Are you planning a beach vacation with baby this summer? This year's trip to Destin, Gulf Shores, Pensacola, 30A, or your beach of choice might be different than before kids, but don't let that deter you from having a great time with your baby! Here are our Memphis doula Top 5 Tips for a beach vacation with baby:
Baby Beach Vacation Tip #1: The Magical Pop-Up Tent
If you're taking a beach vacation with baby, you might ask yourself questions like:
"What are we going to do for shade?" "What if baby is tired and needs a nap?" "What if we need some privacy or a quiet place to nurse?"
Enter the magical pop-up tent. A small two-person adult tent is inexpensive, portable, requires almost no setup, and takes care of several logistical problems you might have. If the sand isn't allowing you to stake your tent, bury it around the edges a bit and it'll hold up better than an umbrella or gazebo on a windy beach day. If your baby is tired and needs to take a nap, there won't be anywhere 100% sand-free, but the tent provides a safe place for a snooze. If you need to change a diaper, your clothes, or need privacy for any reason, you're all set. Don't feel like baring all when breastfeeding on the beach? No worries- slip into your tent for a nurse and a cuddle.
Baby Beach Vacation Tip #2: Beat the Heat
If it's possible, take your beach vacation with baby earlier in the season when the water is warm and the sun is, too! Avoiding scorching temps will mean baby is more comfortable and you get more of the beach time you love. If you can't go earlier in the season, hit the beach in the cooler parts of the day.
Baby Beach Vacation Tip #3: Don't Salt the Rim
Perhaps this is common sense already, but in the interest of full disclosure for your beach vacation with baby: if you are a breastfeeding mother who plans to both get in the ocean AND nurse your baby, it's a good idea to rinse off your breasts before latching on. You might love a salted rim on your beach cocktails, but your baby is unlikely to feel the same way! In addition to salt, a quick rinse with some bottled water will get rid of any sand lingering on your breast and make breastfeeding on the beach much more enjoyable for your baby.
Baby Beach Vacation Tip #4: Less isn't more when it comes to dressing baby
It can be difficult to keep sunscreen on a wriggling baby, and the less surface area you have to apply it on, the better. Baby bikinis and swim trunks are super adorable, but perhaps not the best choice if you plan on spending a long time at the beach. Consider a hat and a short-sleeve or long-sleeve rash guard shirt with a high UPF to keep baby protected from the sun. It might seem counter-intuitive to put pants on a baby on the beach, but some light cotton pants are easy to slip on over a swim diaper, will provide a little sun protection, and keep sand away from the diaper area. Covering up will keep baby protected and comfortable, and reduce the amount of sunscreen you need to apply.
Baby Beach Vacation Tip #5: Rethink the "essentials"
You can have a great beach vacation with baby without bringing every baby item you own with you. Aside from clothing, diapering supplies, and a place to sleep, your baby doesn't need much to have a good time. It's difficult to maneuver a stroller on sand, so consider leaving it behind in favor of a baby carrier. Some simple sand toys and the shells and other interesting textures you find on the beach will be entertainment enough. After all, the best part of a beach vacation with your baby is the time you spend together!
Do you have any more tips for taking a beach vacation with baby? Share with us in the comments!