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How To Choose The Safest, Planet Friendly, Baby Swimwear Styles

rent baby swimwear

It can be confusing knowing how to dress your baby for swimming in an indoor or outdoor pool or beach. It’s a good idea for your baby to wear a swim nappy under their regular baby swimwear. That way your baby will be comfortable and you have peace of mind while they splash around. After all, the last thing you want is to be responsible for spoiling everyone’s fun due to an unexpected poonami! And if you join a baby swimming club in a pool they’re likely to expect a double nappy. So a swim nappy under a neoprene nappy for extra security. It makes sense because it’s very costly and time-consuming to drain an entire pool!

Swim nappy
Swim nappies to wear with or without swimwear
baby surf suit
Yellow sun surf suit available to rent

With the baby poos sorted you need to make sure you have the right swimwear depending on where you are. Outside it’s really important your baby’s delicate skin is protected from the sun’s harmful rays. Always make sure your swimwear has a UPF +50 rating.

Ultraviolet protection factor in baby swimwear

UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor. UPF is the standard used to measure the amount of Ultra Violet (UV) protection a fabric provides. The higher the value the better. UPF +50 is the highest possible rating for swimwear, it blocks nearly 98% of the sun’s harmful UV rays!

Sunlight is the most common form of UV radiation and there are three types UVA, UVB ad UVC. The good news is that the Earth’s ozone layer blocks UVC and most of the UVB rays. So we come into contact with UVA and a small amount of UVB. Swimwear with a UPF +50 protects your baby, but you should combine any exposed areas with a sun hat and sunscreen.

Baby swimwear styles

The best protection is provided by Surf suits as they cover from the neck to knee and have long sleeves.

Little girl wearing a long sleeve swimsuit to protect her arms from the sun
Blue Happy Baby surf swimsuit , part of our baby swimwear range

Long sleeve surf sets or surf swimsuits give great protection from the neck to wrist and body. When combined with swim bottoms they are great for sitting and splashing around in water.

It might sound obvious but the less covered your baby is, the more exposed they are to UV rays. Fashionable baby swimwear is not always practical, and if you have a cute baby swimsuit without sleeves, it won’t protect your baby’s arms and legs even if it has a UPF+50. Add a sun hat and sunscreen to exposed areas to keep your baby safe and comfortable.

Children’s swimwear colours

The colour of your children’s swimwear is really important. Research recently undertaken by the holiday company, On The Beach has revealed some worrying finds. Rebecca Adlington, OBE, double Olympic gold medallist has written a post in Mumsnet to raise awareness of the issue. Below are some highlights from her post.

  • Blue, white and grey coloured swimwear is almost invisible underwater, meaning in the unthinkable situation that your child got into difficulty, they would be much harder to see.
  • Two thirds (66%) of children wear blue, white or grey swimwear.
  • According to new research, 90% of parents are not aware that certain swimwear colours cannot be seen underwater and the same number agree that there should be more awareness around what colours of swimwear can be seen underwater.
  • Check your own child’s swimwear and look to swap out unseeable solid blue, white or grey swimwear and if you’re able to, replace it with more visible colours such as pink, yellow, red, black, purple, green or any fluorescent shades. It really does make a big difference to how they’re seen in water.
  • The holiday company On The Beach has created a petition urging the government to make it illegal for clothing retailers to sell potentially dangerous blue, white and grey swimwear for children. You can read the full post here.

Planet friendly

Natural fibres are rare in baby swimwear styles and technical brands like Muddy Puddles have worked hard to move their entire range to recycled fibres so they are not using virgin materials to make their baby clothes. While there is a discussion about brands that use fabrics made from plastic bottle waste are removing it from the plastic recycling loop, it is better that clothing is made from what is already available rather than new materials. By using plastic bottle waste in recycled fibres the waste is still diverted from landfill, and until alternative fibres are easily available this is a great alternative for this product type.

See our baby swimwear range available to rent from Qookeee.

Post updated 9.7.24