As the weather warms up, your little one will be ready to hit the water, which means you’ll need to find them a swimsuit, and stat! Your best bet will be to choose something designed to protect your tot from harmful UV rays and other environmental irritants. Fortunately, there are plenty of great options that are as stylish as they are safe. So, no matter if you’re planning a family vacation to the beach or hitting the local kiddie pool, here are the 7 best toddler swimsuits.
Best Toddler Swimsuits
(Highest quality — $$$)
Why it’s great: This sweet swimsuit comes in 20 adorable colors and patterns and is available in sizes 0-3 months all the way to 3T. The spandex and nylon material offers built-in UPF 50+ sun protection while its long sleeve design also helps prevent unnecessary sunburn. A back zipper makes this suit easy to put on and take off while a bottom snap enclosure ensures diaper changes will be a breeze, even on-the-go.
Keep in mind: Some customers say this suit runs small, so double check the sizing chart before purchasing.
Good for: Parents looking for a stylish swimsuit that offers lots of UPF protection.
(Best fit — $)
Why it’s great: This two-piece set by Carter’s offers sizing from 3 months all the way to 5T and is praised for its comfortability, durability and excellent fit. Available in four fun patterns featuring alligators, sharks and anchors, this suit is sold as a set of trunks and a rash guard. Perfect for days when your little one will be in the sun for an extended period of time, this swim set provides lots of coverage as well as UPF 50+ sun protection.
Keep in mind: This suit is not machine-washable and must be washed by hand.
Good for: Toddlers of any age as this suit is available in a wide variety of sizes.
(Best gender neutral option — $$)
Why it’s great: This one-piece swimsuit comes in 30 colors and patterns, many of which are gender neutral. Available in sizes 6-12 months up to 3T, this swimsuit is made from soft, breathable material that’s quick drying and elastic to prevent chafing. This suit also provides UVA and UVB protection from the sun and is praised by parents for its cute, comfortable and convenient design.
Keep in mind: Some customers report this suit runs a little big, so check the size measurements before purchasing.
Good for: Parents who want lots of options when it comes to prints and patterns.
(Best for older toddlers — $$)
Why it’s great: This adorable two-piece is available in over 35 vibrant patterns as well as a wide variety of sizes. Made from a high-quality combination of nylon and tricot, this suit is fully lined and machine washable. With sizes that range from 12 months all the way to 14, this suit is the perfect purchase for sisters and cousins who love matching. Parents also praise this suit for being well made and easy to wear.
Keep in mind: This suit doesn’t provide as much coverage from the sun as other suits, but matching rash guards and board shorts are sold separately.
Good for: Toddlers who want to match their older sisters, cousins and friends as this suit is available up to size 14.
(Most versatile — $)
Why it’s great: This toddler swimsuit, by Carter’s, is one of the more popular swimsuit options on the market, no doubt due to its colorful patterns and high-quality design. Available in baby and toddler sizes, this swimsuit comes in several different styles, each of which provides lots of coverage from the sun. Parents can choose between a one-piece full-coverage suit, a two-piece rash guard and bottoms set, or a three-piece set that includes a tankini top, bottoms and a rash guard. All suits are made from quick-drying material that offers UPF 50+ sun protection.
Keep in mind: The three-piece sets are slightly more expensive than the one- and two-piece sets.
Good for: Parents who want a swimsuit that fits well and provides extra sun coverage for their little one.
(Best sun protection — $$$)
Why it’s great: This swim set comes with trunks and a rash guard and is available in 10 unique designs that feature fun patterns and graphics. You’ll be able to choose between prints with pirates, sharks or dinosaurs, though more simple geometric patterns are available as well. Made from polyester and elastane material that’s resistant to chlorine and salt, this suit is both flexible and durable. The fabric has also been designed to prevent 98% of UVA and UVB sun rays and is extremely quick drying. Parents praise this suit for being cute, comfy and well made.
Keep in mind: The trunks don’t come with a liner, so be sure to pack a swim diaper to use in the water.
Good for: Swimming in pools as this suit is made from material that is highly resistant to chlorine.
(Best value — $)
Why it’s great: Available in seven prints and styles, this toddler one-piece is fashionable and functional. Made from professional swimsuit fabric, this suit is soft, stretchy and designed to last. You’ll be able to choose from a variety of patterns, including watermelons, leopard print, pineapple, sunflower, and flamingo. Some styles come with ruffle details while others include a tiered skirt. Parents praise this suit for being both practical and picture-perfect.
Keep in mind: This suit’s material is not as thick or sun resistant as other options, so be sure to double down on the sunscreen.
Good for: A family vacation photo shoot as this suit is vibrant and stylish.
The RuffleButts Long Sleeve One Piece Swimsuit with Zipper is our overall top recommendation. It's the highest quality product we have found with the most affordable price making it the best value on our list..
FAQs about Toddler Swimsuits
1. What are things to consider when purchasing a swimsuit for a toddler?
The most important thing to look for when shopping for a swimsuit for your toddler is broad-spectrum UV protection. Your little one’s skin is extra sensitive to the sun, so you’ll want to find a suit that has extra coverage and is made from material that will block UV rays from passing through. You’ll also want to look for a suit with a good fit to make sure your tot is comfortable during his swim. Cost and durability are also important factors, especially if you plan to spend lots of time in the water this summer.
2. What’s a rash guard?
A rash guard is a lightweight shirt made from a special material that’s designed to block out UV rays from the sun and prevent sunburn. It’s a great way to keep your little one protected from the sun while they’re swimming and saves the hassle of having to slather on extra sunscreen.
3. Does my child need a swim diaper?
A swim diaper is different from a regular diaper in that it’s specifically designed to keep waste from leaking out when it gets wet. Most public pools require children who aren’t potty-trained to wear swim diapers to prevent contamination. Swim diapers are useful in other environments as well since regular diapers become soggy and non-functional, not to mention uncomfortable, when soaked through.
4. What are ways to protect my toddler while swimming?
Swimming is a fun activity at any age and toddlers will love getting the chance to splash around outside. That being said, there are some risks that come with letting your little one go in the water. Supervision is the best way to prevent unnecessary accidents, so make sure there is always an adult present when your child is swimming. Limit pool time to shallow areas and kiddie sections and stock up on a set of floaties as an additional precautionary measure.
5. When can my child start swimming lessons?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends waiting until your tot is at least one year old to start swimming lessons. While you can take your little one in the water before then, you’ll want to be sure an adult is with them at all times.
The best way to battle a heatwave is to wade into some water, and as summer approaches, your toddler will need a swimsuit to survive the season. With so many cute styles and patterns available, it can be tough to know which one will work best for your tot. The best swimsuits for kids are made from material that is thick, durable and provides UPF sun protection. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping your little one as covered up as possible while they’re in the sun, so you’ll also want to look for suits that come with a rash guard or offer extra coverage as part of their design. Convenient, parent-friendly features like zippers and snap closures will make diaper changes a cinch, but don’t forget to pack a swim diaper – it’s required at most public pools.