Velcro is a Mom’s BFF

Ok summer bathing beauties, gather round. With Memorial Day Weekend upon us, let’s talk swimsuit fashion for our little tykes today.

Caveat: The brightest among you might quickly notice that my links are taking you to girls clothing. That’s because I’m a mom of a girl. And frankly, let’s be honest, girl clothes are more fun.

But for those of you with sweet little boys, fret not. We are still linking to some of KT’s fav places for kids clothes, so you can just link yourself over to the boy section, I have great taste and have honed in on the best of the best, so really, you’re still in good hands.

Never doubt moi. So with that. First up, swimsuits:

I am a big fan of mini-Boden clothes. They are adorable, not everyone has them, and well, they hail from Britain. Everything is always cooler when they cross the pond. Here’s a link to a suit that I swooped up for darling daughter way back in March when it first caught my attention – we have it in strawberries and pink, of course:

http://www.bodenusa.com/col.asp?segname=Mini&styid=36024&segid=5&gpname=Swimwear&desname=Girly+Swimsuit&gpid=21&gen=1

JCrew also makes clothes for kids and I’ve noticed that they run really small. Darling daughter could fit into the size 2T back when she was barely 1, and well, at that time she was still just wearing 12-18 month sizes from Baby Gap. So caution – they run small. My biggest beef so far with the Crew Cuts clothes is that they are just mini-reproductions of adult sized clothes. And frankly, I think it’s a little weird to have a 2 year old wearing the same thing a 35 year old would wear, for the most part. So – I’m not loving most of their swim wear for girls but here’s a link anyway, I think it makes my point:

http://www.jcrew.com/catalog/product.jhtml?id=prod88368381&catId=cat180957

Should my 18 month old really be prowling the beach, channeling her inner-sexy leopard?

Here’s where my inner-sleeping Republican rears its ugly head.

No. Quite plainly, is the answer.

Now, moving on. Baby Gap has always been a tried and true favorite. First of all, the quality is good and the price is right, particularly because it goes on sale really quickly. Secondly, the sizing is really well done. You can actually buy an 18-24 month size, for example, and it will fit your 18-24 month old. At least it does mine and always has. Sure I had to buy them a little bigger for a while when she was growing like a weed as a 6 month old, but more often than not, they are sized really well. I think this one is particularly cute:

http://www.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=35362&pid=484217

Now for beach accessories for tykes. Hats are a must-do for all of us, particularly the little ones, every day of the year. We all know that most children rip the hats off their heads faster than you put them on. Oddly, my darling daughter loves an accessory and actually seeks out her hats in our house so she can wear one as much as possible, but she’s the exception. And even with her fierce love of hats, if it doesn’t have a Velcro attachment to keep it on the head, then forget about it.

It’s difficult to find the velcroe attachment but I’ve found Janie and Jack, also one of my fav places to shop, particularly for dress-up clothes, is good about the velcro attachment under the chin. Here’s an example:

http://www.janieandjack.com/shop/dept_item.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524443452877&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374303716283&bmUID=1179840509119&productSizeSelected=0

Note the wide brim which is also very important. If you’ve ever tried to apply sunscreen to a toddler, you know it’s no small feat, so any added help you can get with a wide brim to block the sun from their precious face, the better off you are.

While we’re on the subject of wide brimmed hats, I’m particularly pleased with the Hanna Andersson selection. The only flaw is that you have to tie the string under the chin – no velcro.

Velcro makes a mom’s life easy.

But still the amount of shade this particular hat provides from the sun makes the extra pain of having to tie the strings together, worth the effort:

http://www.hannaandersson.com/Style.asp?from=SC|5|1|156|47|8||&simg=22568_D42&mwc=D42

Now the only thing left is footwear. This is an area where I could really get carried away. I mean, the options are endless and adorable. But again, the inner practical mom in me comes out as I feel myself moving towards the cash register at Nordstrom holding an adorable pair of $60 shoes for my daughter.

I remind myself the following:

a. it is impossible to get a pair of shoes on a toddler to begin with. If your kid isn’t walking yet, then you might still think shoelaces work. If your kid is walking, you know better. I’m here to tell you – shoelaces – forget about it. No matter how cute the shoe.

b. Velcro is again your best friend.

c. So are crocs.

And so, of course you could spot my darling daughter strolling down the beach in these this summer, if you’re on the Delaware shore by any chance:

http://shop.crocs.com/pc-21-4-kids-cayman.aspx?reqid=21&reqProdTypeId=41p&subsectionname=footwear&section=products

I can get them on her feet in a jiffy, they stay on, and they’ll protect her little toes from the burning hot sand better than sandals.

But, speaking of sandals, how adorable are these:

http://www.janieandjack.com/shop/dept_item.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524443452874&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374303093469&bmUID=1179841826749&productSizeSelected=0

And note – no latch that you have to waste time trying to get hooked while your toddler moves a mile a minute.

And so, dear kittens, go forth and enjoy purchasing swimwear for your tyke. The beauty of it is this – they look good in anything. They don’t have to be tortured by glaring at themselves in changing room mirrors with unfriendly lighting. You can just buy it, go home, put them in their little suit, and melt when you see those chubby little legs moving around in their new summer 07 swimsuit.

But don’t forget – velcroe is your best friend.

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