10 Tips for Toddlers at the Waterpark

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Summer is here and that means plenty of fun in the sun!  If you have a waterpark anywhere near you, I'm sure it's on your bucket list of things to do this summer.  Waterparks are tons of fun for kids and adults alike and if you're planning on spending the day soaking up the sun and splashing in the pools with a toddler, you're going to want to make sure you're prepared to meet the many needs of a tiny human being.  I put together this list of 10 Tips for Toddlers at a Waterpark to help you prepare for the fun that awaits you at a waterpark this summer (and hopefully avoid the pitfalls that can happen with crazy toddlers).

  1. Sun Protection:  While waterparks do offer some shady areas, expect to be in the sun all day long, so be sure to slather on plenty of sunblock before you leave the house and remember to reapply every 60-90 minutes.  Hats are also a good idea, along with a swim shirt or other coverup.  Nobody likes a sunburn!!
  2. Kiddie Pools:  Know your waterpark before you go and where the kid friendly attractions are.  Most waterparks will have more than one area for little kids.  Figure out which one(s) are most age appropriate for your child and plan to camp out there.  Some kiddie pools are deeper than others, so be aware of the water depth, too!
  3. Life Jackets/Floaties:  Check to see if your waterpark has life jackets for kids.  I know some waterparks offer free life jackets for children on a first come, first serve basis, so check your waterpark's website for information before you go.  Most parks don't allow inflatable flotation devices, but will let you bring your own life jacket.  A swimsuit with a floatie sewn in is a good idea, too.  This floatie {affiliate} is my personal favorite.
  4. Adult Supervision:  This one is a no brainer, but make sure there is plenty of adult supervision for your little ones, and never leave your toddler unattended in the water!  Try to go with an extra adult or two so if you need to go to the restroom, or want to try a ride or two out, there is someone there who can take a shift of toddler wrangling.
  5. Snacks and Drinks:  You don't want your toddler to get hangry and have a meltdown.  Find out if your waterpark allows outside food and drinks to be brought in, and pack some snacks for the day.  Know where the concession stands are if you plan on buying food at the park.  And be sure to drink plenty of water!
  6. Take Breaks and Find Shade:  Speaking of meltdowns, your toddler is going to be having so much fun playing they may overwhelm themselves and end up having a meltdown.  Try to take a couple of rest breaks so your toddler can get some down time.  I doubt a nap would actually be possible with all the excitement around them, but just taking a little time to sit in the shade with you and recharge could make a big difference for everyone. 
  7. Swim Diapers:  If your little one isn't potty trained yet, they will definitely need waterproof swim diapers.  Waterparks require them for everyone's safety; nobody wants poop in the pool!  Even if your toddler is potty trained, you may still want to put them in a swim diaper.  I've never known a kid to ask to use the bathroom while in a pool, if you get my meaning.
  8. Restroom Breaks:  That being said, if your little one is potty trained and not wearing a swim diaper, make sure to take them to the restroom frequently.  Nobody likes pee in the pool, either.
  9. Swim Shoes:  Having swim shoes {affiliate} are a must have for everyone.  Waterparks aren't known for their shade and concrete gets too hot for little feet.  Pools usually have rough non-slip texture and are also tough on toes, so protect those piggies!!  
  10. Photographs:  I take photos of everything, and what's cuter than a toddler playing in a kiddie pool?!?  Or napping in the cabana?  Or eating ice cream?  Wearing sunglasses?  Wrapped in a towel?  I think you get my point.  Consider getting a waterproof camera.  They come in digital and disposable versions, or look for a waterproof case for your phone or camera.  If you don't feel like taking the risk with a waterproof cover, lots of waterparks will have staff snapping pictures you can purchase on your way out.
I hope these tips help you have a fun and safe day at the waterpark.  A waterpark is quite an adventure for a toddler and keeping these tips in mind can make the day go smoother and be enjoyable for everyone.  Just like at home, your little one is going to need to snack and rest in order to not have meltdowns.  When it's time to head home, have your toddler help you pack up so they'll be ready for the transition from fun in the sun back to the comforts of home.

4 comments

  1. Thanks for the tips! You're going to have a blast! :)

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  2. Dawn E. RobertsonJuly 7, 2014 at 11:22 AM

    In my experience, water diapers only hold in poop. I've had plenty of once dry seats soaked because my kids was only wearing a water diaper either before going somewhere or dried off and fell asleep on, say, a couch or in the car seat. That being said, be sure you bring a regular diaper to change into before you leave. You'll be happy when you get home and see how heavy that sucker got. Kids tend to swallow a lot of pool water and it's gotta come out! Knowing that water diapers done hold in pee, it's worth the change.

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  3. Good point! I didn't even think of that....we usually cloth diaper, so as soon as Jack gets out of the water we change him, otherwise he gets HORRIBLE diaper rash from the swim diaper. I'm not sure what it is about those swim diapers, but they tear his butt up!

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