Any time you are going to leave the house with your baby, especially if you're a new parent, the task can be a bit daunting. After all, it seems like everyone around you is determined to give you advice that they swear is the best and only way to go. So how in the world are you supposed to know what things you actually need at the beach when you have a baby and what's just going to be taking up valuable real estate in your baby bag and car?
Whether you've grown up around water or you enjoy taking vacations where the beach is involved, no level of experience can adequately prepare you for the difference between splashing in the waves with just friends and going to the beach with your baby. Don't get me wrong. There is plenty of fun in the sun to be had with your child, but it's probably just going to be different than what you're used to.
From sand sticking to your baby's little piggies and worrying about sunburns to packing a sufficient amount of snacks and praying you don't mess up their napping schedule, a lot can go into planning for the beach. Check out these items for your next surf and sand adventure to keep things simple and stress-free for you and your baby.
1. Invest In Portable Shade
From affordable umbrellas to more spacious tents, having a sun-free area for your child to play or take a break in is always a great idea.
2. Baby Powder
Not only is baby powder good for absorbing moisture and preventing diaper rashes, but when you rub a handful of it over any sandy areas on your baby's skin, it will painlessly come right off.
Ideally, you can apply sunscreen before you head to the beach so you don't have to worry about wrangling your child who is all too excited to just dash out and play. But just because you slathered them in SPF once doesn't mean you're done. Keep sunscreen on hand for necessary touch-ups after they go in the water, get sweaty, or if it's been more than an hour.
4. Toys (But Keep It Minimal)
Though it may seem like a fun idea to load your vehicle up with a variety of toys, bouncers, play mats, and more, it could be too much. Once your child is old enough to play on their own, things might be different. But for now, only bring along the toys you know your baby will likes to play with.
5. Protective Wear
Even though sunscreen is always a good thing to have on hand, the more skin you can cover, the less you have to worry about it getting burned. Thankfully, there are plenty of options nowadays from breathable shirts to hats and sunglasses with straps.
If duct tape is the jack-of-all-trades for the repairs world, then towels are the Swiss Army Knife of beach preparedness. How ever many you think you need, take more. I usually bring 2 large towels (1 for sitting and 1 for back-up), 2 towels per person, then a couple extra. You never know what spills or catastrophes can happen, and towels are a great things to have extra of.
7. A Wagon
Wagons, like the kind you had when you were a kid, are designed with wheels perfect for sandy conditions. So not only can your little one enjoy the ride, but you can use the wagon to carry all your bulky things to and from your car while your hands are free.
8. Containers Wtih Pacifiers
Few things are worse than your baby having a meltdown because their favorite pacifier is floating away in the ocean or they dropped their bottle and the nipple is coated in sand. This can all be avoided if you bring containers to store your clean, emergency pacis and nipples.
9. A Well-Packed Cooler
The key to bringing a cooler to the beach isn't so much what you put in it, but how you pack it. Place frozen water bottles as a substitute for ice on the bottom, beverages and food on top of that, and things you want to keep dry or protected in bags on top of everything.
10. Bright Colors
Whether it's towels, clothing, or umbrellas, you can use your brightly colored belongings to keep track of your items and for other family members to easily spot you.
11. Resealable Bags
Clear baggies are perfect for keeping your phone dry and small belongings clean and safe. They can also be used to temporarily store messy or soiled items so they don't get other things dirty.