You may have checked off the 4th of July on your calendar, but there is still plenty of summering to do in the next several weeks. If you haven’t done it yet – or even if you have but could use a few pointers – now is a great time to have a beach day with baby! Before you consider the amount of gear and work this excursion could take, we have a handy-dandy list that will ensure everyone, even Mommy, has a great day!
Believe us when we say that we understand the stress a Day at the Beach conjures up in your mind. The saltwater, the sun and oh-so-much sand! Sand aside, letting your child experience the beach is something that is truly worth the hassle. Why, you may wonder? A day at the ocean is a fantastic way for your child to connect with nature – the wind, the waves tickling her toes, the grainy feel (and yes, taste) of the sand, the warm sun and the cold water. This sensory extravaganza allows your little one to engage and explore the world around her. It is also a great way to get out and soak up some Vitamin D and wear your baby out so that her nap will be a snap! Lastly, all ages can enjoy the beach, so it’s a family-friendly day for everyone, from your baby to grandparents and everyone in between. So, let’s get you up and out there! But first, what to bring, what to bring?
- The Basics: You can do the beach without sand toys or fancy chairs, without big cabanas or fruity drinks with umbrellas, but don’t forget the basics — food and water. As a mom, you know that your baby is hungry more often than not, and everyone works up an appetite at the beach. Be sure to pack enough snacks so that she’ll have something to munch on throughout the day, and if it’s close to meal-time, include her lunch. For snacking, finger foods like Cheerios, fruit or goldfish work well (and if she drops it, there is always an eager seagull nearby). If your child is still young enough to be bottle or breastfed, never fear; it’s all doable at the beach. Just put your formula-filled bottles in an-easy-to-carry, over the shoulder cooler with some ice or cold packs and you’re set. If you’re nursing, you only need a beach chair and a towel for some privacy and shade, and lunch is served! As for water, we can’t say enough about hydration at the beach. Babies older than 6 months need approximately 50% more hydration when it’s hot than they do in the cooler seasons, so definitely pack your cooler with lots of water and plan for additional sippy cup breaks. If your baby is still breastfeeding or drinking formula, that can serve as their hydration source but you want to give a little extra when you’re out in the sun. To sum it all up, bring food and water, drinks and snacks and everyone will be happier at the beach!
- Sun Protection: Children over the age of 6 months can use sunscreen, and it is a must-do for a happy Beach Day! Our team at Baby Pibu has you covered when it comes to sunscreen knowledge and what is best to use for your little one! (The Best Sunscreen for Babies and Kids). Once you have the right product, the key is to apply before you go and then reapply throughout the day. Additionally, bring a sunhat for your child, and if she’ll wear them, sunglasses are a fashionable yet very useful accessory. Rash guards or SPF sun shirts are also good for little ones to wear at the beach. And even though your mom probably said this when you were a kid, it’s always good to take a break during the hottest parts of the day between 10am – 3 pm, especially on a really warm summer day.
- Towels, Blankets and Diapers, Oh My! While you won’t need an entire wardrobe for just one day at the beach, there are a few essentials to bring. First, you want a couple of towels – one for your child to use if she gets wet and one to sit on in the hot sand. You can include beach chairs but if you are like most moms with a little one, you’ll spend your time following her around, sitting in the sand or on a towel but rarely in a chair. An extra beach blanket always comes in handy, especially if you’re going to try for naptime. Lastly, you want to have extra swim diapers on hand as well as a change of clothes for your child. After all, nothing ruins a day at the beach like a nasty diaper rash from sitting in a dirty, wet swim diaper. One more thing about naptime, if you have a beach umbrella or a small pop-up tent, bring it along so you can set up a little shady area for your child to sleep. The sun, the sand and the sound of the waves can be a good backdrop, so she might go down for a nice, long nap.
- Playtime: If you visit a surf shop or beach store, you’ll see elaborate sand toys, rafts, floats and more. When you are little, however, you really don’t need much more than a bucket and shovel to have a great time playing at the beach. So be sure to bring some sand toys along. A good idea is to get a drawstring mesh bag so that your toys, sandy and all, can travel in there and not your beach bag.
So there you have it – an easy breezy checklist so you have everything you need for the beach. As a mom, you know that amount of gear, supplies and equipment can go on and on, but everything listed here should have you covered for a fun-filled family day at the beach!
- Mattia, Nancy. “Making your Baby Comfortable in the Summer Heat.” Parents.com. https://www.parents.com/baby/care/newborn/making-baby-comfortable-in-summer-heat/
- Novak, Sarah. “6 Tips for a Fun (and Safe) Beach Day with Baby.” Fitpregnancy.com. https://www.fitpregnancy.com/baby/baby-care/tips-for-a-safe-and-fun-beach-day-with-baby