There are not many things I love more than the beach. The sound of the waves mixed with the warmth of the sun make the beach my happy place, my peaceful escape from the noise of life. My son was at the beach at 6 weeks old celebrating my first Mother’s Day with my husband and I. There is no question about it, my kid(s) will be spending quality time in the white powdery sand. With summer almost upon us and vacations being booked, I wanted to share a few tips and tricks to help with packing for that beach vacation with a baby.
Sunscreen (and Aloe)
This is a given – don’t forget the sunscreen – for you or the kids! After we put on the day’s first round of sunscreen, I sometimes stick the sunscreen in the fridge or ice chest while we’re at the beach. That way, for the next application round, there is a nice chill to it. Same for aloe.
Wear Proper Coverage
Our pediatrician recommended to not use sunscreen on a baby under 6 months. To keep him from getting too much sun, I dressed him in a UV protected long sleeve rash guard and UV protected bucket hat (in addition to the cutest little swim trunks ever!)
A large UV protected umbrella or sport-brella is, of course, a great way to create shade on an otherwise sunny day. I also bring muslin blankets as they are lighter and cooler than beach mats and other materials.
Wipe Away the Nitty Gritty
Once babies are on the move, they love to explore, so they will get a little (ok, very) sandy. When you’re ready to head back to the summer house, dampen a glove or a sock and sprinkle some cornstarch on it. Then use that to wipe the sand off your baby. The cornstarch adds a gentler touch.
Help the Apple of Your Eye Relax
We haven’t dealt with this with baby, but it took ME quite a long while to come to my senses and be concerned about putting on sunscreen when I was a teenager through my much later years unfortunately. Drop in a few drops of apple cider vinegar into the tub. One of the many wonders of apple cider vinegar is that it helps stop itching caused by sunburn.
Freeze Fruit Bites
Chop up and throw some of baby’s favorite fruits into the freezer the night before the beach – think melons and strawberries. Then, move it to the ice chest when leaving for the beach. The fruit bites will eventually start to thaw, but is the perfect healthy ‘freezie’ treat for the beach. Bonus tip: Freeze some water bottles, too. This can serve as temporary ice packs, but will also thaw for drinking. Looking for another fresh idea for beach food? This cucumber caprese salad recipe screams beach to me.
I like this tip even if you go dig your toes in the sand sans baby. Bring a fitted bed sheet to use as your beach blanket. Put bags in each corner of the sheet and flip each corner up, so the it creates a small wall to keep sand off your ‘blanket.’
What other tips do you have for bringing a baby to the beach?