Motherhood

Cute Swimwear for Kids

Kids swimming by Stella Blackmon

What is sweeter than a little one ready for the beach? In the summer, Toby and Anton basically live in their swimsuits — Anton in this surf suit and Toby in this shirt. They look like adorable shrunken Olympic swimmers. If you’re on the hunt for some cute options that will hold up, here are 12 more options, many of which are on sale…

Thoughts? I also still swear by these flotation swimsuits.

P.S. What to pack for the beach, and how to blow kids’ minds in the summer.

(Photo by Stella Blackmon.)

  1. Heather says...

    These are all adorable! Any suggestions for sunhats for babies?

  2. Juliette says...

    The reason I go for the one-piece rather than just a bottom for little girls is more skin coverage from the sun without going with a rashguard which is so hot to wear to play on the beach – and the tankini option is the best: it provides some full torso coverage and she can easily go to the bathroom! The watermelon is available as a tankini but I can’t justify spending $52 on a swimsuit she will only wear for one summer…!

  3. Anna says...

    Can I please have an adult version of the watermelon and crossback suits?!

  4. shannon says...

    Oh my, that floral one-piece is SO cute! Thank you for not featuring any bikini styles – those strike me as so inappropriate for children.

    Also, how cute is this floral rash guard set?!
    http://www.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=1016798&pcid=65263&vid=1&pid=754936022

    I think the swimsuits with snaps at the crotch (like onesies) are the best idea for babies and toddlers…it’s a bummer that more companies don’t put them in their designs.

    • Amy says...

      I’m always surprised when people find bikinis inappropriate for little kids. Can I ask why? Personally I love the feel of the sun and the water on my belly, so I imagine my (toddler) daughter does, too- and they dry faster and make diaper changes easier! I’m sincerely curious.

  5. Renae Bateman says...

    The swimwear you’ve posted here is adorable. Makes me way to buy all of them for my kiddos! I’ve also found a bunch a great options here. Perfect for boys and girls!

  6. Speedo Guy says...

    That European Swim Brief reminds me of a family trip to Venice when I was around 12 years old. Our family ate lunch at a very nice hotel and we were told that their swimming pool was the only one in Venice. The maitre d’ asked if my brothers and I wanted to go swimming and said that the hotel had “bathing costumes” to borrow. “Of course,” we said, and followed him to a changing room. He opened a cabinet filled with European swim briefs. Suddenly, the urge to swim subsided. My youngest brother (around 5 years old) had no problem with the suit and happily swam while my other brother and I giggled about the swim suits.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, that is such a cute story! :)

  7. Jessica says...

    With a history of skin cancer in my family, we all cover up for the sun. Rashguards and bottoms for everyone! When they are little, I love the zip up one pieces. They are easy on/off at splash pads and they provide great coverage at the beach to keep sand out of little girls vaginas. Maybe I was the only one traumatized by sand all up in there as a child, but I try to protect it from happening to my daughter.

  8. Allison says...

    We buy the UV Skinz sets from Costo for our daughter – spf material with a short sleeve turtleneck rash guard, skirt and matching hat! love them. they hold up well too. they have boys sets too with rash guard and shorts and hat.
    I discovered Polarn O Pyret while walking through tribeca recently – so cute!!! i want to go back and get some of their rash guards.

  9. Heather says...

    We had our son first, so when our daughters came along I tried to replicate his swim outfit as much as possible because it’s comfortable and sensible: Rashguard + swim bottoms. I agree that a one piece is not practical for a little kid needing to go potty, and also provides ZERO sun protection. Rash guards are such a lifesaver in that you never have to think about reapplying sunscreen on sandy skin.

    My favorite rash guards for all three kids right now are from Patagonia. They are definitely more expensive, but the envelope neck is THE BEST – so much easier to take on and off when wet (as opposed to the ones we’ve gotten from old navy and carters), and no zipper to rub against their skin.

    http://www.patagonia.com/product/baby-little-sol-rashguard/60306.html?dwvar_60306_color=FWVP&cgid=kids-babies-toddlers#start=1

    I’ve found that patagonia kid clothes last and last resell on local listservs at a great price, so I do recover some of that investment. For the bottoms, we love the separates from Primary. You can buy just the bottom, which is great.

  10. sydnee says...

    I’m always looking for cute rashguards to protect my kids’ skin. All great choices!

  11. Liz says...

    I love these suits, but have to agree they’re not very functional. First and foremost, a two-piece is a must for little girls – have you ever tried getting a wet one-piece off (OR BACK ON) a wet little girl who has just gone potty and wants to get back to having fun? No? Don’t try it! We’re usually a bikini family (they can take themselves to the bathroom!), but I would’ve loved to have seen a two-piece rash guard set for girls to complement the ones presented for the boys.

    p.s. My daughter ran around in a diaper (or nothing at all when she got it off…) at the beach for years. However, we lived in a small beach community where that was pretty normal. It just means more sunscreen!

    • Heather says...

      You can create your own two-piece rash guard set from the separates at Primary, or getting a rash guard top from Roxy or Patagonia and then pairing it with a separate from Primary.

    • Lisa says...

      My daughter has never been willing to wear a two piece. For the last two years, she’s chosen a long sleeve Hannah Anderson Zip up suit. It’s still a pain to get in and out of when wet, but we practice the pull aside pee technique ;-)

  12. Rosie says...

    Thank you for showing one-piece, modest suits for girls. I think two piece suits on little girls are a little much. Its hopefully old fashioned of me but I don’t care. My 9yr old begged me for a two piece and I reluctantly agreed last year-and even then it was a tankini.

  13. Olivia says...

    So happy you didn’t post any baby bikinis – they are seriously creepy! (Esp string/triangle bikinis! Why?!)

    • Amy says...

      two words: diaper changes :)

    • Amy says...

      And personally, I don’t find baby bikinis creepy at all- why should only my sun get the fun of feeling the water on his belly when he swims?!

  14. Uli says...

    Just curious (question from Germany..): Why “european” swim briefs?

    • Lexi Mainland says...

      Hi Uli! They are made and sold by a French brand/website.

    • LaurenB says...

      here in the US, most boys swim bottoms are long, baggy shorts. I’ve always heard the shorter, more form-fitting version called “eurpoean” style , and assumed that was the common style there. Does the picture look like what boys wear in Germany?

    • Uli says...

      Hi Lauren, ok now I see! In Europe, nowadays, you find both styles.. loose fit like the ones you describe and tight fit like featured above. But the loose fit is very possibly a more recent american export.. old photos of my parents and grandparents would always be in the “european” style :-)

  15. Trisha says...

    The little European shorts are so cute! And I love the watermelon suit! I never understand all the girly stuff vs boys stuff. Just buy what you like! I certainly don’t try and push my tomboy agenda on my daughter, but she is not interested in clothes at all at this age (almost 2) so I just dress her in anything. Mostly hand me downs from friends, so they could be boy or girl things.
    On another note regarding swimming, I just bought her the puddle jumpers little float things that her arms go through and it wraps around her chest. Oh. My. God. What a game changer in the pool! She would never let us put her in the floatie where you just float around, she wanted to be independent and swimming. The puddle jumpers hold her up so well and she loves being able to swim on her own! Just thought I’d share! It is hands down the best “kid” thing I’ve bought pretty much since she was born!

  16. Dana says...

    Yeah definitely seems like the girl stuff is “cute” and the boy stuff is functional. I am so glad that bathing suit trends have moved toward full coverage for all kids, esp since my whole family has a history of skin cancer (including me at 31!) But I’m covering up both my kids and applying sunscreen literally every day, rain or shine, so hope to break the cycle!

    But I loooove this blog so I’m not hating! Those suits are adorable and I def get the cute ones for night swims.

    • Jacqueline says...

      Yep, this. My little girl is 2, and in addition to being a …rather active child, she has very very fair skin. It’s a struggle to find her functional swim wear, but we’ve have some luck with a big floppy hat, longsleeved rashguards (half zip), and bikini bottoms. Her chubby little legs are thankfully the easiest parts to sunscreen up.

  17. Sheila says...

    Omg! I’ve never heard of Primary. So so awesome.

  18. adrianne says...

    Is it bad that I wish these came in adult sizes??

    • Laura C. says...

      Adrianne, I think the same thing every time that I purchase something for my little girls! Sometimes they tell me to get the biggest child size (14 years). Ten years ago it went well. Now it does not fit anymore!

  19. Virginia Kuskow says...

    One question: are little girls always covered in a one-piece in the US? They do not wear just the “underpants”? (Sorry I don’t know the word)

    • Kellyn says...

      Not always – but it’s much more common for little girls to be covered.

      I remember being a little girl myself and swimming in Europe and being uncomfortable that the other girls were just wearing bottoms. Not that I think tops are necessary for little girls, it’s just what we do here :-)

    • Trisha says...

      I usually just put bottoms on my daughter, who will be 2 in October. Free the nipple! For as long as possible! :-) :-) :-) Plus it is just so hard pulling a wet shirt off a toddlers chubby arms!

    • Laura C. says...

      My two daughters wear only bottoms. They are 6 and 3 years old. When Sun is hitting they wear also a SPF 50+ t-shirt. Free the nipple as Trisha said! ;)

    • Lisa says...

      When our daughter was little, it was bottoms only. As a 6 year old, she chooses to wear a singlet. I wouldn’t care if she went bottoms only.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i love when little girls just wear bottoms. no reason to cover up their chests / to sexualize something that isn’t sexual!

  20. Alissa says...

    I love kiddo bathing suits. We’re big Primary fans (their regular clothes are fantastic!), and we’re looking forward to trying some of their suits – I love that they have individual tops/bottoms to mix in with other suits. We also love Lands End – they have great tankinis that have good coverage and adjustable straps, and cute rash guard sets too.

    That surf suit is so cute, but I’m firmly in the two-piece camp for both of my girls and my little guy. It makes bathroom/diaper trips so much easier for everyone!

  21. Anon says...

    I agree with Bec Barnett, it’s so hard to find nice swimwear for little girls which is sun safe. I find it so interesting that the little boys swimwear often even has swim hats to go with the rash shirts and shorts, but the girls swimwear is all bikinis and one pieces which don’t cover the shoulders, no swim hats in sight.

  22. Bec Barnett says...

    The girls suits are very cute but really not sun safe which is important for beach trips in Australia. It can be really hard to find nice pieces that protect new skin. I really like the stuff by my little l http://www.mylittlel.bigcartel.com (happy customer)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thanks, bec!

  23. Marni says...

    these are giving me a case of baby fever!