With summer on the way, many of us have the beach on our minds! Spring break, summer vacation, sun, sand, waves… it all sounds amazing.
We have the opportunity to be near a beach, and have been definitely trying to take advantage of it! Having been to the beach a number of times with our own baby (our first trip there was when he was only 1 week old!), here are 10 tried and tested tips and tricks to make it as enjoyable as possible:
1. Your Child Will Get Sandy
May as well start with this! No matter how hard you fight it, your child will get covered in sand — on their hands, on their feet, in their mouth… all over! I tried many times to prevent this before finally accepting the inevitable. Now, instead of stressing the whole day about how to keep the baby away from the sand, we let him play.
When the day is done, we simply rinse hands and feet, then dry/brush off the rest as best we can with a towel. If you’re extra ambitious, you can rinse the entire baby! After we get home, we take little T straight to a quick bath (or shower with Daddy) and shake out any sand from the car seat.
*Edited to add: I’ve recently learned baby powder is a miracle substance that supposedly gets that sand off nice and easy. Bring a bottle along and let me know how it goes for you!
2. Protection from the Sun
One of the most important pieces to a day at the beach with a baby is protecting that brand new baby skin from the blazing sun! Here are some ways we have found how to best accomplish that:
We like to bring a nice, large beach umbrella that stakes into the sand, but have seen everything from towels draped over chairs to gigantic canopies for the entire extended family.
- Lightweight Clothing
If your child is under 6 months old, they probably aren’t ready for sunscreen yet, so this step is extra important because even with an umbrella, it’s important to keep their precious skin covered. One way to accomplish this is to dress them in lightweight, light colored clothing that covers arms and legs! We recently purchased a swimming shirt specifically for this purpose.
- Hat & Sunglasses
What baby doesn’t look absolutely adorable in a hat and sunglasses? Even though Torben has reached the stage where he pulls off the sunglasses, we like to keep him in a sun hat or baseball cap when he’ll allow it. It helps keep his little head from getting fried when he is busy digging up all the sand!
Because we can never protect our little ones enough! Because each member of our family fries quicker than an egg, we like to lather on the sunscreen! Babyganics makes sunscreen that is specifically for babies (6 months and older unless you are directed otherwise by your pediatrician) and makes me feel so much better about Torben playing in the sun! (You can get Babyganics sunscreen here!)
3. Swim Diapers (if getting wet) & Swimming Suit
There are several types of swim diapers. While T is still growing quickly, we have been using disposable swim diapers. Once his growth slows down a bit, we will look into using reusable ones. Most stores will sell them seasonally, and you can likely find them online year round.
Whether or not we plan on him getting wet, we like to put him in a swimming suit because the sand comes off/out so much easier when it’s time to go! Also, he’s just adorable in a swimming suit and if I bought it, I’m going to get my use out of it!
4. Toys (by age)
As your little one gets older, they will love digging in the sand with a shovel and carrying buckets full of sea water to and fro. Right now as long as Torben’s got a large rock, he’s good!
5. Fitted Sheet/Sand Resistant Beach Blanket
We like both of these. The sheet is especially great if you have a younger child who is unable to get into much trouble. It provides a (mostly) sand-free space in an enclosed environment ensuring that your little one can’t make a break for it! Or if you’ve got a sand resistant beach blanket, they easily shake off the sand when you are done for the day.
P.S. Beach blankets are great even if you don’t have a little one!
This one is a given, but I still feel the need to add it (since we forgot one for him the other day! Don’t worry, he used mine instead). The towel is good for playing on, drying off, and rubbing off dried sand!
Since Beach days can be a several hour ordeal, I like to have some easy snacks ready for if the baby (or myself…) get’s hungry. Some ideas are: grapes, cheerios, applesauce pouches, baby carrots (you can steam them so they are soft!), and blueberries. Older kids could also have granola bars and fruit snacks!
Speaking of hungry, if you are spending time at the beach, there is a chance you’ll be there during one of your child’s feedings. It’s important for everyone to stay hydrated — especially when you’ve been out in the sun!
If you’re worried about the water getting warm, or the milk going bad, try putting it in a thermos or grab an insulated bag/cooler from the grocery store. We stopped by Walmart and got a great portable cooler for under $5!
This one especially applies if you plan on staying when the sun is going down. While the day time is hot as hot can be, once that sun is gone the beach can get quite chilly!
10. Don’t Forget About Yourself!
Because we love our babies so much we prepare everything for them perfectly. What I’ve found happens in this house is that baby is over-prepared, while I am scrambling to grab the things that are applicable to myself! Swim suit? Check. Towel? Check. Water bottle, flip flops, sunscreen, sunglasses… check!
It’s going to be a great day, so have fun!
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