A day at the beach is one of our favourite things to do. From building (and breaking) sandcastles to splashing around in the sea, our baby loves every moment spent at the beach. And although I spend beach days chasing my baby away from the ocean and stopping him from eating handfuls of sand – a family day out at the beach is still lots of fun!
Here are our top ten tips for taking your baby to the beach.
1. Slip slop slap
Protecting your little one from the sun is extremely important, especially when going on a beach holiday. Try to go to the beach early in the morning or late in the afternoon – not only will this avoid peak sun exposure, but you may also avoid the crowds if you are lucky. Apply sunscreen before you get to the beach, so that you are not trying to rub it on your little one while they are covered in sand. We found the Banana Boat® Baby Sunscreen was gentle for our baby while still being very effective. Make sure that you pop a hat onto your baby too – a hat with a chin strap meant that our little one kept his hat on for much longer.
2. One onesie, two benefits
My husband had the brilliant idea of dressing our baby in a long-sleeve full-leg Bonds® onesie to play on the beach. Not only did this give our baby full sun protection, but it also meant no sand got into his nappy at all! We found that this worked really well on holiday when we were just going to the beach to have a quick play in the sand. (We dressed our baby in his swimming clothes whenever we took him in the ocean – but yet again, I love the full piece UV swimsuits as it keeps the sand out. Try to find a full piece swimsuit with nappy clips at the bottom to make nappy change time a lot easier).
3. Bring a tent
If you are planning on spending a few hours at the beach with your baby, bring a beach tent. It provides the perfect place to have a snack and gives you a cool shaded spot for baby to take a sleep. We found that after playing in the water and on the sand, our little one was exhausted. The soothing sounds of the ocean lulled him to sleep and meant that we could enjoy some time to relax at the beach too.
4. Stock up on snacks
Be sure to bring plenty of snacks to the beach for everyone. I found that making individual home-made fruit cups with bite-sized pieces of fruit was a refreshing snack – bring some forks to avoid sticky sandy hands. It’s also important that everyone stays well-hydrated (especially any breastfeeding mummies at the beach). Save space in your cooler bag by freezing extra water bottles to use as ice blocks. They serve a dual purpose of keeping your food and drinks chilled, and you have extra water in case you need it.
5. Baby carriers and the beach
I love taking a long walk on the beach. I can listen to the waves crashing and take in the refreshing salty air. And thanks to my baby carrier, I can happily do this with my baby in tow! I used a Hug a Bub® carrier when our baby was younger and he was so cosy that he would fall asleep for our walk. Now that he is older and likes to enjoy the views, we use an Ergo 360 Air® – allowing our little one to face forward and see the sights. So, do yourself a favour, invest in a great baby carrier and avoid trying to navigate a stroller through the sand.
6. Leave your nappy bag behind
Nappy bags have come a long way from their frumpy predecessors and are now seen as a stylish yet functional accessory for parents. I absolutely love my beautiful Mimco® nappy bag, so I don’t want it filled with sand from a day out at the beach. Just bring the essentials to the beach – my Skip Hop Pronto Changing Station® is perfect! I pop in two swimming nappies and two normal nappies, along with some nappy sacks and wipes. All snacks, sippy cups and sunscreen are kept cool in the cooler bag. And spare clothes and towels are put together in a big tote bag that can be easily carried.
7. Get creative with beach toys
Our little one LOVES the sand and can happily spend hours digging away and smashing sandcastles. The classic bucket and spade is a must for every baby beachgoer. But why not get creative and add a few other simple toys into the mix? We found that taking a few of our bath and kitchen toys made playing at the beach even more fun. And the best part is that they are compact and hardly take up any space. Try things like measuring cups and plastic bath boats. Your baby can enjoy playing with them in a new environment, which adds to the excitement.
8. Take travel-size toiletries
We are lucky here in Australia that we have amazing beach facilities, including great outdoor beach showers. If we go to the beach for a daytrip or a weekend away, we always keep a mini travel-size body wash in our beach bag. A quick rinse at the outdoor beach shower is the simplest way to get rid of all of the sand. The body wash helps to remove any sticky sunscreen residue and makes it easier for the sand to wash off. If your little one doesn’t like the shower, it works just as well rinsing them off by the tap. The best bit – no loose sand all throughout the car.
9. Bring a bottle of baby powder
If you have no success in trying to rinse your little ones off thoroughly before getting them to the car or hotel, try this magic trick. Sprinkle baby powder onto your hand (or use a natural alternative like cornstarch) and then rub it over their hands and feet – then just dust off the loose sand. This little trick works wonders as the powder absorbs the excess moisture and allows the sand to come off easily. *Please take care and choose either a talc-free baby powder (like Burts Bees Dusting Powder®) or use cornstarch to avoid your little one inhaling any potentially dangerous particles from talc.
10. Go Turkish
Turkish towels are my new favourite item for the beach. Stylish, ultra-absorbent, quick-drying – and the best part – super compact! The thinner weave of a Turkish towel means that they are light-weight yet still very absorbent, making it the perfect beach towel for your whole family. Use it as a towel, picnic rug, sarong or even a nursing cover.
What are your favourite tips for going to the beach with your baby? I’d love to hear from you. Please comment below.
*The products mentioned in this review are purely products that I love and recommend. Please be assured that I was not paid to recommend any of these products