Summer’s in full swing, it’s hotter than h-e-double-hockey-stick outside and everyone’s at the pool. The girls would swim all day everyday if I had the energy to prevent a toddler from jumping into the deep end the entire time. Pool trips are a full-on workout and I definitely equip us for pool trips differently than I did three years ago. Before Leah was born, I would take Mya to the pool with multiple floatation devices, too many pool rings, balls, wind-up bath toys… so. much. stuff. But like most things with kids: less is more. We now only take one ring, goggles for Mya, and a floaty for Leah. But even with just those few things, you’re still shlepping sunscreen, hats, water shoes, cover-ups, swim diapers, water bottles, snacks… lots and lots of snacks. In attempt to make your pool trips less exhausting with kids, here are some of our favorite swimming finds.

We just started using this back floaty with Leah. I still support her the entire time, but she’s learning how to manage herself and find balance in the water. I’m no swim teacher, but Mya also used it when she was learning how to swim and loved it. She still had full mobility of her arms and could practice strokes. As they gain stability and confidence in the water, you can remove the float pads, showing them more and more what it is to be independent in the water… with your help, of course. 😉

This belt paddler is essentially a shortened pool noodle with a seat belt through it. It also proved to be a really good Mommy assisted teaching tool with Mya. And Leah will start using it soon too.

Good goggles. These are offered in so many colors.

Water shoes. I absolutely despise kids’ flip flops. They’re super cute, but they’re a walking, tripping, living hazard. For us, water shoes are the way to go to-and-from the pool. At the end of each summer when they go on sale for less than half the price, I try to buy the next size up for the following year.

Good kid cover ups. We have this romper for Leah. And this cover up hoodie for Mya. And I straight up smile and die every time they wear them after trips to the pool. They are so soft, light, and have UPF 50+ sun protection. The girls love them and so do I.

This swim cover up for Mom. I wear this over my suit every time we’re running through the sprinklers, walking to-and-from the pool, swimming. Basically, whenever water is involved. I’m UPF 50+ protected and it’s flattering. #momwin

This spray-on sunscreen from Trader Joe’s is fantastic. In 2016, it was rated best spray sunscreen by Consumer Reports, so you know it’s legit. Consumer Reports doesn’t lie. But it’s a whole lot cheaper if you can buy it in-store– I think around $6 a can.

A pool bag with lots of pockets. I landed one on super sale from lululemon last year, but basically just one with lots of pockets. Lucky for you, this one seems similar and it’s on super sale too. Love the “dark forest” color.

One toy for each kid. Call me lame, but it’s just another thing to keep track of. And as it turns out, Mya would rather make a new friend and swim with them while Leah repeatedly splashes herself in the face.

There it is. We’re a far cry from lounging poolside sipping on margs. But I do love our pool days and I know some of the above items have helped make them more carefree. What’s in your pool bag?!

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