There’s lots to love about summer mom-ing: Between long weekends at the beach, pool parties and loads of running around outside, kids are both happy and tuckered out (long naps! early to bed!). But all the fun in the sun and travel also presents a whole host of new problems and seasonal-specific whining to deal with (as any parent who’s ever sat in bumper-to-bumper homeward-bound beach traffic with a sandy kid knows).
Rather than stress about what the sunshine season will bring, be prepared with genius products designed to take the edge off any long day. From a hammock-on-the-go to a de-sanding mitt, you’ll wonder how (or why) you ever lived beyond Memorial Day without these gadgets, gizmos and tools. Read on for more: You’ll thank us immediately.
Summer stress: Sandy kids make for sandy cars (and whining…)
The solve: A sand-removal mitt
You probably know about the ol’ baby-powder-removes-sand trick—but in the end, aren’t we just trading a car filled with sand for a car filled with powder? A better idea: The ingenious Sand-Off Mitt, which takes sand removal to a more refined level. Clapping the plush, terry-cloth glove releases a talc-free dry body wash that, when wiped on arms and legs, whisks away sand quickly. And it’s good for 40 beach trips, so you can use it straight through Labor Day.
Sand-Off Mitt, $8 at StreamMachineStore
Summer stress: Hot, thirsty kids—enough said
The solve: Self-serve clean water
To state the obvious, running around the yard like wild animals morning till night works up a thirst. Fortunately, keeping your kiddos hydrated doesn’t require even an ounce of the same effort (like, you don’t even need to open the fridge). Make cleaner water easily available to your gang by installing a filter on your kitchen faucet. The PUR Faucet Filter is certified to reduce more than 70 contaminants from tap water, including lead, mercury and certain pesticides, as well as chlorine, for a crisp, refreshing taste. Not only is this kid-friendly, self-serve filter (if they can turn on their sink, they can fill up their cups!) a boon for your peace of mind, it fosters your kiddos’s self-sufficiency. Plus, they’re more likely to keep sipping when their water tastes great!
PUR Advanced Faucet Filtration System, $38.99 at PUR
Summer stress: Dirty-from-the-backyard kids
The solve: Bath wipes
Should your grimy sunscreen- and dirty-streaked child get a bath daily, or even twice daily? Probably. But that’s not always in the cards during chase-fireflies-past-your-bedtime nights. Enter the genius of Goodwipes! These extra-large wet wipes are fantastic in-a-pinch shower stand-ins for stinky kids and schvitzing parents. They contain tree tree oil, peppermint, aloe and ginseng, but zero alcohol, making them a fab natural cleanser — and a great addition to any sleepaway camp to-pack list.
Travel Pack of 10, $7 at Goodwipes
Summer stress: Too-tired-to-walk toddlers
The solve: A *smart* carrier
It’s inevitable: If you decide to leave the stroller at home for the day, your child will beg to be carried. In fact, it’s scientifically proven that your chances for such a scenario double if it’s a steaming hot day and quadruple if you’re at an amusement or water park. With TushBaby, the strapless baby carrier, however, ditching the stroller is always a safe gamble. Essentially, it’s a souped up fanny pack featuring a wee seat for your child to perch on. You still need to hold onto your kiddo, but this feat of engineering evenly distributes baby’s weight while keeping your spine straight and ache-free. (It also has so much storage, you can abandon the diaper bag.)
TushBaby Hip Baby Carrier, $79 at Amazon
Summer stress: Hungry kids begging for chips at the pool
The solve: Fruit-friendly travel containers
In summer, packing good-for-kids snacks like fruit, cut veggies and cheese usually requires ice packs and coolers, which is a total drag. That’s why Pottery Barn Kids’ insulated stainless steel hot/cold food containers rock. They’re designed to keep your cool snacks at the temperature they started at. To amp the chill factor even more, store them in the freezer before you load them up with snacks.
Hot/Cold Food Container, $13 at Pottery Barn Kids
Summer stress: There’s so. much. stuff. to carry to the beach
The solve: A wagon-meets-stroller hybrid
When carting kids and kid things (Balls! Snacks! Sand toys! Diapers! More snacks!) to the beach or park with ease, wagons with souped-up tires are life-changing. Now imagine that wagon mating with your stroller (cue wide-eyed excitement). That’s exactly what the Veer All-Terrain Cruiser Wagon is: a push-or-pull all-terrain wagon that meets all stroller safety standards. In fact, with 2 three-point safety-harnesses, it meets all double stroller safety standards. Use it to lug beach gear by day, and pull your guy on the boardwalk at night. It also folds flat and you can buy an infant car seat adapter if needed. Great for wee adventurers up to 5 years old.
Veer All-Terrain Cruiser Wagon, $600 at GoVeer
Summer stress: Hyped up kids (thanks, chemically-laden ice pops!)
The solve: Homemade to-go popsicles
Ah, frozen ice pops: Mainlining food dyes directly into children’s digestive systems every summer for eons. There’s now a healthier way to deliver the yum, while enabling you to hold onto your Cool Mom title. Zipzicles are resealable zip-top BPA- and phthalate-free ice pop pouches that you fill with whatever good-for-you ingredients you choose. Fill ‘em with PUR filtered tap water blended with your favorite fruit flavorings. (Incidentally, there are no rules against making a batch of Mom’s Famous Margarita Ice Pops just for you.)
Zipzicle Ice Pop Molds, set of 18, $4 at Bed Bath And Beyond
Summer stress: Traveling with booster seats is a major pain
The solve: An easy-to-pack inflatable option
It’s easy not to shlep a booster seat with you when flying to your summer vacay or carpooling to the beach—but you need to. (According to most experts, most kids don’t fit safely in a vehicle seat belt without a booster until 10 or 11.) Your on-the-go solution: The BubbleBum inflatable car booster seat, perfect for kids ages 4 to 11, weighing 40 to 100 lbs. The booster (with belt-positioning clips) weighs less than a pound and deflates super-fast, making it so, so easy to toss in your backpack and go —safely.
BubbleBum Backless Inflatable Booster Car Seat, $26 at Amazon
Summer stress: Phone-free kids want some freedom
The solve: Amped up walkie-talkies
These lazy, hazy months are an excellent time to let kids go a little free-range. But as much as you want a 1980’s summer, this being 2019, you still want to stay connected. What to do if the same kid who’s old enough to bike to the park solo isn’t old enough to keep a $300 phone safe? Consider the screenless Republic Wireless Relay. Essentially, it’s a pocket-sized walkie-talkie that uses cellular, not radio, channels. Kids simply press and hold the center button to send you (almost) real-time messages. (Parents use their smartphone to receive and send messages back.) No YouTube or group chat worries here.
Republic Wireless Relay, $50, plus $10 a month for unlimited service at Relay
Summer stress: Your toddler hates her sun hat
The solve: A hooded swimsuit
Swimsuit? Check. Water shoes? Check. Sun hat? GAH! Babies and toddlers never want to keep their dang hats on. But hoodies? Kids love hoodies! That’s why Coolibar’s Baby Hooded One-Piece Swimsuit with UPF 50+ is a game-changer. (Safe baby heads, safe baby necks and zero baby tantrums!) Plus, because Coolibar boasts the Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation, you know your babe’s delicate skin is for-sure well-protected.
Coolibar Baby Hooded One-Piece Swimsuit, $42 at Coolibar
Summer stress: Adventure-halting diaper blowouts
The solve: Toxic containment with a bonus
Diaper blowouts do not stop on summer vacation. Neither do potty accidents or giant spills of the blue slushie variety. Sure, you probably (hopefully? maybe?) have a spare onesie or T-shirt in the beach bag, but do you have a means to quarantine the grossness and prevent stains at the same time? That’s what makes Wash It Later Emergency Soaking Bags so darn awesome. These sealable bags are designed to safely contain the mess, while pretreating the yucked-out wears with the included single-use detergent pod, which is all-natural and hypoallergenic to boot.
Wash It Later Emergency Soaking Bags, 3 for $15 at Amazon
Summer stress: Exhausted littles want to leave the BBQ
The solve: An always-ready crash pad
For all their fun, big gatherings of the fam and friends can tucker a kiddo out. When that happens before the rest of the crew is ready to exit, bust out Grand Trunk’s handy-dandy Junior Hammock (for kids ages six to 16) that you just so happen to have stashed in your bag. It comes with a purse-friendly stuff sack and ready-to-hang kit and is the perfect chill-out spot to sip a cool drink of water, halting any I-want-go-home whines, stat.
Grand Trunk Junior Parachute Nylon Hammock, $34 at Amazon
This post was created by SheKnows for PUR.