Are you ready for Spring & Summer? Warmer weather means possibly more trips to the park, outdoor BBQs and birthday parties; vacation and travel. After five years of testing things out and trying different brands and products, I came up with a list of recommendations that can help you and your family prep for this Spring and Summer.
2.5 Jumbo Ziplock Bags
We use these jumbo ziplock bags all summer! We pack each family member their vacation clothes. It helps separate them into the larger duffel bags where we stuff all our clothes, shoes and toiletries. We store beach clothes in it; separate it by clean and dirty; we put towels in it. We store adult and children’s shoes in it without a problem. We pack extra plates, utensils and cups to store away for beach, picnics and travel. They are also excellent for storing toys (if you rotate toys at home or in the classroom). Use them also for storing away seasoning clothes and coats (children’s coats). They are super convenient and by the end of the summer, we always find we use up all 3 packs we buy!
Generic Waterproof Foldable Duffel Bags (Airplane Carry On Approved)
These duffel bags are great for the Spring and Summer (whenever you are thinking of traveling) because they are so versatile! We pack our vacation clothes, toiletries, shoes and everything fits. It comes in an assortment of colors so we like to do say, pink for the girls, blue for me and green for my husband.The bag is huge and sturdy. We like the quality and how it is super easy to store away when you’re not on vacation. I also bring an extra one for if we end up coming home with souvenirs. When not on vacation, we like to pack things in things in it for birthday parties; or pack gym/yoga clothes; swim gear. Did I mention it is airline carry on approved and WATERPROOF too! It is quite the bargain for under $10 too. Love these duffel bags!
We have been using Keens for a few years now and highly recommend it. We used them for beach days, hikes, the park and they never fail. Our kids seldom fall when running or playing in these. The are made really well and can last more than one summer if you decide to invest in them to use as a hand me down.
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends that all children wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. We used Blue Lizard for the past few years and love it, but it can be pricey. It’s pretty neat because when the UV Rays are strong, the bottle turns blue to tell you to slather it on. We like that it doesn’t break out our kids and their sensitive skin. We also like how easily spreadable it is and how it doesn’t leave behind a white streak or residue. We prefer the baby version over the sensitive version because we found it easily to spread and it smelled nicer. We just purchased Alba’s for days in the Park because it’s easy to apply because it comes in a variety pack in Costco and the spray on is convenient (just make sure you rub it in accordingly; and not count on the spray to work out with even skin coverage)
Our go to water bottle for our kids is the Klean Canteen. All three of our kids have one of these! It is stainless steel, durable and very easy to clean. It has been completely leakproof and it really does keep the drink cold all day. We highly recommend the insulated version, as it doesn’t sweat. For kids, we do actually have the one with the sport cap and we haven’t had a leak with that yet, sideways or not. They also used the sippy version when they were under 3. The sippy lid is great and also leakproof, but there is a plastic for the bottom to help make it leakproof (though it is very easy to clean). It was extremely easy for the kids drink from. We are planning to add on the Insulated Coffee Thermos with the Spill Proof Cafe Cap. My husband is an avid coffee drinker, so it may be a gift for him one of these days since his birthday and Father’s Day is coming up. You can read more about our favorite coffees and methods to make it here.
We had the adult versions of the Klean Canteen in the past (it was not the insulated version because I believe we had purchased it before we had the kids, in Whole Foods before we it before it got so popular-not sure if they had the insulated version then) and liked it, but found it dent quite easily and sweat with cold liquids. I think I read on their website just a few days ago that it is now even sturdier and stronger. I will update if I get to purchase one to review. because it is so easy to use. We like that there’s an option for a sport cap for adults too, when conditions aren’t best for losing a cap or dropping it, such as when you go hiking.
For us adults, we now have several of the Hydroflask, the 40 Oz with the Straw Cap, which we love because for days where we go hiking or on a long trip (plus they were still all under 5), it carried enough water for us for the day to cover 3 little kid bottles and 2 adult bottles. It was easy to refill too and held so much water.We also have two of the 16oz Hydroflasks which we also love. My best friend was gifted one at work and I liked that it didn’t sweat because t was insulated. I had only the non-insulated version of Klean Canteen at that time; so I had to get it right away! My husband is currently using this to put his coffee for work. Hydroflask does make a coffee cap, but what wins us over for the Klean Canteen Cafe Cap is that it looks very leakproof with the slide and release type of lid, rather than the flip on and off type of lid. I will update the review, once we give it a try.
We have the Thermos 12oz and like it too. We get one every year for our kids to bring to school with them because they don’t have to tilt the bottle to drink from it. The bottle and pieces are easy to clean and can be taken apart with ease. The parts are easily replaceable. The straw is soft, yet sturdy and easy to drink from. Occasionally it would leak when sideways in the bag, but not enough for me to not use it.
Kidshealth.org recommends that if your baby needs to be in the sun, to dress him or her in clothing that covers the body. They also state that hats with wide brims can be helpful when to cover the child’s the face. We are using the one from Target for Esme and the REI ones for Olivia and Ayla. We plan to purchase the Hatley one for them this summer. We’ve purchased Hatley for raincoats and fleeces and they seem to be excellent quality and washes really well. This is great for park days, beach days, hikes or daily strolls. It helps because you don’t have to apply sunscreen if the rash guard is UV protected. Although my husband and I sunscreen them anyway, before putting them rash guard on them.
EO Hand Sanitizer or Hand Wipes
This is actually a year round staple, but I would like to add it to this list as well. Sanitize when needed, whenever you cannot get to a sink! See more on this product on my post sharing Helpful Baby and Children Products.
Similasan Eye Allergy Drops for Kids
From time to time, our kids have days when their allergies are worse than others; particularly a day out at the park with all the pollen floating around. We keep this at home for days when their eyes are red or itchy. I keep one in my bag as well. If you already have this, check to see if its expired.
Cover- Up Dresses
We came to the conclusion that pretty much any dress can be a cover up dress. Almost every year, we load up at H&M on the $9.99 dresses. They are comfortable, cotton and hold up well even after numerous machine wash cycles. It’s easy to throw on and on for sprinklers at the park or to pair with Spring sandals or leggings; and small enough to use as a change of clothes at parties or bbqs if the child drops an ice-cream cone or get cake or watermelon juice all over it!
We like the Sweetly Citron Natural Bug Repellent DEET-Free 8oz Spray Repel Mosquitoes & Insects. It seemed to work with our family and smelled the best amongst all I’ve tried. We use this during family picnics and parties; BBQs and at the beach; in the yard. When we go deeper into the woods, such as for hiking or where ticks are abundant, we found Avon SKIN SO SOFT Bug Guard Plus IR3535 EXPEDITION SPF 28 Aerosol Spray to be good. I think we did get a few bites with this, but I asked the company about what they recommended for young children and they said they recommended this one.
Mosquito Bite Cream
We carry around Emu Joy On the Go Stick Bug Bites, Mosquito Bites, Bee Stings, Poison Ivy Cuts for Scrapes,Bruises , Insect Bites Portable Skin Soother Stick for Pain and Itch Relief. This worked well she the kids get a random mosquito bite while we are out. Subtly smell and convenient to carry and apply on the go.
We carry the chewable tablets with us when we are out, especially in warmer seasons just in case there is a bad bug bite or bee sting or allergic reaction to some kind of pollen. It is recommended for older children. We just give them half a tablet to decrease the dose or 1/4 depending on their age and/or weight. Please contact your pediatrician for consult if you decide to use the chewables.
Sun hat/ Cap
Sun-hats help protects eyes and scalp from the sun. In my experience, they also stay on better than some sunglasses and safer to run around with at the park. However if you opt for sunglasses, we used Adventure BanZ by Baby Banz and loved it for when the girls were under two. Sometimes, it was too hot to put a swaddle over the bassinet when the baby is taking a rest in her baby carrier or stroller. This stayed on without being too tight and was stretchable.
You know the feelings of hot lips after a day at the beach? Yes, you can get lip burns. We used Kiehls SPF until they stopped making them. We haven’t found a replacement for this yet this Spring, but we are planning to try out the Babo SPF Chapstick next. Stay tuned on reviews on that!
Disclaimer: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
What are some products you recommend for Spring and Summer? Do share 🙂