Just because you’re a parent doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice days on the shore, soaking up the sun, and frolicking in the waves. Babies can be the ultimate seaside companions, provided that you take a few extra steps to ensure that your trip goes off without a hitch. Read on for a guide to hitting the beach with babies in tow.
Scorching sun + delicate baby skin = recipe for total disaster. Avoid a blistering baby burn by arming yourself with a sun tent or shelter. These handy contraptions are available in a variety of sizes and most of them collapse for easy transport. In addition to providing a much-needed spot to get a break from the sun, shelters tend to offer excellent wind protection as well which is excellent when you’re trying to avoid blowing sand.
Again, the harshness of the sun and the delicateness of a baby’s skin cannot be understated. Some excellent options for keeping your babe safe? Sunscreen, UV protective clothing, wide-brimmed sun hats, and baby sunglasses. When it comes to sunscreen, there are plenty of options available but it’s worth noting that many aren’t recommended for babies under 6 months of age.
Whether you’re taking along your tiny newborn or active infant, you’re going to want a spot to put your baby when it can’t be in your arms. Portable playpens are fabulous options since they keep the sand out, provide an excellent spot for a mid-afternoon nap, and let parents breathe easy knowing that their little ones are safe and sound. As an added bonus, they fold down to a compact size which you’ll be grateful for when you’re negotiating tricky beach stairs or crowded areas.
Pack a Picnic
There’s something about the ocean air that really works up a healthy appetite so make sure you’re prepared with your baby’s favourite foods. If you’re nursing, no problem. You’ve got it covered! Otherwise, consider tossing a few snacks that don’t require refrigeration (crackers are always a hit) or fill your cooler with ice packs and take along some simple finger foods like cut up fruits and vegetables. Be sure to remember to bring plenty of water to keep you and your baby sufficiently hydrated.
Skip the Stroller
Even the toughest, all-terrain strollers become cumbersome beasts when they’re forced to contend with sand. Save yourself the frustration by opting to wear your baby instead. Whether you opt for a soft structured carrier, a frame backpack, or a wrap, you’ll be grateful to have your hands free and your babe will love the view. Carriers are also great for family beach walks and who doesn’t love those?
Time it Wisely
The sun is strongest between 10:00 and 4:00 so you may want to time your trip accordingly. Considering the fact that babies aren’t big sunbathers, chances are you won’t be wanting to spend the entire day on the beach but it’s worth scheduling your time carefully. Some parents find that hitting the shore early in the morning is a great way to avoid crowds and get some fun in before the sun gets too harsh. Others prefer to arrive around 3:00 and hang out as the day cools down. Either way, you’ll have a wonderful time and still soak up some vitamin D.