With temperatures expected to rise, a good quality swimsuit is one of the smartest purchases you can make in the summer. When shopping for little ones in particular, swimwear plays a key role in protecting their delicate skin from the scorching sun. The best baby and toddler swimsuits offer coverage and UV protection, are smartly designed for easy changing (as well as diaper changes), and of course, are ridiculously cute.
The only problem? The swimsuit options for babies and toddlers are seemingly endless, and browsing through the choices can leave you lost in a sea of open browser tabs. So we’ve done the research for you, scouring online reviews, studying product details and breaking down the key factors you’ll want to consider in our buying guide below.
Ahead, find our list of the best baby swimwear (we’ve got toddlers and little kids covered too) that made the cut. Now grab a handful of beach towels, your chairs and your umbrella – it’s time to hit the beach (or even just the pool) for some summer fun.
The Best California-Style Baby Swimwear
Minnow offers muted colors and patterns with west coast vibes
The Best Baby Swimwear on Amazon
RuffleButts: The Highly Rated Amazon Favorite
Best Baby Boy Swimwear
Ruggedbutts is a line for toddler boys from a parent-approved brand
Best Gender Neutral Baby Swimwear
Hanna Andersson: quality costumes in minimalist styles
Best Baby Swimwear With Matching Family Sets
Summersalt has comfortable suits for the whole family
The best fancy swimsuits for babies
Mini Boden offers bold costumes with unique details
Best Nostalgic Baby Swimwear
Janie and Jack have old school prints for newborns and up
Trendiest baby swimwear
Shade Critters: Instagram-worthy combos with sun protection
Best Gender Neutral Swimsuits for Toddlers
Primary: Simple, no-fuss costumes for toddlers through tweens
Best Athletic Swimsuits for Toddlers
Lands’ End is home to sporty styles for little kids
What to consider when buying baby swimwear
When browsing skimpy swimsuits and skimpy bikinis, it’s important to look for key features beyond the cuteness factor. Here are some important things to consider when outfitting your baby or toddler for swimming season.
Your first priority: look for lightweight, quick-drying clothing materials since no one likes a soggy swimsuit. Nylon or polyester blends tend to perform better, as well as spandex. Also look for four-way stretch and high recovery fabrics, which means the suit will spring back to shape after being pulled, so it won’t sag over time.
It’s crucial to find swimsuits that offer protection against the sun, salt water and chlorine, which can really irritate babies’ sensitive skin. So the more coverage a wetsuit offers, the better. Swimsuits with UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) help block both UVA and UVB rays, but you’ll still want to apply sunscreen on babies over six months old. Long-sleeved, high-necked swimsuits and rash guards are the heroes of your beach bag, as they can be paired with boxer shorts or layered over bikinis and other cute costumes that might leave more exposed skin areas.
In terms of construction, zippers on the front or back of the suit make it easy to put on and take off. And snaps or buttons along the bottom seam or leg are crucial for on-the-go diaper changes.
Babies quickly outgrow swimwear – most swimwear only lasts one season before becoming second-hand clothing – making it all the more essential to find a well-made yet affordable option.