Tips for Beach Days With Baby
- Bring your own shade & sand-free mat to the beach for babies
- Put on babies sunscreen & suits at home
- A light dusting of baby powder dusting helps remove beach sand
- Pack as lightly as you can for family beach days
- The right snacks, as always, are essential for family beach days
Whether it be sweat, tears, or the sea, we believe saltwater cures everything in our family. Sitting beside an ocean or lake is calming and invigorating, and a day at the beach with your little ones need not be stressful. Okay, there might be a tiny bit of stress!
As regular beachgoers, here are our tried and tested hacks for having a great day by the sea.
Tip #1: Bring your own beach shade for your baby.
A good beach tent for babies is essential if you want to make a day of it. Make sure to buy one that is straightforward to put up and, even more importantly, takedown. If you've ever seen (or been!) a parent fighting with a beach tent, you know what we mean. For us, it also needs to stand up firmly against sea breezes and pack away small. We like this beach tent for babies.
Younger babies who are not yet crawling can hang out or take a nap in the tent, while toddlers can use it as a place to take a break from the sun or have a snack.
Tip #2: Put on baby's sunscreen and swimsuit before getting in the car to go to the beach.
Since sunscreen should be applied at least twenty minutes before going out in the sun anyways, we do it before getting in the car. Plus, it's much easier chasing a toddler around your sand-free house than it is to wrangle one who can see the beach and is desperate to get out of the car. We also recommend putting on swimsuits at home for potty-trained little ones.
Tip #3: A dusting of baby powder helps remove beach sand after a day at the beach.
Sprinkle some baby powder on your little one's skin before getting in the car after the beach, rub it around, and watch the sand fall off. No more uncomfortable car rides home and no more (ok, less) sandy car.
Pediatricians no longer recommend using baby powder on infants. However, this is because of the inhalation risk when using baby powder for every diaper change. Using it outdoors dramatically reduces the chance of your baby inhaling particles, and you can cut that risk further by using corn starch rather than talcum-based powders. Corn starch has a larger particle size making it less of a threat to a baby's airways.
Tip #4: Take a sand-free beach mat for your baby.
Are you noticing a trend of reducing the amount of sand you have to deal with? We place a sand-free mat on top of our regular picnic blanket. The sand falls through the top mat, and therefore there is less where you sit. Of course, at the beach, there's no such thing as no sand, but every little bit helps :)
Tip #5: Skip the beach chairs & ideas for packing light for family beach days.
I mean, can we all just admit we're not going to sit in a chair when we're at the beach with toddlers, so why lug them? We like to bring as little as possible to the beach.
Here's our list:
- Bucket, a few spades, shovels, and plastic beach toys (older toddlers can help carry these)
- Baby beach tent
- Picnic blanket and sand mat
- Small cooler with drinks and snacks
- A packet of wipes and 1-2 spare diapers
- A change of clothes for each child (sometimes we leave these in the car, it depends how far away the beach is)
- For babies who need support when eating, we love this camping baby booster chair.
- A small bag with a phone, keys, baby powder. We like zippered, reusable, silicone bags like Stasher Bags.
Tip #6: Snacks, snacks, and more snacks for family beach days!
A complete "meal" is complicated at the beach. Again, who wants to eat sand? Easy, convenient, and filling snacks are so much better. Of course, our puffs are great beach snacks! We also usually bring some fruit and easy sandwiches like mashed avocado or good 'ole PB&J. We also like to keep snacks in the car to avoid a hangry car ride home.
Last but not least, for a fun beach day is setting expectations. You likely will not sit down, and you may spend longer driving there and back than you do at the beach. But when you are there, inhale that sea air and soak up the joy on their little faces as they splash through the waves and make sandcastles. That is the magic and what makes it all worthwhile!
From our families to yours,
Joana + Lauren