From the day my daughter was born, she has loved water. She is the happiest little mermaid baby you have ever met, as long as she has water in her sight. The bath tub, the sink, water fountains, waterfalls, water bottles, ocean waves. The kid is just mesmerized by water.
That actually works out really well for our family, because we are total beach bums over here and we just love the ocean. We live just a short drive from the beach, so I wanted to get my baby daughter familiar with the ocean right away.
If you have ever been to the beach, with or without kids, you probably know that it is hot, it is sandy, and it requires some work. Before my baby arrived, those all seemed like really small things. Even when I was pregnant, I would take a towel and a book to the ocean shore, read until I was sizzling from the sun, and then hop in the cold ocean water to cool off. It was a wonderfully peaceful time, and it was so easy to manage by myself.
It won’t be quite like that when you’re bringing a baby along, but it can still be an awesome and enjoyable day at the beach. Use my TOP 5 tips for beach-going with baby, and it will make your day a whole lot easier!
# 1: Put sunblock on at home. It’s just so much easier to slather on the sunblock in a clean place where soap and clean water is easily accessible. I personally feel like the cream sunblock soaks into your skin better and stays put longer. So hop into your swimsuit at home, apply your sunblock from head to toe, let it soak in for a few minutes, and you’re good to go. It takes me two minutes, and I never get a sunburn when I follow this routine. Of course, it’s important to reapply every few hours, so I bring the spray-on stuff with me for quick application after a dip in the ocean.
# 2: Keep your beach gear simple and functional. We have great camping chairs that fold up and store in a net bag that has a strap. It’s easy to shake out any sand, and it’s easy to carry the chair over your shoulder. When I go to the beach by myself with the baby, I carry a chair, a beach umbrella, and my backpack over one arm, and carry the baby in her carseat in the other arm.This leads us to tip three.
# 3: Keep baby in the car seat while you set up. Even if my baby is awake, I hand her a toy or an empty water bottle to play with and I set up our stuff while she’s restrained. She loves to watch me, and I love that I can get everything set up without worrying about her face-planting in the sand. I usually keep it really simple and just set up a chair, prop up the umbrella, lay out a big blanket, and voila! If I have more people with me, then we bring along a cooler with drinks and snacks, but if it’s just me and baby, I just bring a piece of fruit and some bottled water in my backpack. Easy peasy.
# 4: Use baby powder to get the sand off of you and baby. It really works.
# 5: Have fun! I find myself adding this tip to a lot of my articles, because it is easy to forget. We’re going to the beach to relax and have fun. One thing I remember about our childhood beach trips is the fact that my dad always made it fun for us; he never complained, and he never lugged unnecessary junk along with us.
Oh, and here’s what I always have in my backpack, just in case you’re curious: spray-on sunblock, a towel, a blanket, sandwich bag for my keys and phone, diapers, wipes, toys, baby sunglasses and sun hat, baby powder, snack, bottled water, and a change of clothes for baby (in case of a diaper blowout)!
Now, go enjoy the sunshine and the ocean waves. Be sure to snap a few pictures of your baby soaking up their new surroundings. And let me know some of your beach tips too!