Now that your kid has grown out of his or her swim diapers, it’s time to move them onto the next swimsuit phase. Their delicate skin still isn’t ready for big boy or girl swimsuits, despite how cute they would look in them. Your toddler should wear a rash guard, which is a long-sleeve shirt made out of polyester swim fabric. The rash guard can also be made into a one-piece suit, too.
This swim shirt is fortified with Ultraviolet Protection Factor 50 to keep those harmful rays from hurting your babe’s sensitive skin. UPF also measures UVA and UVB rays, which goes a step beyond your sunscreen’s SPF. SPF only takes into account UVB rays, according to the Skin Care Foundation. For reference, your typical cotton t-shirt usually has about 5 UPF. These rash guards will protect your kid from getting sunburn and other sun damage. Don’t skim on the sunscreen on visible areas by any means, but parents can feel relieved that a rash guard has your toddler mostly covered.
We found the best toddler rash guards for boys and girls. We also found a fun unisex body-suit option. All of our picks below have a UPF 50+ rating. The suits are relatively easy for your child to get in and out of, without too many tantrums or tears. The rash guards also feature super fun patterns that’ll make you want to heavily document your child’s first beach day extensively on social media.
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1. RuffleButts UPF 50+ Sun Protection Long Sleeve Swimsuit
Featuring vibrant patterns like Fab Flamingo (pictured) or Desert Blossom, it’s hard to resist these adorable rash guards for your little girl. RuffleButts is also known for featuring three fun ruffles across the butt of the suit. This long-sleeve suit is UPF 50+ and will protect your toddler’s delicate skin. The suit is also great for quick-changes—diapers and otherwise. It has nickel-free snaps at the bottom and a zipper that begins at the back of the neck.
2. Simple Joys by Carter’s Boys’ Assorted Rashguard Set
With this set from Carters, parents will get trunks and matching rash guards. The trunks have a mesh lining with covered elastic and a draw cord, so you can tighten it for your growing boy. The swimsuit is UPF 50+, which means your little one’s skin will be safe. There are plenty of cute designs your boy will love.
3. Iplay Long Sleeve Rashguard Shirt
This rashguard is unisex, so it’s meant for any toddler. The long-sleeve top will keep your little one safe from the sun all day long. The raglan sleeves are a little looser, so your child’s movement won’t be restricted by this swimming top. There are eight different colors to browse.
4. Kanu Surf Girls’ Keri UPF 50+ Rashguard
This rashguard has a UPF 50+ protection, so your little one can surf, swim and play all day in the sun without causing you any worry. Just make sure to reapply sunscreen on areas of skin that are visible. It’s made out of polyester and spandex and will be form-fitting.
5. Simple Joys by Carter’s Girls’ 2-Piece Assorted Rashguard Sets
A rashguard doesn’t need to be a plain and pattern-less. This rashguard matches these sweet ruffled bathing suit bottoms. This fast-drying set has UPF 50, so your kiddo won’t mind running around in it all day. There are even some mermaid sets for your little mermaid enthusiast.
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