So the whole beach+baby thing is not exactly new to me. I jumped that great hurdle of motherhood with a less than 2 month old little guy and felt like I has conquered the world… or at least the beaches of Puerto Rico.
Little did I know that the trips would get more and more difficult with each passing month. Suddenly they want to get up, and crawl around, and they don’t stay on that patchwork mess of beach towels that I put out!!! (Or maybe he was trying to escape all the pink on the towel, I changed to boy colors a little later that day)
With all that being said, here are a few tips for taking your baby to the beach. Some of these I have learned from experience and some from other blogs. I will do my best to link to those blogs but I’m still new at this so please don’t judge
- Lower your expectations… as I was pregnant imaging my new life when we moved to Puerto Rico, i had these visions in my head of these picture perfect days where my baby was happily relaxing/sleeping, I was sipping on an adult beverage of choice (never happened due to pumping issues…) and I was lounging in the sun at my pre-pregnancy size. NONE of this happened, and I was sorely disappointed. Based on what beach you are going to (a remote beach in PR or a sugary white beach steps from your rented condo) you need to think realistically about how it will play out…. in real life… with a baby…
- Make sure to bring something for shade. With all the expectations stuff being said, nothing can take that a few steps beyond acceptable like sitting in the hot sun with a fussy baby all day, not to mention the inevitable sun burn you will both get. Do everyone a favor and bring an umbrella, an ez pop up tent or something to keep you out of the rays. We bought this tent at Costco here in PR but I could not find the link so here is the same tent on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Lightspeed-Outdoors-26795-BV-Quick-Cabana/dp/B005LGV2PA
- Depending on the age of your baby, bring something where they are comfortable napping. Aiden was easy, for the first 9 months he would always nap easily in his infant car seat and it was really easy to bring that out to the beach. We also would bring a swing and hang it up in a tree. I know that on most beaches trees are not prevalent, but I thought I would throw it out there to keep your imagination going.
- Make sure they stay hydrated. Weather they are still nursing or taking formula or they have graduated on from that make sure you keep enough fluids in them. They get dehydrated SO quickly out in the heat. That goes for you too!! Especially if you are breast feeding.
- I think this post goes with out saying… use sun block!! Check with your pediatrician on when you can use it but in any event make sure to keep them out of the sun weather by shade, clothes or sun block.
- Bring age appropriate entertainment. We always brought a swing which worked wonders on a fussy hot baby that didn’t want to sleep or be held. He LOVED the swing at the beach. As he got older we played in the sand with him and built sand castles.
A few other things that I found interesting but have not yet tried out are on this blog are taking a baby bath tub to the beach. The only reason that I have not tried it is because I didn’t have/use a baby bathtub, but if I had one I would try this! http://blessedservant.blogspot.com/2012/08/babyvacationbeachwhat-was-i-thinking.htm