Some of that stuff is seasonal. Honestly? Back in the cold-weather months, I meant to do a things loved winter time post... But, you know, life.
Anyway, wanna see what's topping our charts for summer survival? In WA, getting a "summer" can be hit or miss, but it seems like this year is a hit with many 80 degree days in a row. Wahoo!
1.) Wardrobe Essentials. Back when it was still chilly, I picked up a couple cute suits for Ruby in the Target clearance section, and at a consignment sale. I also try to make her wear shades whenever possible, to protect her eyes. Sometimes she keeps them on, sometimes she doesn't. We have a pair from Janie and Jack, and they really seem to have the best fit (the 0-2 size). And finally, you can't have summer without a sun hat. Last year, we had a Carter's sun hat that I bought in February before Ruby was born for 97 cents. It was the perfect hat. Wide brim, and a strap to keep it on her head. This year, Carter's was completely sold out before I even thought about buying a hat! Nooooo! So I've been on the hunt since. We got this Baby Gap version last weekend. I love the brim size, but it has no straps, so I think I'm going to have to sew my own.
2.) Swim Diaper. If your baby/toddler is going in the water, they need a swim diaper. Last year, when we took swimming lessons, we had two different brands. We found that the iPlay swim diaper is hands down the best! It is slightly absorbent, which means your kid is not going to pee on you when you carry him/her to the pool. Kind of important. Plus, they fit well, and wash well. Last year we had a cute printed ruffle-butt one. This year, I went with plain white, to go under her variety of suits.
3.) Sunscreen. Maybe this should be number one? Now that Ruby is old enough to wear it, sunscreen is a must. It's quite a feat to slather up a toddler, but I don't want her getting burned! I also don't want to load up her skin with chemicals, and I kind of cringe when I see Banana Boat baby sunscreen. This Babyganics sunscreen is affordable, and scores a 2 on Skin Deep's website, so I feel comfortable rubbing it into her skin.
4.) Starbuck's Cold Cups (and straws). We've had three of these cups for many years. Mr. G always has one at work. When I was pregnant, they became the only way I was sure to drink enough water throughout the day, and I had one in my classroom and car at all times! We recently broke one, and I totally freaked out! Mr. G had to tell me to calm down and go buy another. Ha. But seriously, staying hydrated is important at all times of the year, so I never leave the house without one of these bad boys. I also bought a set of twelve plastic reusable straws (also from Starbuck's, but before they made the cold cups) about 6 years ago. I can put these in the dishwasher, so sometimes, if I'm in a hurry, I just switch out the straw. My students were always excited to see which color straw I had each day, and Ruby is pretty into them too!
5.) Step2 Waterwheel Water Table. Ruby got this for her birthday and she plays with it nearly every single day! Water play is so good for sensory development, plus it helps her keep cool. I do have some gripes about this toy though. The first being, that it doesn't have a drain. Um... Why??? It actually has an area in the plastic that even looks like it was supposed to be a drain, but they changed their minds. Dumb. It also doesn't have a cover. Which means tree-junk and bugs fall down into it, dirtying the water faster. I already have to fill the thing up with buckets, because we don't have a yard and have to keep it on the balcony. It would be nice if I could at least empty it without bailing it, or cover it up to keep the water clean longer.
Update: I contacted Step2 via their Facebook page about my two gripes. They don't offer a cover for sale separately (boo), but they do offer a plug if you want to drill out the hole and retrofit it. It will void the warranty, they warned me, but it might be worth doing. I'll have to see if my dad has the proper drill bit.
6.) Booginhead Sippigrip. Mamas aren't the only ones that need to stay hydrated! Obviously, it's super important for the babes to, too. Since getting the Sippigrip, I've been attaching Ruby's cup to her stroller when we go on long walks, and she's been drinking a ton of water that way! We got ours free at the 4th of July parade, but I would absolutely spend money on this thing.
7.) Baby Splash Pool. I really wanted to get Ruby a pool, but wasn't sure how this would work with our lack of yard. I decided any pool would have to be inflatable, and when my friend found this baby one at Target (for under $6!) that was only about 30" across, I knew it'd be perfect. And it is! It's the perfect size for both baby and deck (ha), and it does have a drain, so I just open it up right by our gutter and it empties itself. Since it's so small, it will work great as a ball pit indoors when the weather turns, too. I can't find the one we have on Target's website, but it's the Banzai My First Splash Pool. Here's what it looks like in action:
8.) Fubbles. Ruby got one of these wacky tubes of bubbles for her birthday. They're the best bubbles ever! The wand is huge (long), so it can make really big bubbles just by waving your arm around in the air. If you choose to blow the bubbles, it makes about a million little ones in one go. We've almost used ours up thanks to Ruby's constant requests for "bubbas!", and I plan on buying more.
9.) Green Toys Dump Truck. Good old dumpy. Gotta have some outdoor toys, right? We play with this inside too, but it makes a great outside toy. Ruby loves to push it around while making motor noises. She's big into vehicles right now! I love that it's made of recycled materials, and is pink and purple. All of her boy friends dig it too!
Some things that are not on my list, but I'd love to try are some sort of shade tent/canopy/umbrella (we really needed this at the spray park - any suggestions for a good one?) and toddler popsicle molds. How awesome are those? Are there any summer baby must-haves I left off my list? Do tell!