When you’re a new parent, or a parent of a young toddler, life seems chaotic 99.9% of the time. Your brain is trying to juggle innumerable tasks and lists for your kids, household, and yourself, so it’s not surprising that we oftentimes forget things along the way. One instance when you don’t want to be leaving anything behind this summer is when you head to the beach or pool. Once you’re out there under the blissful sun, swimming around with your adorable little one, the last thing you want to be doing is stressing about something you forgot. Here’s mommy blogger Rachel Parcell’s list of pool essentials for her kids and herself. The jet setting mom of two is always taking her baby and toddler somewhere they can splash around to their hearts’ delight, and these are the things she would never leave the house without.
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1. Pool Bag
You want something big enough to carry all your gear and won’t get damaged when splashed. “This one is waterproof,” says Parcell. Genius.
2. Swimsuits and Extra Clothes to Change into
Sounds obvious, but unless you’re bringing your kids to the water in their suit, it’s something that can easily be forgotten! And if they are arriving in their swim gear, make sure they have something dry to go home in. “I love this one for girls,” says Parcell, "and I get most of my summer dresses and swimsuits from J. Crew every year.”
3. Pool toys (of course)
Because they make everything more fun. “Target is my go-to stop for pool toys,” says Parcell.
4. Cute Towels
We’re especially into Turkish towels, which are soft and thin (but not any less absorbing) making them easy to carry around, especially if you have to carry a bunch, and fast-drying.
5. Water and Snacks
When you’re splashing around for hours on end, you and your kids are definitely going to work up an appetite. Bring some of their favorite snacks (and yours!) and a bottle of water to stay hydrated. This insulated one will keep your h20 cool for hours on end.
Unlike typical lotions you find in a store, this sunscreen comes in a mouse formula, making it quick and easy to apply which is helpful when you’re trying to slather squirmy kids who just want to cannonball into the pool. “I’ve been using the Supergoop! every time on me and my kids and I seriously love it,” says Parcell.
7. Puddle Jumper/floaties
Unless your toddler is an olympic swimmer, these are probably a good idea
“This one is a must,” says Parcell. “It holds it’s shape, even if you shove it in a tote or suitcase. Finally!”