8 Beach Essentials for Baby

Save
 
 
8 Beach Essentials for Baby
Pamela Follett/Demand Mediae

If you’re headed to the beach with baby, it’s not just about sunshine and sand -- it’s about safety. In fact, the littlest babies -- less than 6 months old -- shouldn’t really be in the sun at all because an infant’s delicate skin isn’t yet protected by melanin. Your best bet is to avoid the hottest midday hours, cover up and bring a few beach-day essentials with you.

Umbrella
Pamela Follett/Demand Media

Umbrella

Babies need shade -- and lots of it. Invest in a high-quality, wide beach umbrella so you’ve got everyone covered. If you have more than one baby in tow, or if you just want to look like a pro, a beach tent is even better. Physical shade is one of the most important things a parent can provide, notes Dr. Jeff Ashley, a Burbank, California-based dermatologist and president of Sun Safety for Kids.

Swim Shirts
Pamela Follett/Demand Mediae

Swim Shirts

Another layer of sun protection is clothing. For small babies, light, loose cotton clothing is ideal. You want coverage, but you also don't want them to overheat. For older babies, let swimsuits, trunks or swim shirts do double-duty -- you can buy them with added SPF. The ideal, says Dr. Jeff Ashley, is a rash-guard like top and bottoms with good coverage for boys or girls. The more coverage, the better, he says: “That way, there’s less skin that needs sunscreen."

Baby-Safe Sunblock
Pamela Follett/Demand Media

Baby-Safe Sunblock

Until a baby is about 6 months old, sunscreen is basically a no-no, per the manufacturers, who typically advise consulting with a doctor first. For older babies, slather on baby-friendly sunblock well before you get to the beach. It takes time for the sunscreen to absorb, and you won’t be struggling in the parking lot. The biggest issue with sunblock is what Dr. Jeff Ashley calls “pilot error” -- a parent who doesn’t apply enough to begin with, who misses a spot or who forgets to reapply.

Hat
Pamela Follett/Demand Media

Hat

A hat is a no-brainer, but it’s also a lot easier said than done. Serious baby safety nuts will get the legionnaire-style hat that covers the ears and the back of the neck. And it's smart to find a hat with a chin strap so you don’t have to continually pick it up and put it back on if the wind or baby takes it off.

Swim Diapers
Pamela Follett/Demand Mediae

Swim Diapers

For babies who go in the water, a swim diaper is key. Regular diapers are full of super-absorbent polymers, which means they'll quickly fill up with ocean water and weigh the baby down. A swim diaper is not absorbent; it's meant to fit snugly and contain the contents of the diaper. You can choose from reusable swim diapers or disposables, and some budget-savvy moms even wash and reuse the disposables.

Sunglasses
Pamela Follett/Demand Media

Sunglasses

For those lucky enough to have a baby who won’t protest, baby sunglasses protect little eyes from the strong UV rays of the sun, but because many babies won't tolerate anything on their faces or heads, sunglasses are typically more of a nice-to-have. If you invest, be sure to get a pair with a strap. And if you decide to forgo sunglasses, you'll be fine as long as you have adequate shade from an umbrella or hat.

Baby Powder
Pamela Follett/Demand Mediae

Baby Powder

Baby power is your secret weapon against the tyranny of sand. Somehow, no matter what you do to stop it, babies get sand in every crevice possible, and it’s agony trying to get it all off before the car ride home. A good shake of baby powder dislodges the sand by absorbing the extra moisture where it sticks to the skin. Voila!

Change of Clothes
Pamela Follett/Demand Mediae

Change of Clothes

Nobody likes going home in a wet bathing suit -- least of all your baby. Once you've done your best to rid every crevice of sand, it's time for some going-home clothes. Again, light cotton clothing is the way to go, especially if it's an especially hot day. You can even slip baby into her pajamas, because a few hours at the beach typically brings on a nice long nap on the car ride home.

Related Searches

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!