It?s beach season! Cue the beach music, pack the van, gas up the vehicle and we’re off!
We live about 20 minutes from the beach and spend a lot of time there during the summer. Last year, when I gave birth to my youngest child, I wondered how or if we?d have to stop our regular beach trips. I?ve found that, with a few modifications, my older children can still have some time at the beach.
We now arrive at the beach either very early in the morning, or later in the day. This is to avoid the heat of the day. We stay for a few hours, or until it?s apparent that my baby has had enough. I also scan the weather reports and try to pick a ?cooler? day of the week if possible. The best days are the ones which are slightly overcast. The sun isn?t so bright, the heat and humidity are quite so overpowering, and the beach seems to be less crowded too.
I realized that most sunscreen products are intended for babies over the age of 6 months. Therefore, it?s important to keep your baby out of the sun before you can use sunscreen products. Even though my son is now old enough technically to use sunscreen, I still prefer to keep him out of the sun rather than put chemicals on his skin. That is just my preference though.
While searching the baby store, I found a baby sun tent which I purchased. The tent is also a great place to nurse your baby when you are on the beach! If I set up the tent in just the right way, I found that I could get some air flow going through the tent which made it cooler for my son during our beach trips. He would also nap in the tent as well! The particular tent I have sets up and tears down very easily. The tent is also small enough to store in the trunk area of the van.
I also found swim shirts at many stores that sell infant clothing. These shirts cover up your child?s torso and are very lightweight. This reduces the area exposed to the sun, which helps ward off sunburn. I also use these for my girls even though they are older. They just wear the swim shirts over their swimsuit.
A wide brim hat with a chin strap is also important. These hats can be found in the clothing section of many stores and are a necessity for beach attire in my opinion. The hat helps keep sun off of baby?s head, which may or may not be covered with hair! The wide brim provides a little shade for the eyes and also protects the back of the neck from sun exposure.
I have never used sunglasses with my children when they were very young, because it seemed that they were all too eager to take them off and play with them more than they wanted to keep them on. Either they got lost, or somebody was getting poked in the eye. I have seen babies that really do like to wear the sunglasses though. If your child is one of these, by all means take advantage of this opportunity!