If you’re heading into the first summer shared with a new baby, you might think that the beach sounds totally idyllic with a tot in tow, but it can be more challenging than you think.
Here are a few tips for what to do and what to pack to make your beach trip with a baby a success.
An SPF shade tent
The shade tent beats the sun umbrella, because it folds up small and lightweight and — this is key — it also covers the floor. Sand can reflect sun back up at you, so covering the sand up reduces this likelihood. Plus, the convenience of a popup tent cannot be underestimated. Babies like to nosh on everything within reach, so covering up most of the sand should reduce the amount that baby swallows.
Sheet, towels, blanket
This is twofold: if your baby is still immobile, try to create a relatively sand-free island using large towels or even a single sheet. Got a crawler? “Dig a circular ‘pit’… toss a sheet over it and voila — instant playpen,” says Mom365.com. The sheet is lightweight and folds up small, and helps to keep sand out of your island. The blanket is handy if baby wants a nap, and a lightweight towel is also obviously key.
Snacks and drinks
This is for all the adults and the children! Hydrated and fed = happy, so make sure you bring enough snacks and drinks for everyone. If baby is still breastfeeding, make sure mom has enough water to stay hydrated, and if your toddler drinks water, bring enough because a thirsty baby is an unhappy one. Try freezing a bottle of water the night before, so that it can melt gradually during the day, staying cooler for longer.
Sunscreen, baby powder
Apply sunscreen to everyone BEFORE leaving the house. Once you’re already sandy and sweaty at the beach, it’s easy to miss spots, but at home you can make sure you have full coverage before heading out. Once at the beach, reapply at least every two hours or after swimming or sweating a lot. The baby powder is handy for removing sand from the skin. When you and baby are mostly dry, a liberal shake of baby powder helps to release the sand more easily, making clean up quicker and easier.
Take swimming nappies, a full coverage rash vest or suit, plus long sleeved tops and thin pants. If baby will be taking a dip more than once, a spare swimming nappy is handy — and the more coverage a swimsuit or rash vest provides, the less you have to worry about covering in sunscreen. Babies struggle to regulate their own body temperature, so if the sea is cold, bring warm clothes.
Used nappies, wet clothes, sandy toys — they’re all best carried home in plastic bags. Keep a few stuffed inside your beach bag, and you’ll never be hunting in vain for a bin again.
And remember to relax! We know sand isn’t exactly the most nutritious, but swallowing the odd bit will do your baby no harm. You’ll all be covered in sand from head to toe, and that’s part of the fun! We hope these tips make this summer at the beach the fun day out you hoped for.
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.