When taking a baby to the beach for the first time, it is completely natural to be worried about the logistics and safety of your baby. There are certainly things you need to be careful of, to protect your little one.
There is however, no reason to skip a beach holiday, if you have a small baby at home. Nevertheless, we do recommend you consult with your pediatrician about when your baby is ready to take their first flight or spend some time at the beach. This is the sole decision of each parent, and will also depend on the health and condition of each individual baby.
If you decide, you are ready, here are a few tips for what to do and pack that can minimize your worry.
To start with, we suggest you travel at the beginning or end of summer, when the temperatures are not too high.
Sun: The days we used to compete with our friends about who will come home with a darker tan from holidays, are over. Nowadays, most of us protect our skin from the sun, especially when it comes to little children.
The most obvious item you need to pack is sun protection. Choose a sunscreen which is designed especially for small babies, with SPF 50+ (UVB+UVA) with no perfume or harmful chemicals. Put sunscreen on any area that is not covered by clothes and use repeatedly, especially after swimming.
You can boost the sun protection by making sure that any area not covered by sunscreen is covered by clothes that already include UV filter inside. There are various swimsuits, hats, and swim diapers available on the market from UPF 50+ fabric. You might still be able to catch some summer sales on now, and get them at a discounted price, for next year.
You can also add sunglasses, but most babies will probably take them off and try to “eat” them instead.
Do not expose your baby to direct sun. When spending time on the beach, stay in the shade as much as possible. If there is no shade on the beach where you are going, then create it yourself. We just fell in love with a pop up tent which already includes SPF 40. It doesn’t only protect the baby from the sun, but it also creates private space for playing or having a nap, and it’s much more manageable for parents to watch a crawling baby too. It is easy to open, fold and light to carry.
Swimming: being in the water is so natural for babies. They love splashing around. It is an advantage if you already took some swimming lessons in the pool before, but it’s not a deal-breaker if you haven’t. Saltwater makes learning even more natural. And it’s not only the water that’s interesting, but babies also love discovering new surfaces, like touching the sea grass, stones or sand.
If you are not confident holding your baby in the sea without any protection, you can use some of the floating foam tool options to make you feel more relaxed.
Use your parental instinct and own judgment on how long you can stay in the water, and on the beach in general. Keep the baby well hydrated and fed too.
In terms of logistics, taking the stroller to the beach might only work if you are going to a modern beach club or the hotel beach.
If you are going to a sandy beach or rocky shore with more difficult access, we recommend you take a baby carrier. We prefer one with a 360 degrees view. Put your baby facing outside so that it can watch all the new and interesting things around.
Watch our video below for inspiration. We hope you enjoy watching!