I have quite a few thoughts on this topic. So I’ve been dragging my sandy feet on writing this post. Piper, my oldest beach baby has been by beach buddy since she was 3 weeks old. The lucky island girl was dipped into one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Magen’s Bay in the Virgin Islands. She’s been to a few more on that list since then and hopefully will visit the rest before long. Piper has only lived on islands. We lived in the Virgin Islands until she was 5, with a gap year to live on the Greek Island of Kerkyra. When she had to start real school, we moved to our current island in sunny South Carolina. Piper loves the water, she surfs and sails.
The brothers Oli and Milo are following in her beach baby footprints. We try to visit the beach weekly with them. So here are my top 5 beach baby tips from an Island Mom!
- Sun Protection! Put on sunblock before the beach. Then reapply often. Sun protection needs to cover all of their nooks and crannies. Baby scalps burn and crawling babies, the bottom of their sweet feet will burn easily! Another sun-protection tip! Sun protective swimwear & hats. Swimzip is a trusted brand created by a mom who beat skincancer. The line is colorful cute and lasts an entire summer with daily wear. I think we have her Euro-swimmies in every color.
- Every post I’ve seen on beach tips says to over-prepare and over-pack. Here I completely disagree. It’s fine to overpack and leave most at your condo or beach rental. But EVERYTHING you bring out to the beach, you have to bring back. That’s right, you will have to carry soggy sandy heavy beach blankets, towels, clothing, coolers, toys, garbage and more while dragging your cranky tired dirty kid off the beach. Pack light and leave some backup supplies in the car or on the condo porch. You need sunblock, towels / beach blanket, snacks, water, minimal toys, and one mobile phone (in a zippy bag) for emergencies. Beach loungers and music is nice, but let’s be serious you will be chasing a toddler up and down the beach for hours. A beach chair will just sit there and taunt you.
- Back to my minimal toys comment. Let me repeat, EVERYTHING you bring out to the beach you have to carry back. So why not just get each child their own beach bucket and shovel that they can carry and let them decorate their sandcastles with nature! Seaweed, seashells, reeds and other natural treasures make the best sand castles anyway!
- Take photos with your cell phone during the day and plan a sunset to bring out your camera. Leave that expensive camera at home, you have enough to worry about and it’s difficult to take a pretty photo on the beach in full sun. It’s way easier to go back to your condo / home and let the kids rest up at 4pm. Then take a relaxing beach walk in the evening with your camera, leaving all of your other beach essentials at home.
- Surrender. The beach is fun and relaxing. It’s also going to be crazy and messy. Your baby will eat sand, the next few diapers will be full of it – but it’s not dangerous. Splash and enjoy your family!
What are your favorite beach tips with babies and toddlers?
Have so much fun at the beach friends!