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8 Summer Baby Essentials | RuffleButts

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8 Summer Baby Essentials

From oh-so-sweet strawberries and colorful wildflowers to blue skies and cookouts, there are an abundance of signs that it’s time to celebrate the summer season.

But if you have a new baby in the house, summertime creates a balancing act between keeping your little darling cool and cute yet protected from the sun and heat. With that in mind, we’ve put together a solstice-inspired guide to help you decide on baby must haves for summer.

From baby girl sun hats to toddler girl swimwear, read on for eight summer baby essentials that’ll keep your baby comfortable and carefree no matter what adventures lie ahead this season.

#1 Bodysuit

Whether you call it a baby girl bodysuit or romper, there’s one thing that’s for certain: it’s a summer must-have. Despite the lack of consensus regarding its name, nearly all of us can agree that it checks several essential summer boxes.

Here’s what we mean when we say “bodysuit” and why it’s essential for warm-weather months:

  • Short-sleeved
  • One-piece
  • Snaps between legs
  • Ends at the top of the thighs
  • Plain or patterned

These versatile items can be used as an entire outfit when the summer temperature soars or even as a base layer in cooler weather. When it comes to how to dress a baby for sleep in summer, bodysuits are also the perfect option for pajamas on hot nights and can be used with or without a light sleep sack or swaddle. Tiny as they are, bodysuits also make for a handy backup outfit to keep in your diaper bag for a quick change if your baby gets sweaty or messy.

For a hot summer day, you’ll want to look for bodysuits that are lightweight, breathable, and made of a natural material like cotton or bamboo.

#2 Romper

Sometimes confused with onesies, baby girl rompers are another all-in-one style that makes dressing your baby as easy as cherry pie for summer. However, unlike bodysuits, rompers tend to be:

  • Short-sleeved, flutter-sleeved, or strappy at the shoulder
  • Looser and slightly longer on the thighs
  • Detailed with bows, ruffles, and fine details

If you are wondering how to dress baby in summer, rompers are an ideal choice for an outing to the park, backyard barbecue, or playdate. But if you do take your sweet little bee outdoors in a romper, make sure to keep their sensitive skin protected from the sun at all times, especially midday. It only takes a few minutes for a baby to develop a painful sunburn which is why it is important to learn about what UPF clothing is and why it’s essential.

Because sunscreen isn’t generally recommended for infants under 6 months old, keeping your baby out of the sun entirely is the best way to protect their skin. Some layering garments that work well over a romper are:

  • Cotton cardigan
  • Muslin wrap
  • Long-sleeve kimono tops

#3 Shorts or Diaper Cover

If you want a look that’s cool yet complete for your baby, simply pulling toddler girl shorts over a bodysuit will have them looking pulled-together and staying comfortable while you run errands, visit friends, or play at home. Alternatively, a diaper cover can be an easy way to keep their legs cool while looking decidedly darling.

#4 Cotton or Muslin Blanket

If your baby is very young (11 weeks or less) when the summer temperatures start to climb, you’ll need to be vigilant about keeping them both cool and warm enough. Because newborns can’t self-regulate their body temperature and tend to lose body heat quickly, being able to layer them with a blanket is key to keeping them warm—especially when transitioning from the balmy outdoors to the icy, air-conditioned indoors. Additionally, when paired with a hat or umbrella, a blanket is an excellent choice for sun protection when venturing outdoors with your newborn.

But the wide range of baby blanket materials available might seem a bit daunting. A few of the top choices for a handy and durable summer blanket are:

  • Cotton – Always an excellent choice for baby blankets or clothes, cotton is natural, soft, washable, and comes in an endless variety of thicknesses and weaves. A newborn’s skin is only a fraction as durable as adult skin, so choosing a cotton blanket that is downy-to-the-touch is essential.
  • Bamboo – Soft, hypoallergenic, and sustainable, bamboo baby blankets are relative newcomers to the market. If you’re looking for a fabric that lets you feel good about your environmental impact while still keeping your baby protected and warm, look no farther than bamboo.
  • Muslin – A loose-woven material with roots in India, muslin (also called gauze) technically is cotton. However, as a perfect summer-weight fabric for a baby blanket, it deserves its own category. Made using a plain weave technique—meaning one thread of warp per one thread of weft—muslin blankets can be used as a swaddle or added layer of clothing without overheating your baby.
  • Flannel – A classic baby blanket material, flannel can be heavy and dense for winter or light and airy for summer. When wrapping your baby in flannel—even a summer-weight flannel—it’s important to keep a close eye on them to make sure they’re comfortable and not overheated.

#5 Sunglasses

Let’s be honest, baby girl sunglasses simply don’t work for all babies. If your baby fusses or seems upset by the added accessory, you might not have a sunglasses enthusiast on your hands. For others, however, baby sunglasses can be an excellent source of sun protection and one of the most helpful summer baby necessities.

If your baby does tolerate wearing sunnies, make sure they:

  • Cover the entire eye from edge to edge
  • Include UV-filtering lenses that won’t shatter
  • Boast a durable frame material that can handle a fall—or a throw

If your baby won’t tolerate sunglasses, it’s doubly important that you keep a hat handy when outdoors in the sunshine.

#6 Sunhat

Hand-and-hand with sunglasses, a baby girl sun hat is a must-have for babies on bright summer days. You might already know from your pediatrician that keeping your baby’s head covered prevents heat loss, but when temperatures are soaring, a hat is equally important when it comes to how to keep baby cool in hot weather. Not only does your little one’s head take in a lot of heat from the sun, but it’s also susceptible to sunburn. Keeping it covered and protected is essential.

Some styles of baby sun hats that you might encounter are:

  • Bucket
  • Explorer
  • Balaclava
  • Sport
  • Flapped (in back or sides or both)
  • Floppy
  • Bonnet
  • Wide-brimmed
  • Straw
  • Ballcap

All of the above are terrific choices as long as you take the following important qualities into consideration:

  • Coverage – No matter the style, a baby sun hat should be wide enough to cast a shade that protects your baby’s head, face, ears, neck, and even shoulder tops.
  • Material – The material should be both breathable and tightly woven to prevent sunburn. If your baby is going to be swimming, consider investing in a hat that is both UV-protective and waterproof.
  • Fit – The hat shouldn’t fit too snugly on their little head nor should it fall so low as to cover the baby's eyes and ears. Most baby hats are one-size-fits-all, so you may have to do a little hunting to find one that fits your little pea perfectly.
  • Strap – Unlike an adult or older child, a baby won’t be able to adjust their hat for a comfortable fit throughout the day. Having a tie chin strap makes it a cinch for you to secure your baby’s hat against wind and jostling.

#7 Swimwear

Summer isn’t summer without splashy good times in a pool, river, reservoir, or ocean. But purchasing beach essentials for toddlers along with adorable baby girl swimwear for your baby is only the first step in the process.

Here’s a list of questions you should ask before heading out on the high seas with your little mermaid are:

  • Can I keep them protected from sunburn if they’re too young for sunscreen?
  • Is the water an appropriate temperature for a baby?
  • Is the water chlorinated? If not, what possible contaminants does it contain?
  • What kind of swim diaper will they wear to keep the water clean?
  • How will I keep them warm after a quick dip or swim?

Once you’ve thought through the possibilities, you can begin shopping for the ideal swimwear. While baby bikinis are darling, consider adding a UV-protective layer like a swim shirt or rash guard while directly exposed to the sun. Better yet, opt for a swimsuit made with UPF 50+ fabric to help keep the sun’s rays at bay.

#8 Plenty of Layers (And A Stocked Diaper Bag)

Summer can sometimes mean steamy heat—and bone-chilling air conditioning. Having a diaper bag stocked with the layers and baby products you need to keep your baby cool or warm is one of the most essential pieces of the puzzle. It doesn’t matter whether you start with a onesie, bodysuit, or romper, being able to layer your baby will be key to keeping them comfortable and carefree.

Lucky for you, we’ve already tailored a list of baby products to keep stocked in your summer diaper bag:

  • Plenty of diapers, wipes, and rash cream
  • Sundress or romper
  • Shorts and tops
  • Light sweater
  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Socks
  • Blanket
  • Water and sunscreen for yourself

Find Your Summer Essentials at RuffleButts

We get it—planning for a baby can be a challenge, especially in times of surf, sand, and sun.

At RuffleButts, we want to help you find the best quality garments for your little ladybug. From sweet bodysuits and tiered sundresses to ruffled rompers, we’ve got your cutest summer essentials in stock.

You can count on RuffleButts to deliver not only the most adorable styles but also the highest hand-me-down worthy clothing in your baby’s summer wardrobe. Take a look at our summer collection today and start dreaming of those blue sky swimming days, star-sprinkled warm nights, and sweet strawberry picnics with your little bumblebee.


Seattle Children’s Hospital. Sunburn. https://www.seattlechildrens.org/conditions/a-z/sunburn/

WebMD. What’s the Right Room Temperature for a Baby? https://www.webmd.com/baby/what-is-the-right-room-temperature-for-a-baby#:~:text=By%20around%2011%20weeks%2C%20though,temperature%20of%2097.5%20degrees%20Fahrenheit

Archives of Dermatological Research. Change in skin properties over the first 10 years of life. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC5606948/

MasterClass. Fabric 101: What Is Muslin? https://www.masterclass.com/articles/fabric-101-what-is-muslin-how-to-use-and-care-for-muslin#what-is-muslin

American Association of Physicists in Medicine. Head Insulation and Heat Loss in Nakes and Clothed Newborns Using a Thermal Mannequin. https://aapm.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1118/1.1481518

Nemours KidsHealth. How to Be Safe When You’re in the Sun. https://kidshealth.org/Nemours/en/kids/summer-safety.html