still small enough (8 weeks) where I don’t have to worry about him flinging his body into the crystal blue lagoon, unlike my oldest. The only concern with the newborn is to keep him cool and comfortable, so scouting out the perfect shaded area was the initial mission. Once we found OUR spot, it was time to prepare ourselves for the energy of our two-year-old. I wasn’t too concerned, because I spent the entire night before our pool excursion packing the pool bag full of toddler must-haves.
Here are the 7 items I take to ensure my toddler has a fun and safe time at the pool:
1. Skin safety is of the upmost importance with the little ones (you should also protect yourself), so I make sure my kids are lathered head to toe in sunscreen. Even though he is a redhead, he doesn’t burn easily, but that doesn’t mean I don’t need to apply and then reapply multiple times during our time at the pool. Here are three sunscreens I recommend and would use on my kids any day!
– Protect All Over Sunscreen by Beautycounter
– Neutrogena Pure and Free Baby Sunscreen
– Tom’s of Maine Baby Sunscreen Lotion
2. Swimming diapers are so important! The pool had to temporarily shut-down, multiple times, this weekend, because a certain family refused to put a swim diaper on their kid. If you’ve seen the movie Caddyshack, the scene where the Baby Ruth candy bar is thrown in the pool and mistaken for a “doodie” is what happened in our neighborhood pool. Instead a delicious chocolatey treat, it was actual “doodie.” I never ever want to be the parent whose kids pooped in the pool. Not that I would be embarrassed, just that people are ruthless with their words. With this said, my kid is clad in Pampers Spashlers!
3. When you have a kid as fearless as ours, you can never be too safe. Since we haven’t put him in swim lessons (I know, I know, I need to get him in classes ASAP), I need to make sure if he flings his body into the pool he will in fact float back to the top. Speedo Swimming Fabric Arm Bands are perfect for my kid. They slide right on, but stay in place while in the pool. As an added bonus to the safety they provide, these floaties are adorable!
4. Your kid probably plays with toys at home, so they will of course want to play with toys while at the pool. I went to my local Dollar Tree and stocked up on water toys (i.e. water pistols, buckets, balls, etc.) to add a little extra fun to pool time without breaking the bank. I didn’t head over to the mama holy land, Target, as I normally would because of the unspoken neighborhood pool rule – If you leave your toy(s), they get inherited by whatever family finds them or they live a sad life in the moldy lost and found box near the lifeguard’s office. Take my advice, it’s the way to go, on all levels.
5. My son loves to play in the pool, but he doesn’t like to carry the wetness into the car. Instead of mixing in his wet swimsuit in with the other pool bag items, we put them in our AWE Süsse Wet Bag. Listen, this wet bag is wonderful! It keeps the wetness inside and does not leave a mildew smell. Not to mention, my son is obsessed with saying his alphabet and our wet bag has alpha monsters. He practices his ABCs while we carry it to the car.
6. My son doesn’t understand the concept of “adult swim,” so when he has to abruptly get out of the the pool, let’s just say a stage-five tantrum ensues. In order to distract him from the ten painful minutes he has to stay out of the pool, I offer up snacks, snacks, and even more snacks! The Munchkin Snack Catcher is perfect for toting around crackers, goldfish, grapes, and other delicious treats while keeping the crumbs contained. As a former lifeguard in my teen years, there is nothing more frustrating (well maybe cleaning poop out of the pool) then having to cleanup soggy cracker pieces from the pool deck. Don’t be that parent.
7. My son is going through the phase of wanting to be just like mom and dad. When we have our sunglasses on, he always wants to snatch them off our faces and put them over his eyes. Since our sunglasses our too big for his face, he ends up playing with them, twisting and turning them until they break. When I was strolling through Target, their dollar section had mirrored glasses for kids. I grabbed a few pair to throw in the pool bag, diaper bag, car, etc. so my son would have them on hand. Not only does he get to be like mom and dad, but he protects those deep chestnut eyes from the sun’s rays.
I would say our first trip to the pool for the swim season was a success and it was in large part to my mommy preparation. Now as the summer continues and our trips to pool increase, my pool bag will transform to meet my kid’s needs, but for right now, these items are perfect for keep my toddler safe and entertained while taking a refreshing dip.
What are your must-have pool bag items? Let me know what you would add in the comments!