Holiday time has finally arrived! And the moment when some will go for the first time to the beach with their baby. Of course, the experience of the beach with a child changes radically. Instead of lounging under the tent, the books and the rackets, now you’ll be worried about the baby not getting sunburnt, not eating half a kilo of sand, not sneaking into the water and other entertaining “activities”. And yet, if you are properly prepared things are not so hopeless. It can still be a fun and enjoyable experience, not a hassle.
1. Be flexible
First of all, adjust your expectations of the phrase “beach day.” It might be “beach hour” or “beach five minutes” or “beach you are never allowed to leave.” Whatever it is, know that you probably will be baby-chasing or baby-rocking or baby-feeding more than you will be diving into the new Dan Brown novel. Don’t fight it. Accepting this will help.
2. Dig a shallow pit
This may sound weird, but some parents swear this is the way to go. Dig a circular “pit” about 30-50 cm deep and about a meter wide, toss a giant sheet over it and voila—instant playpen. That’s not to say you can leave baby there for hours, but it will buy you some moments in which he is not actively trying to eat sand or heading for the sea.
3. Bring lots of sunscreen
First, make sure the sunscreen is safe for babies. Apply 15 minutes before, and reapply after baby goes into water, and often in between. If baby is younger than six months, go easy with the sunscreen and just keep him/her out of the sun. Alternatively, use a swimsuit that has high sunlight protection— more coverage -> less sunscreen -> more relaxed parents.
4. Bring some gear
There’s a chance you’ll need the following to get through a baby beach day happy:
A beach tent. Baby can even nap in here if you keep it well-ventilated and cool.
Watershoes. If baby is walking either with or without you, shoes can help protect those tender toes and heels.
Swim diapers. Because you don’t want to stress that your baby will want to pee and you’ll start running out of the water, stumbling on rocks and pebbles.
A baby carrier. Wearing your baby for beach strolls is one of parenting’s finer pleasures.
5. Go at off-hours
If you get to the beach before 10am or after 4pm you’ll be skipping the day’s most powerful rays. Bonus: You may get more space and room to enjoy the beach.
6. Pack snacks
Whether you have a few months old baby or a semi-autonomous child, remember that children, like adults, become moody and grumble when hungry. Because your stay on the beach may be longer than you originally planned, take with you enough snacks and food, both for the children as well as for you. Because parents are people too…
How’s that even possible, you‘ll ask. Of course, you want to make sure your baby doesn’t eat too much sand. Also, fully supervise it in and near the water. That being said, it’s the beach! Smell the salty air, be soothed by the blue sea, feel the sun on your skin and enjoy watching your baby discover a world of sights, sounds, and textures.