Loads of you have been to our “beach parties” at the centre this week. The joy of an indoor beach party is there isn’t actually any beach! No sand, no sunburn, no freezing cold waves, no dropped ice creams… I guess we are lucky in this part of the world to be so close to the coast, but taking a baby to the beach can be a bit of an undertaking! Gone are the days of settling down on your towel with a book, and only moving to turn yourself over when that side is completely roasted.
A trip to the seaside is something you can’t avoid at some point over the summer though, even if baby + beach = your idea of hell. So I’ve asked around and come up with this brilliant list of top tips that will help you enjoy the beach, and maybe even allow you a chance to sit back and relax for a few minutes.
- Take a fitted sheet and weigh down each corner with your many bags. Baby can sit in the sheet and be sand-free. (Until your older child tramples in covered in sand!)
- Use talcum powder to remove sand from sticky fingers and toes.
- Take a tiny paddling pool so baby can sit and keep cool by you without waves knocking them over! Fill it with a few stones to weigh it down. It’s fun for older children to use buckets to fill it (keeps them busy!) and once filled is good to keep mobile babies from constantly toddling off to the water’s edge. It also makes a good drinks cooler 😉
- If you don’t want to get a paddling pool, how about a shower curtain??
- Beach shoes for toddlers are a must, they can walk on the stones or hot sand and go in the water without worrying about wet sore feet
- Take food that is relatively “sand repellent” – watermelon is not a good choice!
The health and safety tips
- Use sun suits and hats to reduce exposure to sun. Babies should be kept in the shade. Put suncream on before you get on the beach and when they’re naked or just in a nappy then let it sink in (it can stain clothes).
- You can buy small UV tents pretty cheaply to provide shade. Babies and toddlers can nap inside the tent.
- Don’t put blankets and things over the baby’s buggy to shade it as it turns it into an oven. And of course don’t leave them in the car.
- Babies will be thirsty if they’re hot so may want to feed more, meaning mums also need to keep extra hydrated.
The nappy-related tips
- You don’t need to buy single-use swim nappies, which are expensive and wasteful. Buy a washable swim nappy or just an old unstuffed pocket nappy instead.
- Scuff up a nappy to make it look old and put valuables inside near your beach spot – no one wants to steal a dirty nappy 🤣
I would say think about how you’re going to get everything to the beach. Picnic, baby, toddler, changing bags, buckets and spades, pool, sun cream, water etc etc. There’s will often be lots of bags, and beaches are quite inaccessible to buggies. Even if there is step free access, it’s almost impossible to push a laden pushchair on the sand. Maybe a sling, a large rucksack and a strong re-usable bag or cool box. That’s about all you’ll be able to lug about!