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What to Take to the Pool With Your Toddler

Inside: Essentials you need to bring for your toddler for a day at the pool or beach.

Going to the pool with a toddler is a lot easier than it sounds. 

You have to nonstop chase after them, keep them safe from the sun and water, and, if your toddler is anything like mine, you have to police toy steeling, splashing, tantrums, and all of the unexpected expectations that come hand-in-hand with having a toddler.   

Having the right products can change the whole pool dynamic. 

Last summer, we joined our town’s pool association, and I enjoyed endless days of find out which items are absolute must-haves when going to the pool with a toddler. 

I wanted to share these essential pool items and include a list of fun toys to pack for when you go to the pool with your toddler!

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Inside: Essentials you need to bring for your toddler for a day at the pool or beach.

  Puddle Jumper

I’m sure most of you have heard of the Puddle Jumper. I didn’t know about Puddle Jumpers until the beginning of the summer when my sister-in-law let me use her daughter’s puddle jumper. I was in disbelief.

As a first-time-mom (and one who obviously didn’t think about buying a floatation device before the beach, SMH) I was still expecting those plastic arm floaties that hurt to put on and hurt even worse to get off. Remember those?

After trying my niece’s puddle jumper on Lennox, I went shopping for one as soon as I could. There are many different kinds, but I highly recommend the Speedo one shown below. This one has extra support and safety with a vest that goes over your toddler’s shoulders as well as floaties on the arms. This avoids your child’s arms slipping out of the floaties.

Lennox loves this puddle jumper and gets angry if I take it off of him. He loves having it on. **Be careful though, it can cause overconfidence in your child’s swimming skills. I took it off of Lennox yesterday, and he tried to go deep into the water, not realizing he couldn’t actually swim.


 Hooded Towel

There is no better towel than a hooded, poncho towel to cover your toddler up when he’s wet and cold from the pool. I also use it after the pool to put him in his car seat instead of bringing a change of clothes.


Sunscreen is obvious, but please do not make my mistake of purchasing spray sunscreen.

I bought spray sunscreen for the beach, sprayed it into my hands as instructed, then applied to Lennox’s face and boy did we have a problem. He screamed bloody murder and had swollen puffy eyes all day.

Most spray sunscreens are not toddler friendly! If you do decided on spray sunscreen, make sure that it is baby/toddler friendly like this one here.

Another problem with spray sunscreen is coverage. How do you know if you are applying it all over or not? Make sure you are spraying the sunscreen all over and hitting important areas such as the face, ears, feet, and scalp.

Now adays, I always go with Babyganics and Baby Bum Mineral Sunscreen Face Stick. Lennox has yet to get burnt and has a beautiful golden tan if I might say so myself. He also appreciates the stick a lot more than me trying to rub lotion on his face! I think next year I’ll aim for a DIY sunscreen. We shall see. 

Swim Diapers and or Reusable Swim Diapers

Bathing Suit & Sun Shirt

Target has the most adorable selection of toddler swimwear right now. The Cat and Jack brand is the cutest, and I love that the boys’ swimsuits are not ridiculously long like a lot of the swimsuits on the market.

The other day I went to buy a girl’s swimsuit for a one-year-old little girl I watch, and I kid you not, I couldn’t make up my mind between five. They were all too darn cute. Below are Lennox modeling his three Cat and Jack Suits!

Sun Hat 

Lennox’s thick hair is his sunhat, however, if your babes have light hair, or a small amount of hair, cover those heads up to avoid a bad burn!

Swim Board

We are so very thankful to @americanlifetime @gladwellusa for gifting us these two awesome swim boards.

Lennox was a little hesitant to use it at first, but once he saw how daddy used it, it was a hit! It is extremely sturdy and lightweight and is the perfect prop for teaching your toddler how to swim. Mom and dad can also use it for exercise or physical therapy.


A cooler is essential. I learned this the hard way when one day all of my hard work preparing Lennox lunch and snacks got all mushy, and our beverages warm when it was time to eat. Invest in a small-sized cooler to make sure your food stays fresh, and your toddler stays hydrated!

Toy Bag

Another mom essential. I used a pool bag at first, but once I realized all of the rest of my items were getting gross from all of Lennox’s toys, I caved and purchased a mesh bag solely for Lennox’s toys. It also helps drain the excess water and avoids molding.

Related: 5 Sensory and Fine Motor Fall Crafts for Toddlers

Toys, Toys & More Toys

Below are some of our favorite pool toys, and pool toys that have been popular amongst all of the kids at the pool. 

  • Green Toys

    Not only are Green Toys made out of 100% recycled plastic, but they are safe for indoor, outdoor, and water play. They are also dishwasher friendly, therefore after their fun in the sun, you can easily disinfect them. Lennox is obsessed with transportation vehicles at the moment and there is a wide array of Green Car Transportation vehicles. Some are featured below.

  • Water Blasters

    These are great for fine-motor skills, will entertain your toddler for a while, and are also fun for adults!!!

  • Stacking, pouring, bath toys

We hope you enjoyed our list of pool essentials. Comment below and let us know if we missed any of your essentials on our list!!!!




Having the right products can really change the whole pool dynamic. After two months of consistent pool trips, I am finally able to relax some since Lennox is more comfortable swimming, and now that I have invested in all the necessary toddler pool items. I wanted to share these essential items as well as fun toys to pack for when you go to the pool with your toddler! Essential Items for a Successful Pool Day with Your Toddler #toddlerpoolessentials #toddlerpooltoys #summeressentials #poolmusthaves


Thursday 15th of August 2019

Perfect compilation and just in time. We just started going to pool. Sunscreen stick looks interesting.

Laurin Ruprecht

Tuesday 27th of August 2019

The sunscreen stick definitely is more toddler-friendly, and avoids getting it in their eyes.

Ariana Sanchez

Thursday 15th of August 2019

My son's love the puddle jumpers ( I honestly had no idea that was the name) and the water boards. I'm honestly shocked about not hearing about a lot of these. I never know what to do with the wet items I end up with. I have damaged a few of my totes and have tried plastic bags but with 3 kids, sometimes those bags with clothes and stuff get left it the car... and well let's say I have to toss them once I remember again.

Jennifer Tanney

Thursday 8th of August 2019

I love to hear parents head to the pool over the summer. I teach swimming lessons and I am always happy to hear you love puddle jumper. Until your child is ready for swimming lessons there's nothing better.

Laurin Ruprecht

Tuesday 13th of August 2019

I absolutely agree. The puddle jumper is essential. Lennox asks me for the puddle jumper and it gives me some peace of mind.

Breanna / Messy Buns and Mom Jeans

Thursday 8th of August 2019

This summer was the first time I heard of a puddle jumper but I love it!

Laurin Ruprecht

Tuesday 13th of August 2019

Right? It is so helpful and assists toddlers in swimming skills.


Thursday 8th of August 2019

That mesh bag is amazing! I need something like it! This post was so helpful! I am also a toddler mama!

Laurin Ruprecht

Tuesday 13th of August 2019

Why thank you! I love the mesh bag for all of our water tools to avoid molding.