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Summertime is here, which means that it’s time to break out the swimsuits and head to the beach!
If you’re a mom, though, you might be wondering how you can possibly enjoy a day in the sun when taking a baby to the beach.
It's no secret that having a baby can be a lot of work.
But just because you're a parent now doesn't mean you have to say goodbye to your summertime fun!
Here are some tips on how to have fun with your baby at the beach!
1. Pack Smart – and Early!
Packing up the car and loading everything but the kitchen sink into the trunk for a day at the beach with a baby can be quite the process.
Even more so if you are going on a beach vacation.
To make things easier, make a list beforehand and have it ready.
Pack your beach bag and load the car the night before.
Make sure to pack all of the baby essentials like diapers, swim diapers, wipes, extra clothes, non-toxic sunscreen, and hats.
You’ll also want to bring along some snacks and drinks for both you and your little one. Having a small cooler will come in handy here.
Next, a beach blanket to sit on, and beach towels to dry off with.
A beach umbrella or shade is essential, especially for a younger baby.
Finally, don’t forget to pack some beach toys to keep your baby entertained while you both enjoy the sun!
2. Fun Snacks Keep Baby Busy
Both you and your baby will probably get hungry while you're at the beach, so it's important to at least have some snacks and drinks with you.
Packing fruits and vegetables, crackers, and cheese sticks are all great options when taking a baby to the beach.
You can also bring along some baby-friendly snacks like teething biscuits, yogurt melts, and puffs.
For older babies, bring along some new foods for them to try. They will be entertained by the unique experience.
Be sure to pack plenty of water to ensure that everyone stays hydrated all day long – especially nursing moms!
If you are planning on being at the beach for more than a couple of hours, pack a lunch.
If you want to avoid packing a lot of food, there are other options too.
You could always pack some money and stop by a local beach cafe or grab carryout from a restaurant on the way.
3. Choose Your Beach Wisely
Some beaches are more family-friendly than others.
Find out which beaches in your area have amenities like lifeguards, playgrounds, and picnic areas.
If you're looking for a secluded spot where you can relax in peace, avoid tourist traps and crowded beaches.
Do some research online or ask locals for recommendations of quieter beaches in the area.
Once you've found your beach of choice, arrive early to snag a good spot.
4. Set Up Camp
Once you arrive at the beach, find a spot that’s close to amenities and away from any potential hazards like high waves and foot traffic.
When it comes to setting up shop at the beach, shade is key.
You'll want to find a spot that has some natural protection from the sun in order to stay cool and avoid getting sunburned.
If there's no natural shade available, bring along your own umbrella or pop-up tent to create your own oasis.
Spread out your towel or blanket and let your baby explore their new surroundings while keeping a close eye on them at all times.
When taking a baby to the beach, a separate space to keep your baby contained is also a lifesaver.
A pack-n-play type tent can offer your baby shade, a safe space to play, and a comfortable place to nap.
While this is not so much an issue for newborns, a mobile baby will enjoy exploring and being independent in their own tent.
Most importantly, make sure your baby is safe at the beach.
5. Play with Your Baby at the Beach
Just because you're at the beach doesn't mean your baby can't enjoy their favorite toys.
Toys from home like solid silicone teethers are great for the beach as they are washable and can't get water or sand stuck inside them.
If your baby doesn't have a set of sand toys, now is the time to grab them! Pack them in a mesh bag for easy clean-up and drying.
Buckets and shovels are great for babies to grab, and of course, put in their mouths. Show your baby how to fill the bucket and build a sand castle.
Small beach balls or stacking cup bath toys are also easy toys for babies to enjoy at the beach.
Mobile babies will also love playing in a hole dug in the sand.
They can safely sit in the water and play with it at their level – it's like a little bathtub!
Use a baby carrier to take your baby on beach walks. Point out different things like birds, waves, and seashells.
6. Transition Often
Depending on their age and how active your baby is, you'll want to include many activities at the beach.
Transition from different activities often – play in the water for a few minutes, then come back to your blanket for a snack.
Dig in the sand, and then go for a walk on the beach.
Keeping your baby, and yourself, occupied will make your day easier.
If your little one gets cranky, try taking them for a walk in their stroller around the parking lot.
If they are getting tired, give them a chance to nap in their carrier or beach tent.
Even though taking a baby to the beach takes some extra effort, it's still possible to have a great time.
Enjoy the fresh air and beautiful scenery, and make some amazing memories with your little one.
7. Take breaks
Trying to keep up with an active baby on the beach all day long can be exhausting!
Make sure to take breaks throughout the day so that you can recharge your batteries.
If you start feeling overwhelmed, don't hesitate to ask your partner or family member to watch your baby for a few minutes so you can catch your breath.
This allows each parent can get some time to relax in the sun or take a dip in the water.
If you are alone with your baby on the beach, having a safe spot to put your baby while you rest is important.
Taking a Baby to the Beach
A day at the beach with a baby doesn’t have to be stressful – with a little planning ahead, it can actually be quite enjoyable!
Just remember to choose the right beach, pack smart, set up camp in a safe place, and take breaks throughout the day.
Most importantly, enjoy this time to play with your baby.
Before you know it, you and your little one will be making lifelong memories together!