Planning a Beach Day with Baby
In my opinion, summer just isn't summer unless you've been to the beach at least once. Be it the ocean, a lake, or even a nearby creek, everyone deserves some water fun when the weather is hot and the sun is shining. And just because you have a baby, it doesn't mean you can't get your beach time in. You may have to bring a few extra things, and be aware of just how much sun you and baby are getting, but when you see the look of joy on your baby's face, you might even find it to be more fun than your pre-baby laying-out-in-the sun days.
Too much of a good thing…
It's great to get out in the sun. You get a nice tan and you get all that lovely vitamin D from the sun's rays. But just like anything, too much of a good thing becomes not so good. That goes double for your baby. Babies have very sensitive skin, and they cannot regulate their body temperature well, so keeping them cool and out of too much direct sunlight is very important.
Bring along a beach umbrella they can play under, or a pop-up tent for some easy shade. A wide-brimmed hat is also an excellent tool for keeping the sun off baby's face. Another great idea is to set up a kiddie pool filled with cool water they can splash around in.
For some more cool ideas, have some towels handy for wetting with cool water. You can press these gently onto your baby's skin if they get too hot. Or even a little spray bottle with some cool water. Or, heck, bring a battery-powered fan if you're short on sea breeze.
Babies over six months old can wear sunscreen, but it's still important to keep them cool and to make sure they don't get too much sun. For babies under six months old, make sure they get plenty of shade.
Beach days will definitely be different with baby in tow, but they won't be any less fun. In fact, with all the wonder and awe your baby will experience at the beach, how could you not have a great time?
The beach is a great opportunity to introduce baby to new things. Pick up shells or sea glass or pieces of drift would for a beachy sensory experience. If your child is learning how to talk, tell them the different names of all the things you see. Seashells, seagulls, palm trees… all great new vocabulary!
And best of all… put their little toes in the water and watch them squirm with delight!
You may not be able to travel light, but you can at least make it easy on yourself if you pack right.
Firstly, leave your diaper bag at home. You don't want to have to face the absolute disaster of getting sand in all your baby's diapers. Instead, throw some diapers and wipies in your beach bag.
Put everything in a mesh laundry bag. You know those ones that fold down and spring up? They're spacious enough to bring most everything you'll need, and the holes in the mesh will make it easy to get the sand out when you're done. Throw the diapers, wipies, towels, change of clothes, suncreen, etc. in there and get goin'!
It's not a bad idea to bring a cooler along too for snacks or cool drinks too. Freeze water bottles ahead of time so you'll have cool water to drink and to give your little one at the beach. These will also come in handy for soaking towels if your baby is getting too warm. Another fun trick is to freeze yogurt for a cool, yummy treat in the sun.
Finally, get all of your stuff on a wheeled wagon for easy carrying and maneuvering.
And, one of the best tips of all… after the beach day is done, remove the sand on your baby's skin with cornstarch. The cornstarch dries the skin lightly so that sand comes off pain-free. Non-talc baby powder also works similarly.
So there you have it! If you haven't been to the beach this summer with your family yet, pack up the car or buy a flight to the nearest coast, lake, or river and have yourself a time!