I live in the Caribbean and recently made the move from Canada with a nine-month-old. So if there is one thing I know how to do, it's how to take a baby to the beach.
Here are my top five beach tips for taking your baby to the beach:
The Miracle Sand Remover
Baby powder or corn starch is like a magic show in removing sand. Sprinkle little feet and bodies with the stuff, and voila! It wipes right off and not in that grainy leftover way a rinse in the bucket does. I have even been known to force marginally interested adults into trying this trick. Always a show stopper!
Protect that Skin
Shade is the fail-safe but when it is time to wander out, sunscreen or coverings are the golden rule for the golden sun. Invest in decent rash guards, and maybe a spare in a size or two larger for a bit more coverage for beach play, and brimmed hats (for mummy, too). I'm fair-skinned and my daughter inherited my un-swarthy skin, so I really have to be on top of sun protection. Sadly on occasion, a strange half hand print where I missed a spot on my daughter appears. When I recover from the parental shame of this, I reach for the tried and true burn soothing aloe vera lotion, but it is also great to grab a stalk of the actual plant and apply the fleshy insides. And check out these surprising natural sunburn remedies.
Grab a Bucket
Being out on the open water is great, but sometimes enjoying the water with a baby is limited because of the full sun exposure. Consider bringing a bucket, filling it with the water, and placing it back in the shade of your umbrella where you can carefully supervise your baby and enjoy the scenery while baby delights in a nice cool outdoor bath.
Throw Some Shade
A portable umbrella or sun tent works great or bring a large blanket or sheet to drape over branches. I have a blanket made of parachute material. It works great, it bunches up into a nice compact pouch, is quick drying, and sand comes off easily. Necessity is the author of invention, and I assume one too many sandy backseats of damp and gritty towels helped the inventors dream up this one.
Take a Beach Bag with Holes
Buy a beach toy bag with a mesh bottom. There are tons of cute and collapsible options nowadays (even in bucket form!) but you could use any mesh bag (laundry, onion, etc.). The old standby beach toys are great—like shovels or sifters—but occasionally try to add something new like an empty berry basket to collect shells or sea glass. One day my mother in law even prepared a mini pirate chest to hide and a burnt at the edges treasure map for my little one to follow much to my daughters wide eyed delight.
Pack this all up, and you are beach and sunshine ready!
*Warning: Babies will eat sand which will reappear in the diaper. Best to know this ahead of time.