A day at the beach can feel like major military manuevers when you have a baby. A little bit of planning and organization can keep the day fun and care free for everybody. Here are some tips for training up the next generation of beach bums...
1. Dress the part - Our little model here has the right idea here. A wide brimmed hat will keep the sun off delicate skin areas like ears and the back of the neck. Baby sunglasses will protect little eyes from UV rays while staying in place.
2. Sun protection - It's always best to get your pediatrician's advice but the American Academy of Dermatology recommends that children over 6 months of age use a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Parents need to apply sunscreen generously and be sure to apply at least every 2 hours and after spending time in the water. Set the alarm on your phone to remind you to reapply.
Infants younger than 6 months needs be kept in shade out of direct sunlight. If you're worries about sunscreens, there is also the option of sun protective clothing and beach gear.
3. The Right Shoes - Hot sand can burn delicate baby feet, not to mention shells and stones. Sandals or flip flops may look cute but do not provide the same protection as water shoes.
4. Pitch a tent - A small tent can provide escape from the sun, the wind and if need be, the rain. It can also help to create a semi sand free zone.
5. Take a pool to the Beach - This may sound silly but a small inflatable, baby pool will give your baby a fun splash zone free of waves. Bring along a couple of collapsable kitchen measure cups or collanders and you have hours of easily totable play fun.
6. Stay Hydrated - Plan ahead. Get an insulated, cooler bag and fill it with frozen juice boxes and water bottles. It's a great spot for picnic snacks, nibbles and baby food. It's also easy to carry back when you're done. If you're a nursing mom, make sure you pack extra liquids for you. Get your pediatrician's advice about supplementing your baby's fluid intake too.
7. Diaper Bag Secret - Besides your normal bag of diaper changing tricks - did you know a little corn starch can be used to rid body parts of pesky sand. Sprinkle it onto to dry sandy feet and simply brush the sand off.
8. Keep It Together - Try not to spread out too much. Keep all your beach gear as organized as possible in case you need to make a quick exit.
9. Forget perfection - There's a good chance that your baby will poop at the most in opportune time or eat sand. It happens. You will all survice.
10. Smile! - Imperfection often makes the most photographic of precious memories. Keep your sense of humor. Days at the beach will get easier.