Going to the Beach with Baby: A Checklist

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Going to the Beach with Baby

The beach can be an exciting family outing. It’s full of new sights and sounds for your little one, and the water and sand are an unlimited source of fun – and Mom and Dad might even snag a couple seconds to relax, too! Taking your kids to the beach for the first time is likely to be a very different experience from adults going alone, but it’s still worth it to make those memories with your family. Here are some things you absolutely can’t forget to pack when going to the beach with baby.

  1. Swimsuits and diapers – You’ll want a second swimsuit in case of accidents, just like any other set of clothes. Swim diapers are a good option for the water, but they’re primarily designed to hold in solid messes, so don’t forget regular diapers for when you’re not in the water!
  2. Sun protection – Obviously, protection from the sun is a must. When in doubt, ask your pediatrician to help you find a sunscreen that’s safe for baby. There are stick-applicator and spray-on sunscreens to help you get through applying it without getting goo in your child’s eyes or missing a crucial spot. Wide-brimmed hats are another good sun protection measure, and sunglasses are another must – make sure they provide real UV protection!
  3. Towels – At least two per person, one to sit on and one to dry off with.
  4. Beach umbrella or tent – You can’t rely on the beach you go to having umbrellas or shaded areas available for public use, and both you and your child will probably want to get out of the hot sun sooner or later.
  5. Beach sandals – Not all beaches are covered in soft sand, and even the ones that are occasionally have sharper pieces of seashell and the like in the water. Flip-flops or sandals that are designed for use in the water will help keep baby’s feet safe.
  6. Baby powder and wipes – Even if baby powder isn’t a usual feature in your diaper routine, invest in some for your beach trip. It’ll get all that sticky sand off your whole family in a jiffy! As for wipes, you’ll want some of them, or some hand sanitizer, if you plan to have a snack break on the beach – who knows where that sand and water has been?
  7. Snacks – Speaking of snacks, odds are good your little one will get hungry before you’re ready to leave the beach. Running around on the shore and playing in the water takes up a lot of energy, and they’ll need to replenish it!
  8. Plastic bags – At minimum, you’re going to have a lot of wet, sandy clothes and towels to put back in the car at the end of your time on the beach. At worst, you might have to pack up soiled clothes after a potty accident. Bring several plastic bags, just in case – either way, they’ll help contain the mess.
  9. Insect repellent – Beaches aren’t immune from biting bugs! If you’re unsure which one to get, ask your pediatrician for recommendations.
  10. Blanket – You can bring a blanket as an alternative to a towel for sitting on, but if your little one needs a nap, you’ll probably want one to go over them as well. If you’re still nursing, this can double as a privacy cover during the meal.
  11. Toys – In addition to your child’s usual assortment, any good outing to the beach needs a shovel and bucket. Many stores have an even bigger assortment of sand and pool toys to choose from. If you’re low on space, buy the sand toys right before you go to the beach.
  12. Swimming safety – Depending on your little one’s age, different flotation devices will be appropriate. Do your research before you buy one, but definitely remember water safety, and don’t let your toddlers play in the ocean alone!
  13. Beach chairs – Optional, but both you and baby might be glad for something to sit in that isn’t directly on top of the sand.
  14. Change of clothes – Accidents aside, cooler or warmer weather than you expected can put a damper on your plans! Make sure your child has a sweater on hand, just in case, as well as a backup outfit that isn’t their other swimsuit.
  15. Camera – How else are you going to preserve your memories of this trip? Be sure to protect your camera well, as sand or water getting into its inner workings can utterly destroy it. Plastic bags are a lifesaver in this department! If your camera needs multiple lenses, be sure your hands are completely clean and free of sand BEFORE you change them, and store the extras inside a plastic bag.
FILED UNDER: Attachment Parenting, Staying attached
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