Heading to the beach is a great way to spend a fun day out with the family. Whether you’re on vacation or you’re just heading to a local beach, there’s nothing better than relaxing in the sun and taking a swim in the sea while the kids play in the sand. But going to the beach with a baby can be quite tricky. You need to make sure that you are well prepared and you have everything you need to keep your baby safe and comfortable throughout the day. If you are not prepared, you may be forced to cut your beach trip short.
If you are planning a trip to the beach with your baby this summer, make sure you keep these tips in mind.
Protect Their Skin
This is the most important thing to remember when taking your baby to the beach. The whole family needs to protect their skin but it’s essential for babies because their skin is very sensitive. If they get burned by the sun, they will be in a lot of pain and it can do some serious long term damage if they are constantly exposed to too much sun. People don’t always realize it but just one instance of blistering sunburn as a child can drastically increase the risk of skin cancer in later life, so you can’t afford to take any chances.
So, make sure that you have plenty of sunscreen and you buy products that are specifically formulated for babies. You should always follow baby sunscreen safety advice and if your child is under 6 months old, only use a very small amount of sunscreen on exposed areas. Their skin is incredibly sensitive and if you apply too much sunscreen, you could cause rashes and irritation.
Ideally, you should cover your baby’s skin as much as possible with long sleeves and pants. Get them a hat to cover their face and head from the sun too. You can then apply small amounts of sunscreen on exposed areas to make extra sure that their skin is protected.
Find Some Shade
Finding shaded areas is crucial when you are taking your baby to the beach. This is partly to protect their skin from sun damage, but it is also to manage their temperature. If you plan to spend the whole day sitting on the beach and the weather is warm, your baby can quickly overheat. So, before you head to the beach, see if you can hire an umbrella or parasol while you are there. If you cannot, you need to take your own with you. At the hottest point of the day, it might be worth finding somewhere like a cafe to sit inside and have a cold drink so everybody can avoid overheating. You should also invest in an umbrella stroller, so when you are walking around, your baby has plenty of shade.
Throughout the day, you should watch out for signs of heatstroke in your baby. If they are very thirsty, they lose their appetite, or they are very irritable, those are all signs that they are overheating and you need to get them out of the sun right away.
Keep Them Hydrated
Hydrating is also very important if you want to avoid heat stroke and keep your baby happy and healthy in the warm weather. Babies between the ages of 6 and 11 months should drink a modest amount of water, but you need to adjust for the hot weather. Try to increase their average water intake by about 50% when you are on the beach because they will get dehydrated much faster. Try to keep the water as cool as possible to keep their body temperature down too. You may want to consider bringing a cooler with some ice packs along to the beach so you have a constant supply of cold water.
Pack Some Baby Powder
Sand always manages to get everywhere when you’re on the beach, and this is a big problem for your baby. Lots of sand on their skin can be irritating and if you are trying to rub it off, this can damage their sensitive skin. The good news is, baby powder is great at getting sand off their skin gently without causing any soreness. It’s also good for diaper rash, so pack plenty of baby powder and use it to gently brush sand from your baby’s skin. However, be aware that babies should not breathe baby powder in, which can be a problem when you are using a lot of it to clear up sand. Some people like to use cornstarch as a safer alternative because it still has the same effect.
Get Swim Diapers
You need to protect your baby at the beach, but don’t forget to let them have some fun too. Your first trip to the beach with your baby is a great memory, and you want to be able to enjoy every aspect of it with them, including the ocean. Naturally, you shouldn’t go swimming in deep water with your baby because it’s very dangerous, but you can take them to dip their feet in and watch the waves coming in. However, you need to be prepared for them to get wet, which means buying some swim diapers. Normal diapers will absorb too much water and the gel part can burst out. Swim diapers have waterproof layers and they are more absorbent, so they can handle plenty of excess moisture. They’re also machine washable, so you only need to buy them once and then you’re prepared for every beach trip in the future. If you don’t invest in swim diapers and you try to make do with normal ones, you’ll spend half your day changing them when they soak up too much water.
Let Them Explore
Parents often get worried about taking their baby to the beach for the first time so they stay attached to them and don’t let them explore. But if you don’t give them a chance to get to know their surroundings, they’ll miss out on all of the fun. Obviously, you need to keep an eye on them and don’t let them wander off too far, but you should still let them play in the sand. Bring a bucket and spade with you and teach them how to make their first sandcastle. Simple things like digging are a lot of fun with babies, so give them a little plastic spade and they’ll be entertained for hours.
A lot of parents also like to bring a small blowup pool with them to the beach. It’s a great way to let your baby explore and stay cool without worrying about where they are. You don’t necessarily need to fill it with water either, you can blow it up and put some sand in so they can play around with it in a safe environment.
Your first trip to the beach with your baby is a very special day and there’s lots of fun to be had. But it’s so important that you think about safety before anything else. Your baby needs to be protected from the sun because any damage to their skin when they are young could lead to serious problems later. Managing their body temperature is also important if you want to avoid heat stroke. Once you have taken care of their safety, you can focus on building sandcastles and splashing around in the sea together. Just remember to take plenty of photos to look back on in years to come.