On our most recent trip to the beach, we had to bring a little extra gear! It’s the first time the whole family has gone to the beach since our grandson came along. And what fun we had!!
I learned some things about babies and the beach:
- My number 1 tip is to set up some kind of ‘containment’ for baby. Crawlers and sand often don’t mix well! Our little crawler wanted to grab handfuls of sand and put them in his mouth. So my daughter came up with a wonderful solution: an inflatable pool! The sides were high enough that he couldn’t climb out (or at least he didn’t think he could!) and we didn’t fill it with water while on the beach. This gave him a sand-free place to play and nap.
- Think shady! Go ahead and take the trouble to haul out a tent or awning. You’ll be glad you have a spot to escape the rays when they get to be too much for baby OR you!
- Use sun protection. Of course, this goes without saying, and we did use some pretty high SPF sunscreen lotion. But we also dressed him in the new technology SPF clothing. There are great manufacturers who offer clothing made from a fabric that is an SPF of 50+ and some are called ‘rash guard’ and protect from heat rash as well.
- Put a lid on it… baby’s head, that is! Even when we were under the canopy, we still had lots of sun protection for his infant skin! He wore a hat much of the time, especially when playing in the sand or water. And don’t forget sunglasses… yes, even for baby!
- Bring lots for him to drink. Again, I’m stating the obvious here, but baby will need to hydrate just like adults! For older babies and toddlers, even little popsicles help keep them cool. And maybe a cool snack like applesauce.
- Enjoy the water! Most babies love being in water, and the ocean is no exception! Let them kick and splash and have a ball, in mom or dad’s protective arms, of course! You can put the little baby life vests on and help them ‘float’, although I think this is best left to the swimming pool, rather than the ocean!
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