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17 Must-Have Swimming Essentials to Pack in Your Kid Swim Bag

Posted by Lauren Petrullo on
Kids at the pool

Summertime means swimming time! And whether your kiddos love swimming or are starting to go swimming lessons to learn how to splash around, you'll want to have the right supplies on hand. 

When it comes to packing swim bags for kids, there are definitely some essentials you don't want to forget. Sunscreen, towels, and a water bottle are a given, but what else do you need? 

Check out our list of 17 must-have swimming essentials to make sure you have everything you need for a fun day in the sun!

How to pack the best swim bag

A day at the pool or beach is a perfect way to beat the summer heat. But before you can enjoy a refreshing dip, you need to make sure you have everything you need. For kids, that means packing all the swimming bag essentials to make sure they are entertained and protected. 

But before rushing into it, you need to think about the reason why your kid goes to the pool or beach. Is your kiddo a competitive swimmer? Are they starting swim lessons or do you just take them to have fun during the hot days? Knowing this will help you pack the best swim bag with everything your little one needs! 

Must-pack swimming bag essentials for competitive swimmers and learners

If your kid is a competitive swimmer or is taking swim lessons, packing a well-stocked bag with all the swimming accessories is a must. From a towel to swim caps, these essentials help to ensure a successful (and safe) swim. So what to bring to swim lessons or competitions? Here are some of the most essential items:

1. A swim cap

Many people think of a swim cap as optional, but if you're serious about swimming, they are an essential piece of gear. Here's why:

Swimming caps help to keep your kid’s long hair out of their face so they can see what you're doing. They also help to keep their hair from getting tangled in their goggles or getting wet while you're swimming. And if they are taking lessons in a swimming pool with other children, a swim cap can help to keep their hair from getting in their way.

2. Swim goggles 

Of course, your child can’t swim without goggles! These are essential for seeing where they’re going, avoiding collisions with other swimmers, and protecting their eyes from the pool’s chlorine. Be sure to pack an extra pair in case their primary pair gets lost or damaged.

3. Swim diaper

This is a piece of swim gear that you won’t want to forget at home. They are required by swimming pools to avoid any accidents, and let's be honest, who would like a little friend floating in the water? 

If your kid goes to lessons or competitions constantly and they are not potty trained, your best option is a reusable swim diaper, since you won’t have to constantly be buying more nappies whenever you run out--just wash and reuse. Plus, they are adjustable and grow with your kids, so you won’t have to worry about your kid growing out of them!

So next time your kid is getting ready to go to the pool, make sure you've got a reusable swim diaper on hand and a backup! 

Tip: don’t forget to get a wet bag to store the wet diaper, that way you will avoid getting everything soaked and messy.

4. Pull buoy

Another essential that some pools ask parents to pack in their swim bag! This is a floatation device that helps people stay afloat while swimming. 

When it comes to taking kids to swim lessons, a pull buoy can be a lifesaver. Not only will it help them stay afloat, but it will also prevent them from getting tired too quickly. As any parent knows, tired kids + water = disaster. 

So if you're planning on taking your kids to swim lessons, be sure to pack this essential! Your sanity will thank you later.

Swimming Essentials

Must-pack swimming bag essentials for splashing around

Not all kids want to take lessons or go to competitions. So, if you are planning to take your little one to the pool or beach just to have fun and cool down during the hottest months of the year, here are our favorite swimming essentials

1. Toys

When packing for a day at the pool or beach with the kids, it's important to remember to pack their toys. Otherwise, you'll be dealing with a lot of bored, whiny children.

Toys will keep them entertained and busy so you can enjoy your day too. Plus, what's more fun than building sand castles or having water fights? 

Bringing toys to your trip can also help them to make friends and have fun with other kids, so make sure to pack enough so they can share! 

2. Extra hair ties

Picture this: you're at the pool with your kids, and one of them comes to you asking to tie their hair because it’s annoying. But wait - where's your hair tie? You search through your bag, but it's nowhere to be found. 

Suddenly, you realize that you forgot to pack them! If this has ever happened to you, then you know why packing these little things is a must when taking kids to the pool or beach. 

There is nothing worse than having to deal with a screaming child who can't get their wet hair out of their face. Hair ties are essential for keeping kids comfortable and reducing the risk of them getting tangled hair. They also help to keep hair out of the way when kids are swimming, making it less likely that they will accidentally swallow water. 

So don’t forget to pack hair ties in your swim bag. Your kid with longer hair will thank you for it!

3. Flip flops or Water Shoes

Let's be honest, public pools and beaches are not always the cleanest places. There are kids running around barefoot on the pool deck, leaving a trail of who knows what behind them. And then there's the issue of public showers... Do you really want your kids walking around in those? Nope, didn't think so. 

That's why packing a pair of flip flops or water shoes for each kid is a must. Not only will it help keep their feet clean, but it will also prevent cuts and scrapes from sharp shells and rocks. And we all know that no one wants to deal with that. Plus, a pool deck can be slippery, so having your kids wear shoes can protect their little feed. 

4. Waterproof phone cases

One of the swimming essentials that is actually for parents! 

Packing a waterproof phone case is a must when taking kids to swim. Not only will it keep your phone protected from water damage, but it will also prevent your child from accidentally dropping it in the pool. 

And let's be honest, it's just one less thing to worry about when you're trying to keep an eye on your little ones.

You can also keep your devices in a dry bag if you don’t like those kinds of cases! 

5. Swim diapers (yes, again)

Crumpled, soggy messes, that's what you'll find in your child’s regular diaper or swimsuit if you forget to pack swim diapers. No one wants to deal with that, which is why packing swim diapers is a must when taking kids to the pool or beach. 

Swim diapers help to keep things clean, and they also prevent poopy accidents from happening in the water. Plus, they're super cute! 

Don’t forget the basics!

We’ve already talked about all the swimming essentials you need to pack depending on what your child does. Now, let’s talk about the basics because let’s face it: we can even forget those! 

1. Sunscreen

One of the most important things to remember is sunscreen. No one wants their kids to get sunburned, and packing sunscreen is a must. 

First, sunscreen helps protect against harmful UV rays. These rays can cause skin cancer, so it's important to keep your kids safe from them. Second, sunscreen keeps kids from getting too much sun. Too much sun can lead to dehydration and heat stroke, neither of which are fun for anyone involved. Finally, sunscreen helps prevent premature aging. No one wants their kids to get wrinkles before they're even out of diapers!

2. A towel (or many towels, we don’t blame you)

In addition to swimsuits, swim diapers, and sunscreen, you also need to pack a towel for each child. Why? Well, for one thing, wet kids are cold kids. And nobody wants to deal with a shivering, cranky child. 

Taking a towel with you will help you keep your kiddos nice and warm whenever they are out of the water and keep your car seats dry when you leave the pool or beach!

3. Extra pair of clothes

First of all, you have to make sure you have enough swimsuits for everyone. But you also need to think about what to do if someone gets wet - which is why packing an extra pair of clothes is a must. Even if your kids are careful not to get their clothes wet, accidents happen. And when they do, it's always good to have a spare set of clothes on hand. 

4. Swimming clothes

When taking kids to swim, packing a swim shirt and hat is a must. Not only will this help to keep them sun-safe, but it will also prevent their little heads from getting too cold. 

5. Water bottle and snacks

It might not seem like a big deal, but making sure your child has snacks and a water bottle before their swimming lesson or whenever they go splashing around is important. 

First of all, swimming is a physical activity, and like any physical activity, it can be tiring. A snack will help your child to have the energy they need to make it through their training. And second of all, being in the pool can dehydrate your child quickly. Having water available will help to prevent this from happening.

By packing snacks and water, you can be sure that your child will have everything they need to have the best possible experience. 

6. Plastic bag

This becomes handy after a day in the swimming pool! Your kid can put their wet swimsuit and swimming cap inside to keep their swim bag dry and avoid wetting other things. 

Final thoughts

Packing a bag with all the swimming essentials your kiddo needs to have fun will help you save time and give you peace of mind. Now you have a list of every must-pack item you need to put on a bag to keep your little swimmers protected and entertained whenever they go to the pool or beach. 

So whether your kiddos swim as a sport, take lessons, or just want to have fun, make sure to put everything in their swim bag! And, if you are looking for a place to find reusable swim diapers, hats, and swim shirts, you’ve come to the right place! 

Visit Beau & Belle Littles and choose your favorite gear to keep your kid looking cool throughout the summer!

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