A friend and I were recently playing “Remember When?” where we reminisce about life before we had children. It’s all in fun, and of course it’s only half joking, but we got to talking about the beach. “Remember when all you needed to go to the beach was a towel, disc man, and a water bottle.
These days, our toddlers require just a bit more gear than that. I’ve managed a few dozen trips with my kids (almost 3 years and 9 months) and wanted to share a few tips and tricks I’ve learned for taking a baby to the beach.
If you have a long(ish) walk to get to the beach – be it on the street or once you hit the sand, I one million percent recommend a jogging stroller. The bike-like tires push through the sand so much easier than anything else I’ve tried, like a wagon or regular stroller. (We have a beach cart with the huge plastic tires, but they aren’t designed for babies.) We love our Bob stroller!
I don’t use baby powder when changing diapers at home – my kids don’t usually need it, plus it’s not good for babies as they may inhale the powder. For older children and for the beach though, I buy the biggest bottles they sell because we go through a ton of it! For whatever reason, baby powder gets sand off. And if your kids hate the feeling of being covered in sand as much as mine do, then this tip is life-changing! Just rub the baby powder onto the sandy skin and the sand will wipe right off.
Babies have such delicate skin, and I make a big effort to protect their skin by keeping them shaded. You can shop around for the style you like (pop up or poles) and in your price range, but I definitely recommend having a tent for them. We started using the Sportsbrella this summer and have been very happy with it. In my dream world, this is even where my baby would nap – you know, if they’d nap on the beach!
Muslin Swaddle Blanket
These breathable muslin cotton blankets are fantastic for the beach! They can be a lightweight nursing cover, a blanket to sit and play on, or another barrier to protect baby from the elements.
Baby Bath Tub / Pool
I don’t think this one is a necessity, but file it under “nice to have” if you have the means to bring it with you. I love to bring our inflatable infant tub/pool (depending on the size of the baby) to fill with some sea water. This offers a great spot to cool off, splash around, and rinse your own hands!
Babies are unpredictable, this we already know. Sometimes you can plan all day and still not be able to control how your baby will handle the new environment. Maybe they’ll be on a nursing / nap / food strike. Maybe they’ll be cutting teeth and miserable. Maybe they’ll be the happiest they’ve ever been. It’s important to stay flexible and not get frustrated. You might get to your spot, unpack, get settled and sit down to find you have to leave because your baby hates the sand! It happens. Remember – there’s always next year 🙂