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I'm a Prince Edward County part-timer, and I grew up around here too. So you better believe that a large portion of my life has been spent on the beach (Sandbanks Provincial Park). Generally, my days going to the beach before a baby involved and itsy bitsy bikini, a towel, a beach bag which held my phone (or music playing device that we don't need to go into specifics for...we all know how old I am), and a discreet alcoholic beverage. Just kidding I don't at the beach..ha ha ha...
NOW, going to the beach is so much more. Itsy bitsy bikini? LOL. Try full coverage one-piece until I get a chance to consistently go to the gym. And that single beach bag...HA, more like several. But one thing is for sure, Bryon and I have mastered a family day at the beach for 3. I'm not even thinking about how large families do it.
One thing that I'm especially conscious of is making sure Huxley is protected from the sun and the heat (babies under 6 months are advised to not wear sunscreen) and that mom and dad get some entertainment too! Here are my tips for enjoying a day at the beach with a baby.
BOTTLES / YOUR BOOBS OR WATER
For sure this is important. You never know how long you will actually spend at the beach, but Bryon and I don't stay there longer than two hours when we Huxley because we don't want him out in the sun that long. I'm an exclusive pumper, so my boobs don't matter - but bottles do. We were bringing breastmilk to the beach, which can be dicey depending on how it is, but now that we give Huxley half breastmilk half formula bottles, we just bring the formula in a bottle and some water to mix it. It makes things a lot easier and reassuring in terms of bad milk. Plus, that way we can bring a few extra with us without worrying about spoiling anything. Huxley isn't at an age where he needs water, but if your baby is, I recommend bringing more than enough.
FULL COVERAGE UV PROTECTION SUITS FOR THE LITTLE + A HAT
These are key for babies under 6 months. But I would have them for babies over 6 months as well! Huxley has THIS ONE, but you can find these at several other places as well. We also have him wear a hat with a neck protector that is also UV protected. It looks adorable and it protects his bald head from the sun hahaha. The beak on the hat is also really great for protecting his face from the sun.
We LOVE our BabyMoov sun shelter, and we've actually used it several times. This one is great at blocking the sun and providing a shaded place for Huxley, but it also has a mesh vent to let in air/a breeze. It blocks the UV rays as well, and has a bug net at the front. I would be so stressed without this. We've used it for the beach and also at a friend's pool. But it would be great for days at the park, sitting outside etc. It's easy to fold up flat to take on the go!
You need a towel, your man needs a towel and your baby probably needs a few towels. Huxley usually lays on one in his sun shelter, but we also wrap him up a dry one when he gets out of the water because he's cold. Not to mention, he gets sand EVERYWHERE, so we need a clean towel to dust off any sand. On particularly hot days, a few wash cloths are great to have on hand as you can dampen them and place them over baby's forehead to cool him/her down quickly!
EXTRA DIAPERS AND SWIM DIAPER!!!
Huxley goes through diapers like crazy at the beach. As soon as one gets wet he freaks and wants it off and I can't blame him. Sometimes we let him go commando under his swim pants, but that's risky, especially if we are expecting number 2 lol. We also use a swim diaper to go over his regular diaper to lock everything in LOL. These have been quite useful. So just to be safe, double what you usually pack in your diaper bag.
For everything wet and for dirty diapers.
I never used beach umbrellas before I had a baby. But having one provides extra shade for when he's sick of being in his shelter and doesn't want to go in the water.
You probably already have these in your diaper bag, but double check that you have them. Between spit up and everything else you and your baby encounter, you're gonna need them!
I LOVE MY CLIP FAN!! Usually it's clipped onto Huxley's stroller, but when we are using his sun shelter, we also bring the fan. Especially at the beach. Babies are basically balls of heat, so a day at the beach is probably extra hot. We leave the fan on while he's in his shelter to help keep him cool. He usually has a good nap in there when it's on :) This fan is great because it comes in white or black, and it just charges via USB. You can charge it in the car, or anywhere there's an outlet so you don't have to worry about batteries!
SNACKS, MAGAZINES, BOOKS
The beach is a really great time for me to relax. Huxley will usually nap, lay in his shelter or go in the water. It's basically the perfect opportunity to enjoy some 'me time'. So I bring a magazine or a book and chill!
I hope this list helps you prepare for a beach day!