Once your toddler has graduated from swim diapers, a brand-new world of adorable bathing suits opens up. Think rash guard/bikini and board short combos, halter tops, and snap-and-zip onesies. And while sun protection is obviously the most important factor in the equation, it sure doesn’t hurt when your toddler’s togs are as fun-loving and cute as these. These are our favorite bathing suits for babies.
1. Snapper Rock
Originally designed in New Zealand—where the sun’s punishing rays are particularly intense due to a hole in the ozone over the islands—Snapper Rock’s swimsuits are crafted for a special high-tech UPF 50-plus fabric that goes the distance in keeping your little one protected. The lightweight and breathable fabrics of these suits are especially good for on-the-run toddlers; they flex and stretch as your youngster runs along the beach and bends down to make sandcastles. The designs are simply adorable, too—think whales and strawberries.
2. L.L. Bean
The classic quality of the L.L. Bean brand shines through in both boys and girls toddler swimsuits. They feature quick-drying and chlorine-resistant fabric and most importantly, UPF 50-plus protection. The suits block 98 percent of the sun’s harmful rays.
Parents love that the ever-popular iPlay brand lets you choose from different styles that feature built-in swimming suits covered with swimming trunks for the boys and cute bottoms for the girls. And the brand also makes one-piece sun suits that help provide extra coverage from the sun’s harmful rays. You’ll find a good range of solid colors and prints for both boys and girls, and the price is right.
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If the cute name alone doesn’t get you, then the actual ruffles decorating the bums of this adorable line are sure to pull you over to the RuffleButts side of baby and toddler swim life. The girls-only line is called RuffleButts, and there’s RuggedButts for boys. Both offer traditional swimsuit designs, as well as bottoms/swim trunks and rash guard combos that provide a bit more coverage from the sun. Some sets even have matching sun hats—swoon! The look is preppy, with lots of pinstripes, anchors and other nautical themes.
Related: 7 Best Sun Hats for Babies
5. Mud Pie
Swim trunks for boys, adorable one-pieces for girls and lots of hooded cover ups and rash guards for everyone are a glimpse of what you’ll find in the Mud Pie collection of kids’ swimwear. Motifs includes things like mermaids, cacti, sharks and flamingoes, covering all the bases for your adventure and fantasy-loving little ones. Inner leg snap closures on the bathing suits for babies and toddlers make it easy to change the swim diapers they’ll likely be wearing underneath. (The brand doesn’t have built-in diapers.)
6. Simple Joys by Carter’s
The Simple Joys by Carter’s baby and toddler swimsuit line comes in both boy and girl styles. There is a swim trunks and rash guard combo for boys and a one-piece or two-piece with rash guard option for girls. Both come in adorable colors and patterns.
If your kid’s the type that can spend hours out in the sun on the beach or at the pool, you’ll appreciate the many full-coverage designs of the popular SwimZip brand. Most of the styles are made from fabrics with built-in UPF 50-plus protection to help keep those harmful UV rays at bay. And the long sleeve romper-style suits cover boys and girls from their ankles and wrists up to their necks. There are long-sleeved body suits for girls, too, designed to leave their legs bare while their arms are fully covered. And the line’s many cute pattern options include pineapples, sailboats, jellyfish and palm fronds.
8. Cabana Life
For a preppy look on the beach or at the pool—and with tons of mommy and me options, to booth—you can’t go wrong with a Cabana Life bathing suit for your toddler. The UPF 50-plus toddler bathing suits are available for boys and girls and are far from cheap, but the adorable prints and patterns, including matching sets of rash guards and bottoms—are the epitome of statement-making swimwear. And for the best coverage for your littlest kids, opt for the Infant Onesie, with shoulder-to-knee coverage and a zipper and snap crotch that gets diaper changes over with as efficiently as possible. Are you surprised that matching reversible sun hats are available with many of the swimsuit designs, too? That’s Cabana Life for you.
A fun play on the word ozone, NoZone is a Canadian brand that delivers another full-coverage option for baby and toddler swimwear. The 100-percent polyester, hooded suits for babies and toddlers offer maximum protection, covering them from head to ankle and wrists. And the suits’ two zippers make it easy to let in some cooling air at the neck or do a quick diaper change from the bottom. All suits are rated UPF 50-plus, and block more than 98 percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays. Additional options for babies and toddlers include the one-piece rompers, which cover their arms, legs and necks, but leave off the hood. Additionally, all NoZone suits are chlorine- and salt-resistant, making them more likely to last longer, even with daily wear and tear.
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