A visit to the beach is an exciting summer trip, especially if it is your baby’s first time. Beach vacations with a new little one will certainly feel different than relaxing beach trips of the past. But with a good attitude, some preparation and our tips for taking your baby to the beach, you’ll be all set to enjoy your summer vacation.
Dress for Success: Tussling with a baby to put on sunscreen is no fun for anyone. Try to cover your baby in SPF swim gear as much as possible and then apply sunscreen to whatever skin is still exposed. Bring along a wide-brimmed hat to shade your baby’s face and neck and, if your baby is walking, pack water shoes in case the sand is hot. Of course don’t forget plenty of swim diapers as well.
Oceanside Dining: For babies who are still exclusively breastfeeding, having an oceanside feeding may be relaxing, enjoyable and a welcome change of scenery. Feed often to keep your baby hydrated. But be prepared for some backlash in case it’s not the luxurious experience you had hoped it would be by having some pumped milk handy. If your baby can eat solids, pack plenty of snacks and lots of water for hydration.
Baby-Safe Play Space: The beach is basically one big playroom, which hopefully your baby will find awing and thrilling. If you feel the wide openness of the beach is a bit much for your little one (and you), create a safe play space by pitching a tent, which also offers shade, or brining an inflatable kiddie pool. You can also carve out a play pen in the sand by digging a ditch and covering it with a blanket. Or try the fitted sheet trick where you stretch out the sheet and hold it in place with heavy objects (like coolers, towels, etc…) and enjoy an open-aired yet somewhat enclosed space.
Baby Beach Toys: You really don’t need much in the way of toys for babies to have a blast at the beach. If it floats your boat, bring along a few traditional buckets and shovels. Sometimes makeshift toys work better, like plastic cups, water bottles measuring cups and spoons, squirt bottles, large paint brushes and some plastic toy animals (think bath toys). Your baby can use all of these items to dig in the sand or splash in the water for a merry old time.
Floatation Devices: If you plan to hold your little one and walk out into the ocean, always make sure the water is calm and go no further than where you can stand comfortably. Put a life vest on your baby in case she gets antsy or some rough water creeps up on you. Always put your baby in a life jacket on a boat. If the water at your favorite beach is calm, you can bring a raft and enjoy some time snuggling together on the water.
Sand No More: When it’s time to come in from the beach, getting the sand off yourself and your baby can be a pain. If you freeze a bag of water and use it to keep food cold in your cooler, you can use that water to rinse your bodies before heading indoors. Corn starch also works wonders at removing sand from small baby parts. (Some people use baby powder but corn starch is generally safer.) Be careful not to let your baby eat sand. An accidental curious taste is probably not too harmful but consuming lots of sand is not good for your baby’s system and may cause diaper rash when it works its way out of her body.
Beach-Side Games: Once you’ve exhausted regular sand play and taking a dip, try these fun games: Hold your baby’s hands and pick her up to jump over the waves. Chase seagulls or other birds on the beach. Make drizzle castles right at the tide line. Collect seashells and bring a few of them home for a memory jar. Draw pictures in the sand with a stick. Make new friends among other beach goes.
We hope these tips for taking your baby to the beach help you have an awesome family vacation this summer!
Sources: Mom365, Red Tricycle and Nate and Rachel