We love a good beach day, but sometimes, the thought of the hassle of it – especially with an infant – can outweigh the promise of sea and sunshine. Sand that gets everywhere, sticky sandy hands after a warm, messy picnic, the battle of suncream…sometimes it just doesn’t seem worth it.
But going to the beach with a baby doesn’t have to be a chore! Take it from mums who have been there and done that. We collected their best tips, tricks and hacks for surviving a beach day with a baby, making their experience more comfortable and your day a whole lot easier!
One of the most annoying tings about trying to coordinate beach day? Sand getting all over the kids who then trek it all back to car, making a huge mess that never fully gets cleaned up. But a hack that’s especially good for babies that mums are sharing on the internet is talc powder to remove sand! Skip dipping them in the sea -and then getting sandy and wet on the way back up to the car anyway. Simply sprinkle talc powder to quickly and painlessly shuck all the sand straight off their legs!
Feeding on the beach
Feeding at the beach, especially with babies younger than six months can be a chore. For mums breastfeeding for the first time, it can seem a little overwhelming, to be so public and with nowhere to go off in private to do it. Mums shared that some of them bring along small tents for a little privacy, while other ask their partner for support to lean back against for comfort and convenience. For babies who are formula feeding, there are ready-made cartons of formula available that can be brought along in a cooler bag.
This is a contentious one, as some say babies shouldn’t wear sunscreen due to the fragility of their skin. To be on the safe side, skip the sunscreen and instead dress babies under six months in light clothing that covers their skin and keep them out of direct sunlight using bucket hats, little shade tents or a parasol.
For older children who turn sunscreen application time into a battlefield, one mum shared that she likes to use a large, fluffy makeup brush to apply their sunscreen, as the texture is soft and manageable for them and they don’t struggle as much.
Keep it short
Certainly for the first while, don’t bank on spending the entire day at the beach with your little one. New parents need to give them selves and baby a chance to adapt to the new environment and it’s challenges and it’s not feasible for a new baby to be out in the heat, sights and sounds of a beach for the entire day. Go slowly and build up the amount of time you spend there and be sure to have a café with restrooms nearby for your convenience.
Travel changing mat
For the younger ones, a travel changing mat is a great investment. There aren’t always going to be changing stations wherever you go and sometimes all they need is a quick wipe and change. The travel mats roll up neatly, have everything you need and make it a more comfortable experience for everyone.
Fitted sheet playpen
This genius hack was discovered by a mum who was sick of sand flying over everything on the towels and her newly-crawling baby zooming out of sight the second her back was turned. By bringing along a fitted sheet, you can create a playpen of sorts by placing heavy objects in the corner to stretch it out and create a barrier between baby and the beach, keeping them sand-free and where they’re supposed to be.
Mesh bag for toys
Another great hack for mums who are sick of bringing half the beach home with them in the car; investing in a mesh laundry bag of some sort can be a really useful thing to have with you at the beach before dumping all the sandy toys, towels and swimsuits back in the boot. By chucking them all in the laundry basket beforehand and giving them a good shake before putting it in the car, you can shake out a lot of the sand before it all falls of in the car.
Ziploc or plastic bags for collecting wet swimsuits, wet towels or anything else that got a good soaking in the sea is super handy when you’re towelling everyone off before they hop into the back seats. Save your upholstery (and yourself) the hassle and stains.