24 Summer Must-Haves for Babies and Toddlers - Baby Chick
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24 Summer Must-Haves for Babies and Toddlers

Check out our 24 summer must-haves to keep babies and toddlers active and happy all season long, including toys, clothes, and more.

Updated May 7, 2024
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Summer is right around the corner, and for moms, especially new moms, keeping little ones entertained during the hot and sticky months can be challenging. It’s not practical to schedule several playdates a day for three months, so we must find ways to ensure our babies and toddlers get the most out of summertime at home without driving us crazy! Here are our summer must-haves we recommend to all families!

24 Summer Must-Haves for Babies and Toddlers

Check out our summer must-haves to keep babies and toddlers active and happy all season long:

1. Kiddie Pool

Kiddie Pool

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Inflatable Outdoor Backyard Water Splash Toy

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Tiny inflatable pools and splash pads are a mommy sanity saver on hot days and are on every summer must-haves list. Babies love to splash around in the water, and you don’t have to go anywhere but your backyard. These will keep your little one entertained for hours!

2. Floaties

SwimWays Baby Spring Float Activity Center, Baby Pool Float with Canopy & UPF Protection, Pool Toys & Swimming Pool Accessories
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Free Swimming Baby Inflatable Baby Swim Float with Sun Canopy
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STEARNS Original Puddle Jumper Kids Life Jacket
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When your kid is really small, this float activity center with a canopy or this float ring are great options. But these puddle jumper floaties are essential once your child gets a little bigger.

3. Sunscreen

Babyganics SPF 50 Baby Sunscreen Lotion UVA UVB Protection
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Kiss My Face Baby Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50
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Baby sunscreen is an absolute summer must-have. Most sunscreen is full of harmful chemicals and not suitable for baby skin.1 Luckily, there are a few more natural sunscreen brands that are baby-safe and effective, like Kiss My Face SPF50 lotion and Babyganics SPF50 lotion.

4. Swimsuits

Baby Floral Print Recycled Swimsuit
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Toddler Pineapple Swim Trunks
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Obviously, swimsuits are summer must-haves. You’ll need a few swimsuits for your kiddos, and we love this floral one-piece and these neon swim trunks. Also, check out these matching family swimsuits we love!

5. Beach Canopy

Beach Canopy
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Whether you’re spending a day on the beach, at the lake, at big brother’s soccer game, or just out for a picnic, this baby beach tent is a must-have for keeping baby cool and shaded. It’s quick and easy to set up and has see-through mesh netting to keep bugs out. It also has a back window to help your baby stay comfortable and cool (and also so you can keep an eye on them).

6. Swim Diapers

Swim diaper with sea turtles on it
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Swim diapers are an absolute must. The disposable swim diapers are good, but I really love these reusable swim diapers! They come in 11 prints and fit sizes 24 months to 3T. They’re also machine-washable and easy to pull on and off with a side snap closure.

7. Sunglasses

Baby BANZ Retro BANZ Oval Baby Sunglasses
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baby sunglasses
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These baby sunglasses are the cutest! I love this flexible, durable pair with a comfortable strap to keep them on your baby’s face. We also love these fun heart-frame sunglasses; they feature UV400 lenses that shield your child’s eyes and surrounding skin from 100% of harmful UVA/UVB rays.

8. Bug Spray

YAYA ORGANICS Baby Bug Ban Spray + Wipe Bundle
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Bug Bite Thing Suction Tool, Poison Remover
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Insect repellent is about as bad as sunscreen when it comes to harmful chemicals you don’t want to put on your baby’s skin. YAYA Organics Baby Bug Ban is one of the best I’ve found for a more natural alternative that’s effective. The Bug Bite Thing is also a neat tool to suck the insect venom out of the bite and help prevent it from itching.

9. Portable Playard

Portable Playard
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This ultimate portable playard can be a lifesaver when you want to include your little one in all the outdoor activities but also don’t want them crawling into a parking lot when your back is turned for half a second! It might look like a baby jail, but I’m okay with that. It’s lightweight and folds up compactly, so it’s easy to take with you on the go.

10. Portable Booster Seat/High Chair

Portable booster seat and high chair
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It’s lunchtime, and you must simultaneously feed yourself, your toddler, and your infant outside in the wilderness without anyone being eaten by ants or dropping food in the pool. Having this portable booster/high chair just may save your day. It comes in many colors and folds up compactly to take with you.

11. Baby Carrier

Breeze Baby K'tan Baby Carrier
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Wearing your baby in the pool makes life easier when you have multiple kiddos and only two hands. Baby K’tan Breeze Wraps are excellent for doing just that! Plus, you can wear them outside the pool on those hot days when you just need a breathable baby carrier to wear your baby without both of you having a heat stroke.

12. Water Shoes

JIASUQI Baby Boys and Girls Barefoot Swim Water Skin Shoes Aqua Socks for Beach Swim Pool
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Native Shoes - Jefferson, Kids Shoe
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I learned the hard way that baby feet are super sensitive, even when walking around at the pool. My kiddos would get blisters on their poor feet just from the bottom of the pool, so I started having them wear water shoes, which helped a lot! These are my favorite water shoes for little feet. We also love these Native Shoes, which are lightweight and easy to slip on and off.

13. Sprinkler

Flower Sprinkler Toy
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Once your baby becomes more mobile, you know there’s no way they’ll want to sit in one spot in a baby pool. That’s the time to bust out your child-friendly sprinkler and let the kids run wild in the backyard. This is outdoor fun for the entire family!

14. Play Kitchen Sink

Play Kitchen Sink
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Every now and then, playing outside is just not going to happen. Whether it’s a summer rainstorm, a scorching day, or you’re just too busy, having this play sink with running water on hand can be a sanity saver. It comes with kitchen accessories and other cute toys to entertain your kids for hours!

15. Sand/Water Table

Toddler Sensory Kids Table with Lid
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Sensory play is essential to a child’s development, and summertime is one of the best times to let the kids go to town with messy fun. A sand/water table is a staple for any family with kiddos because it allows them to experience sand, water, jello, foam, or other messy play with reckless abandon. This one has an easy-release plug at the bottom to empty it once you’re done.

16. Hooded Towels

Blue shark print and pink gingham hooded towels

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Keep the kiddos dry with a cute and functional hooded towel. One size fits all with this super soft towel that doubles as a coverup. And with adorable prints and fantastic quality, this towel is the perfect summer must-have addition to any pool or beach trip!

17. Sun Hat

Baby sun hat
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Protect that precious face from the sun! Always keep a sun hat on hand when you’re out and about in the summer. With built-in sun protection and a wide brim, this lightweight and adjustable hat is the easiest way to shield your little one from those rays.

18. Outdoor Blanket

Roebury Blanket
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Little Unicorn outdoor blanket
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Whether heading for a family picnic at the park or a fun-filled day at the beach, an outdoor blanket is always a great idea! It’s a perfect and easy-to-pack place for your crew to play, snack, and relax when you are on the go this summer. This is also an excellent option that’s durable, water-resistant, and a little more neutral.

19. Water Bottle

Kids' Water Bottle
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Staying hydrated in the heat is a must. Remember to pack a kid-friendly water bottle for all your summer adventures! These adorable and spill-proof bottles are the perfect addition to your summer lineup.

20. Portable Fan

Blue portable fan
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Keep baby cool and breezy in the warm summer with a portable fan. It’s small enough to take anywhere with the versatility you need when you’re on the go! Attach it to the stroller or car seat, and let your baby cool down and feel the breeze.

21. Popsicle Mold

popsicle mold
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It’s a win-win with this summer find! Grab a popsicle mold, fill your kids’ morning with a great activity by creating some flavorful treats, and then you have the perfect afternoon snack. Be sure to check out these easy popsicle recipes for kids. The possibilities are endless and yummy!

22. Bubble Machine

Bubble Machine
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Every day is a party when you have a bubble machine in your backyard! This machine will provide endless entertainment, giggles, and happiness for your whole family. Turn this cute shark on, and you may just be the most popular house in the neighborhood!

23. Wet Bag

Wet bag
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Keep your bag dry and contain all those wet swimsuits with a stylish wet bag. You can use this waterproof and easy-to-clean bag over and over to ensure you have a mess-free summer! It comes in a bunch of fun prints to choose from.

24. Sidewalk Chalk

Sidewalk Chalk
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Let their imagination run wild with some sidewalk chalk. It’s a fun and easy way to get the kids outside and let their creativity shine without leaving your home! It comes in a handy storage container to keep the chalk in, too.

Having a few (or all!) of these options available to your kiddos this summer will make your lives easier and more fun-filled. Remember, you only have about a dozen or so summers with your little ones before they might not want to hang out with you anymore, so try to make the best of it with these summer must-haves!

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Baby Chick’s Editors are here to help parents find the best information and products for their growing families. We believe in inclusivity and cover everything from trying to conceive, pregnancy,… Read more

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