Summer & Outdoor Baby

With the weather heating up and school out for summer, you’re going to be taking your little ones outside! I’m Texas born and raised, so I know all about outdoor fun–swimming, parks, hiking, beach trips, river floating, & much more. But, there is the inevitable downside of the lovely summertime–the big ones: bug bites & sunburn! So let’s discuss what I know works to prevent and treat what ails ya.

First up, I’m just now becoming savvy with some of these things, so I feel like I should share my knowledge because others have helped me along the way. Let’s pay it forward. We just installed Logan’s baby swing in the backyard. He absolutely loves it and we use it everyday multiple times a day. We do our best to avoid the heat of the day and to avoid dusk when the mosquitoes come calling. Unfortunately, a couple weeks back we didn’t avoid dusk as well as we intended to because the next day Logan woke up with about a dozen mosquito bites. I expected him to be bothered by them but they didn’t seem to faze him at all. In fact, I’m pretty sure Eric and I were more bothered. We freaked out at the size of the welts! He’s allergic, just like his mama. I went straight to my trusted mommy forums asking for natural remedies. A friend of mine immediately suggested lavender essential oil (EO). Like a true crunchy mama, we had a bottle in the house. I grabbed it, picked up Logan, and Eric & I went to town ‘lavendering’ him up. Within an hour, the swelling had gone WAY down! We used it a couple more times that day and were blown away by the big difference it made. So, if your kid ends up with mosquito bites,  lavender EO is what I recommend. Plus, your kid will smell delicious. Win!

Of course, we don’t want to jump to worst case scenario (you’re ready if you need to be), but let’s talk preventative measures. While shopping at Shades of Green (map below for my San Antonio followers), I discovered Cactus Juice Sun & Skin Outdoor Protectant! The lady in the store swore that she used it on her kids all the time and they never had mosquito bites–sold! We brought it home and used it the next day. And what do you know, he didn’t get any mosquito bites. I did. I forgot to put it on myself. Never again, though, never again. Just like the employee in Shades of Green, we now swear by Cactus Juice. It has SPF 20 in it, so it’s a good all around outdoor lotion, but it you’re going swimming or you’re going to be in the sun for awhile I recommend a higher SPF.

Speaking of higher SPFs, the sunscreen I found at Whole Foods for Logan is amazing! It’s called California Baby Summer Blend with SPF 30. It’s water resistant, Vegan, and allergy tested. If applied as directions state, it works great! Remember to apply BEFORE going out in the sun and reapply after sweating or getting wet. At the very least, California Baby recommends reapplying every two hours.

So, you’re going to be getting wet and going swimming, right? You’re going to need a swim diaper. I personally only have experiences with disposables, which I hated. They were hard to get up on my child that isn’t walking yet. And don’t get me started on the side tabs….I just no. They were hard to pull down after my child was wet. They just sucked! Which is why I’m so stoked that three of my cloth diaper covers double as swim diapers! I have have two GroVia Shells and one Simply Lite Wrap that can be used as swim diapers. I can’t wait to try them out. To purchase a cloth swim diaper for the summer visit Kiwi Baby Shop.

I’m shocked I was ever under the misconception that disposable swim diapers somehow keep the pool clean. Swim diapers, both disposable and cloth, are made to keep solid poop from getting in the water. But if baby goes pee or goes poop, particles are going to be getting into the pool. That’s why pools are so chlorinated. Swim diapers are just glorified poop catchers.  Bonus of a cloth swim diaper, you only need two or three long term. I can’t say the same for the disposables. In fact, to go swimming one time,  I had to buy a giant box of disposables and now I’m stuck with the ones we won’t even use. I could continue my rant, but I digress.

Let’s move on to something better–baby boat shoes! They’re so much cuter than adult boat shoes. What is that about? We received our baby boat shoes last summer when I was still pregnant with Logan. We had gone to JW Marriott to enjoy some R&R before our lives changed forever and so this then super pregnant lady could be weightless in the water for awhile. My husband was determined to go on the water slides, so we climbed to the top. Upon reaching our goal, I was informed that I couldn’t ride the water slide because I was eight months pregnant. Okay, not so much ‘couldn’t’, but shouldn’t. I was disappointed, but the sweet lifeguard felt so bad she tracked us down and brought us a present–popsicles, baby boat shoes, & a baby seat for the pool. We went back this year and Logan went swimming for the first time. He used the shoes and seat. It had a nice symmetry to it.

Since Logan isn’t walking by himself yet, boat shoes weren’t necessary, but they did keep his feet from getting sunburn and bug bites. For children that are walking, I think boat shoes are a really good way to go. The flooring around pools tends to heat up especially here in Texas and little feet can get scorched quickly. Boat shoes allow your child to get in and out of the water without you constantly have to put on and pull off their shoes. I highly recommend them!

In preparation for our first swimming outing, I purchased SPF clothing from Carters. Logan’s swim trunks, swim shirt, and swim hat are all rated SPF 50+, so they are better than his sunscreen and they don’t get washed off in the water like sunscreen does. For us, it was easier to put him in the SPF clothing that to try to worry about coating him down all over with sunscreen and then reapply constantly while we were out. I was very, very pleased with the quality of the clothing and Logan came out sunburn free, so they worked really well. Another thing I liked about the hat is that it had a chin strap, so that little hands can’t pull them off and throw them (as easily…).

 Finally, for all other outdoor activities, we use ball caps. We have two, purchased at Old Navy, and we have used them pretty much everyday since we got them. I had a really hard time trying to find ball caps small enough to fit on Logan’s head, which is why I mentioned that I found them at Old Navy, just in case I’m not the only parent having this problem. I’m happy to report that they can be washed and come out still looking great! It’s nice to know after a day of playing outside, getting dirty and sweaty, you can still get the hat clean again.

I did my very best to mention where I found our summer items locally for my San Antonio followers. If you have any questions, let me know! Also, let me know if you think I should address other summer/outside issues!

Don’t forget if you have family members who get over-heated easily, make sure to bring and drink lots of water! An ice pack is another good idea because that will cool you down in a hurry. Oh, and don’t forget your shades! You can see Logan rockin’ his in the picture above.

What are your favorite summer items? Comment below! 

If you have a cute summer pic, direct them @themamajourney on Instagram!

Now, let’s get outside and enjoy this beautiful summer…after it stops raining.

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