Beach Basics for Babies

Costa Rica with a babyTraveling anywhere with kids takes a little extra planning and packing, especially when your children are young.

Beach vacations can be a lot of fun with babies and toddlers. They have an endless sandbox, water to play in, and a new environment to explore. What is not to love about the beach?

If you’re planning a trip to the beach, or any tropical destination for that matter, here are a few things to bring with you.

  • Sunscreen: This is a no-brainer. If you’re going to a sunny place, you need to pack the sunscreen. This is especially important on a baby or toddler’s sensitive skin. Babies can burn much easier than adults, so I lather up at least once every two hours using an SPF of at least 50, and we reapply every time our baby gets out of the water. We use Neutrogena Pure and Free sunscreen on our little one. It seems to work well, it is SPF 60, which is higher than most we’ve found, and it’s specially formulated for an infant’s delicate skin. I lather our baby everywhere, including her chest, tummy and back that will be covered by her bathing suit. Also, don’t forget her ears, bottoms of her feet and palms of the hands, and her scalp.
  • Sun hat: Once again, it’s all about sun protection. Even if your baby has a head full of hair to protect her delicate scalp, a sun hat is still a necessity. It will help keep her cool, protects her getting a sunburn on her scalp (especially where her hair parts) and come on, how cute is baby in a sun hat?!IMG_7297
  • Sunglasses: Don’t forget about baby’s eyes! Particularly during the first year of life, a baby’s eyes are extremely sensitive to the sun. But even into their toddler years, it’s a good idea to protect your child’s eyes from the sun.
  • Swim diaper & swim suit: Most swimming pools require a swim diaper. You can buy disposable ones or reusable ones. Swim diapers are a necessity to be worn under a swim suit or alone. They do not absorb urine, but do catch any solids, in the event that your little one has a bowel movement.
  • Water shoes: If your little one is already toddling around, you may want to buy a pair of water shoes to be worn on the beach. This will protect your toddler’s feet from the hot sand, or from rocks and anything else that might not feel so good if stepped on.
  • Mosquito repellent: Water and warm weather are breeding grounds for mosquitos, so you will want to bring a spray to protect your little one from being bitten. Doctors do not recommend using DEET on children under six months old, so I would recommend this mosquito spray. And if you want something a bit more natural, we used a homemade blend of essential oils when we went to Costa Rica.
  • Water carrier: This will come in so handy if you want to go into the swimming pool or even in the ocean (shallow area only, of course). This water wrap is made out of jersey material, so it’s thin and breathable, intended to be worn into water, and will dry quickly. If you’ve ever worn your baby in a wrap, you put this one on the exact same way as a Moby, Boba, or Tula Wrap.
ocean Costa Rica Guanacaste
Beachfront Water Wrap

Besides these items, don’t forget the other essentials when you are out in the sun including extra fluids (water, milk, or formula), a towel, shade umbrella, dry clothing to change into afterward, and a water resistant beach tote to carry it all!

 

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