"Go Buy Now" is our section dedicated to the stuff that sells out before you even know you critically need it. As soon as we find out one such crucial item is available, we'll give you a heads up, regardless of the fact that the timing of the content seems absurd.
If we're gonna stick our kids in long-sleeves, on the beach, in 80+ temps...we can do them this small favor and choose a light color. I'm not sure if you've ever worn a rash guard yourself...but the dark ones get hot.
And I prefer long-sleeved rash guards simply to reduce the time I spend wrestling sunscreen onto a screaming/running toddler. (Who is surprisingly fast).
Lastly, because I'm picky, I prefer plain rash guards. No puppies, trucks, slogans or brands splashed across the front. And while I don't mind an occasional surfer dude, it's getting old.
So yeah - the pinnacle of rash guards for toddlers is the plain, white, long-sleeved version. While the white rash guards are almost exclusively sold for boys (apparently girls don't get hot or sunburned?), I think these white rash guards would be adorable over a little girl bikini or swimsuit. Nothing wrong with a cute little surfer girl...especially one who's not screaming from sunburn.
So. The problem, of course, is that long-sleeved, white, plain rashguards sell out fast. If you wait until you're ready to start stocking up for swim season (say, April/May time-frame)....you're gonna end up with the navy blue, short-sleeve, "Daddy's Little Swimmer", ducky rash guard.
Hanna Andersson's Sun Ready Rash Guard (from the top of this article) is $38. Or try the Boy's Long Sleeve Rash Guard from Lands' End, $25, in sizes from 2T - Size 18 (a husky version is also available). Both have UPF 50 protection.
A Note on Cleaning:
The only downside to white is that sand sticks into the fabric...and shows. The UPF protection comes from the very tight weave of the fabric, so activities like rolling around in the sand are gonna force little sand grains in. To get them out? Have someone pull the fabric tight, then run your nails over top of it. The sand magically pops right out. Crazy.
And despite my extensive online rash guard research last year, and despite being totally on the ball by getting the little man all ready for the beach in FEBRUARY, come summer, he still ended up like this:
"Watch VIS, Cousin Kyle! These things come right off."