Forgive my naivety, but surely it can’t just be me who thought a pair of bright orange armbands and a yellow floaty seat were the be-all and end-all of holiday toddler essentials? Turns out, not so much. Luckily for me, I done a tonne of research before we went on holiday for the best swim-gear for littles, as Harrison wasn’t a fan of the water at first and a yellow floaty seat just wouldn’t have cut it. We are currently counting down to our next holiday, and I’ve already got a wish-list as long as my arm for the next batch of toddler swim bits. We did take some winners with us to Gran Canaria, but there were a few pointless items and I thought I would share the good and the bad for anyone else who is feeling a little bit overwhelmed. I also couldn’t resist the urge to share some of my favorite swim pieces for mum at the moment, because holy moly finding a swimming costume that didn’t wasn’t low cut, high cut or cut out in the middle was a task.
If you happen to be reading this post mid-June, the shop-feature of this post is not working, but it will be back up and running next week. Apologies if your one of the unlucky ones who has to google a product rather than click the link (first world problems?)…
At this age (Harrison is 18 months old FYI) I found that the all in one swimming suits are the best bet. Although we took a few pairs of swim shorts on holiday, putting these on him simply meant there was another area to watch like a hawk for any signs of redness, and I spent most of the time worrying if he was too cold. I really didn’t think it would be all that difficult to find a good suit – mens’ swimming shorts are easy enough to find, why should toddlers be any different? I veered towards the all-in-one’s, although options that weren’t bright red, Paw Patrol themed or that didn’t have some sort of funky looking tail were few and far between. I’ve done my research now though, and H&M is a gold mine for pastel colours and muted stripes – amen! With that being said, I can’t resist picking up a few sets of shorts and rash guards. They can be a bit of a pain in the backside trying to take off when littles are wet as the t-shirts will need to go over their heads, but sometimes needs must. The little cactus set I’ve linked below was our first purchase for our next holiday and let me tell you, it took all of the will in the world not to buy the matching little girl cossie, just because (I don’t have a girl, no plans for a girl but how cute?).
This was where I found myself the most confused, as there really were so many options. Initially, I bought the classic Speedo Roll Up Armbands, but with such dinky arms on toddlers they just aren’t practical. Maybe in a few years, but for now, I feel much more comfortable with Harrison in a Float Jacket or a Float Suit. Both have their pros and cons’ but I’d happily use either again. While the float jacket is easier to get on and off, it can float up under the chin which is avoided in the suit. The problem with the suit is that the flotation weights really retain the water for longer, so if Harrison gets out the pool we really need to take it off of him straight away before we go anywhere. Something we’ve not tried yet but I’ve ordered ready for our next holiday are the Puddle Jumpers Arm Bands – it’s a simple pair of arm bands that connect across the body, and that clip together at the back. All of the convenience of arm bands, but a lot more secure. And boy do they look funky.
For Everything Else
At Harrisons’ age, there really isn’t much in the way of extras that we need. Floats and noodles are a bit of a waste, he won’t be underwater to justify goggles and the inflatable seats just take up space. A classic bucket and spade does the trick at the moment (hallelujah, no need to spend a billion pounds on lilos) but there are a good few extras that really came in handy. The first being something I swore I would never buy for my child: Crocs. I never wanted to join the Crocs family – I searched high and low for some clear jelly shoes, and counted my lucky chickens when I found them in Zara. They then snapped within minutes of putting them on Harrisons’ feet, and we were back to square 1. We picked up a pair of Crocs from the hotel shop for convenience, and I don’t think I’ll ever look back. They are so easy, so comfortable for him and they’ve really grown on me. I’d also recommend investing in a pair of toddler sunglasses, we bought some cheapos from Primark, and they didn’t last more than a second on Harrisons’ face, but after picking up a pair from Kidly that fit round the back of his head, I’m sold. Add a trusty hat and along with his crocs and specs, all he needs is a disposable camera to be a stereotypical tourist.
This is certainly not toddler related, but what is it they say – happy mum, happy baby? It can’t only be me who had a right awful time trying to find a one piece swimming costume this year? I’m an online shopper, I can’t stand trying things on and the changing room mirrors give me a complex, but after my google search history resorted to ‘high waisted one piece that isn’t a thong and won’t cut me in two but doesn’t have a speedo logo or flowers on’ I was at a loss. I had a quick last ditch attempt on And Other Stories and was pleasantly surprised, they are killing the one-piece game at the moment and I know exactly where I’ll be going next time around. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m a little bit heavier than I normally like to be (*cough* 20lbs heavier) so I had scored a two-piece off of the list long ago until I decided to treat myself to a nicer bikini. I’ve eyed up Seafolly for years thanks to the aussie beauties on Instagram, and after coming across this one on Simply Beach, I decided that if ever there was a time to go for a higher price point, it was now. There is something about a nice quality bikini that can make you feel ten fold better in your own skin, and a confidence boost is well worth spending the extra dolla on.