Nothing says summer like a trip to the beach, but what if you have a baby or young toddler? Can you still take a trip to the beach?
Don’t worry, with a little preparation you can still enjoy a day at the beach with your baby or young toddler.
Here are 5 Tips for taking baby to the beach:
Don’t forget the sunscreen! If you have older children you probably remember the rule of waiting until children were at least 6 months old before applying sunscreen. That rule no longer applies according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. It is now recommended that children under 6 months of age avoid direct sun exposure (hats, lightweight clothing, umbrellas etc) and it is recommended that you use sunscreen on any exposed skin (face and back of hands). For children 6 months and older it is recommended that you apply sunscreen 30 minutes before sun exposure and reapply every 1-2 hours (depending on fairness of skin). You may want to consider getting into the habit of applying sunscreen each morning during the summer months.
Don’t forget a hat! An easy trick to getting your children used to wearing hats is to start early. All of my children have always worn hats at the beach without fail and without problem. Look for a light weight, wide-brimmed hat that it ties or snaps. My personal favorite, the floppy hat, is available from Hanna Anderson. They are machine washable and have been passed down to our 5th child and are still going strong!
Make it entertaining (and easy for you). Sure there is a big ocean out there, but do you really want to chase your child up and down the beach and worry about the waves and a strong tide? Bring a plastic or blow up pool to the beach, place it under an umbrella and add water (from the ocean of course) throw in a couple shells and water toys and you are set! You can now relax as your baby crawls in/out of the pool, splashes and plays in the sand. Your child is protected from the sun under the umbrella too which will make the added set up worth it.
For infants under 6 months of age consider bringing a portable beach crib with sunshade. This model provides sun protection and good ventilation to keep baby cool.
Bring a large selection of sand toys. You can never have enough, no matter how many children or sand toys you have. There is something about digging in the sand or water that kids love. Use it to your advantage by bringing a large selection. You may want to consider bringing a net bag with the toys or the Transporter Beach Cart with table. When it’s time to go my kids all help rinse the toys off before we put them in the bag.
Even a 15 month old can do this!
Stay hydrated and ditch the Sippy Cups! Although infants under 6 months shouldn’t drink water (babies 6-11 months should drink modest amounts), you can still keep your baby hydrated by giving her extra formula or by nursing more frequently. Aim to increase the hydration by at least 50% when on the beach. The easiest way to keep everyone hydrated at the beach is to bring a long sports bottles of water. If you don’t want to bring a cooler just freeze a couple and take them to the beach in your beach bag or diaper bag.
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